American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain

France entered the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) in 1778, and assisted in the victory of the Americans seeking independence from Britain (realized in the 1783 Treaty of Paris). The example of the American Revolution was one of the many contributing factors to the French Revolution.

Following the American Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was well received in France, both by the general population and the educated classes. The Revolution was perceived as the incarnation of the Enlightenment Spirit against the “English tyranny.” Benjamin Franklin, dispatched to France in December of 1776 to rally her support, was welcomed with great enthusiasm, as numerous Frenchmen embarked for the Americas to volunteer for the Patriot war effort. Motivated by the prospect of glory in battle or animated by the sincere ideals of liberty and republicanism, volunteers included the likes of Pierre Charles L’Enfant, and La Fayette, who enlisted in 1776.

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