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Benjamin Franklin's Diplomatic Mission

Benjamin Franklin’s single most significant contribution to American history was his diplomatic mission that convinced France to help America in their fight against Britain for independence. It may not have happened in America but it sure changed the face of the country as we know it today. As a matter of fact, there might not have been an America had he not gotten the help from France that America so desperately needed. It started with the Continental army suffering a series of devastating losses. With the pressure of all of Great Britain on America’s shoulders, Congress was grasping at straws trying to get all the help they could find. State militias were refusing to march and Continental forces were scattered all throughout the colonies. Congress decided they needed help, and a lot of it. Dutch funds were arriving but weren’t enough to put munitions in every man’s hands. With men running low, Congress made a bold move. They were to send a representative to France to ask for help. Benjamin Franklin was their man. Franklin was sent in 1776 and arrived in France in late December to a warm reception. He was very popular in France and was addressed as Dr. Franklin. His popularity was to serve him well in his mission to receive assistance. He was obliged with many parties thrown in his honor and he made friends with many high-ranking French officials. His first objective was to get France, or better, Louis XVI to formally recognize America as its own country. After that, he could then ask for assistance be it any of the three m’s…men, munitions, or money. Franklin couldn’t just simply ask the French for help without the promise of something in return, so he also had to convince the French that it would be a wise investment to help. With all this in mind, an agreement was close behind. After a long while and many bargains later, an agreement was signed on February 6, 1778. It was the Treaty of Paris. In the agreement, Fra...

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Benjamin Franklin's Diplomatic Mission. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:16, August 29, 2014, from