Weird History
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Spoiler Alert: The French Won The American Revolution - Not The Americans

Updated July 2, 2020 17.6k views10 items
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The American Revolutionary War was a turning point in world history, cementing the United States of America as its own nation (or collection of Colonies), free from British control and establishing it as an international power. However, it is possible that America's victory would not have been possible without the help of France.

France's role in the American Revolution was integral, but it isn't discussed as much in the context of the overall war as individual American heroics, like Paul Revere's ride and other fables about the founding of America. From necessary funds and arms to the bodily participation of French soldiers, France played a role in America's independence from Britain.

  • Photo: Anton Hohenstein / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    France Provided Money, Soldiers And Other Essentials Of Combat

    The French were crucial in winning America the war. It is highly improbable that America could have won the war without French money, weapons, and soldiers.

    France supplied America with things the young country could not have gotten on its own, and even protected it from stronger British military inundation by fighting the British before they even got to America. The French role in the war was so significant, in fact, that some consider the American Revolution something like a proxy war between the French and the British.   

  • Photo: Simon-Charles Miger / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    The French Used America As A Platform To Keep Fighting The British

    France's reasons for helping America were a bit less altruistic and more self-serving. France had been fighting with England for centuries and saw the Revolutionary War as another platform to one-up their longtime enemy. 

    Whatever France's motives, their assistance helped to guarantee America its independence. 

  • Photo: Harper & Brothers / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    90% Of The Gunpowder Used To Fight Britain Came From France

    France supplied America with nearly everything they needed to win the revolution. Beginning in 1776 and until the end of the war, France supplied the Americans with a steady supply of gunpowder. This was a big help, since there was only one gunpowder mill in all of America, at the Frankford Mill in Pennsylvania. A single mill wouldn't have been able to produce nearly enough powder to win an entire war. However, the French came through and solved the gunpowder shortage.

  • Photo: Center of Military History / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    French Soldiers Not Only Fought Alongside American Soldiers, But Also Helped Train Them

    Handing a bunch of so-called rebels a musket without teaching them how to fight wouldn't be very useful, and France recognized this. France didn't just send tools: French military leaders traveled to America to advise General Washington himself on how to fight campaigns against the British.