How important was French and Spanish Aid to Revolutionaries during American War of Revolution (1775-1783) ?

Apr 2014
Istanbul Turkey
How important was French and Spanish Aid to Revolutionaries during American Revolution ? Could Washington and US Revolutionaries win their war of revolution against Britain without French , Spanish and Dutch assistance ? French military assistance and military supply aid and actualy sending an army with La Fayette not to mention financial credits and assistance to Continental Army then French and Spain declaring war on Britain , diverting important resources of British Empire , how vital and critical were they on final outcome of American Revolutionary War ?
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
A correction, not an answer. Lafayette was a volunteer who came over at age 19 before the French sent troops, and was made a major general in the Continental Army. The French troops sent over were commanded by Rochambeau. There were many foreign officers who volunteered to help the revolutionaries. Washington had experience commanding the entire Virginia militia in heavy combat. However, there were not many former officers in the regular British Army or officers who had combat experience in the Continental Army.


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
Americans could not have won the war without foreign aid in its many forms. Corwallis would have escaped from Yorktown without the French fleet blocking his escape route. The American government would have gone bankrupt without foreign loans. The American army would have never standardized its weapons and ammunition without foreign supplies. America's claims to the Ohio Valley were based on the military campaigns of George Rogers Clark which could not have been sustained without supplies from Spanish St. Louis. Allied campaigns in Florida, the Caribbean, Gibraltar, and other places were all very helpful distractions of British strength away from the 13 states.
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May 2019
Salt Lake City, Utah
The foreign aid was very help to the Americans, for the French, Spanish, and Dutch went after the other colonial possession of the British.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
There was Dutch aid too?
Its complicated. A little like the US involvement in the WW2 before they actually got into the fight

The Dutch government remained steadfastly neutral during the conflict. This allowed Dutch merchants to trade with the rebels. The fact the Dutch government was quietly underwriting some of these transactions kind of largely got left out of official Dutch government documentation.