Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and France - History

Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and France - History



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Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and France

Treaty of Amity and Commerce

The most Christian King, and the thirteen United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Rhode island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Delaware, Maryland, Virginia North-Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia, willing to fix in an equitable and permanent manner the Rules which ought to be followed relative to the Correspondence & Commerce which the two Parties desire to establish between their respective Countries, States, and Subjects, hi most Christian Majesty and the, said United States have judged that the said End could not b, better obtained than by taking for the Basis of their Agreement the most perfect Equality and Reciprocity, and by carefully avoiding all those burthensome Preferences, which are usually Sources of Debate, Embarrasment and Discontent; by leaving also each Party at Liberty to make, respecting Commerce and Navigation, those interior Regulations which it shall find most convenient to itself; and by founding the Advantage of Commerce solely upon reciprocal Utility, and the just Rules of free Intercourse; reserving withal to each Party the Liberty of admitting at its pleasure other Nations to a Participation of the same Advantages. It is in the Spirit of this Intention, and to fulfil these Views, that his said Majesty having named and appointed for his Plenipotentiary Conrad Alexander Gerard, Royal Sindic of the City of Strasbourg, Secretary of his Majesty's Council of State, and the United States on their Part, having fully impower'd Benjamin Franklin Deputy from the State of Pennsylvania to the general Congress, and President of the Convention of said State, Silas Deane late Deputy from the State of Connecticut to the said Congress, and Arthur Lee Councellor at Law; The said respective Plenipotentiaries after exchanging their Powers, and after mature Deliberation, have concluded and agreed upon the following Articles.
ARTICLE. 1.st

There shall be a firm, inviolable and universal Peace, and a true and sincere Friendship between the most Christian King, his Heirs and Successors, and the United States of America; and the Subjects of the most Christian King and of the said States; and between the Countries, Islands, Cities, and Towns, situate under the Jurisdiction of the most Christian King, and of the said United States, and the people and Inhabitants of every Degree, without exception of Persons or Places; & the Terms herein after mentioned shall be perpetual between the most Christian King his Heirs and Successors and the said United States.
ART. 2.nd

The most Christian King, and the United States engage mutually not to grant any particular Favor to other Nations in respect of Commerce and Navigation, which shall not immediately become common to the other Party, who shall enjoy the same Favor freely, if the Concession was freer made, or on allowing the same Compensation, if the Concession was Conditional.
ART. 3.d

The Subjects of the most Christian King shall pay in the Port Havens, Roads, Countries I lands, Cities or Towns, of the United States or any of them, no other or greater Duties or Imposts of what Nature soever they may be, or by what Name soever called, than those which the Nations most favoured are or shall be obliged to pay; and they shall enjoy all the Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Immunities and Exemptions in Trade, Navigation and Commerce, whether in passing from one Port in the said States to another, or in going to and from the same, from and to any Part of the World, which the said Nations do or shall enjoy.
ART. 4.

The Subjects, People and Inhabitants of the said United States, and each of them, shall not pay in the Ports, Havens Roads Isles, Cities & Places under the Domination of his most Christian Majesty in Europe, any other or greater Duties or Imposts, of what Nature soever, they may be, or by what Name soever called, that those which the most favoured Nations are or shall be obliged to pay; & they shall enjoy all the Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Immunities & Exemptions, in Trade Navigation and Commerce whether in passing from one Port in the said Dominions in Europe to another, or in going to and from the same, from and to any Part of the World, which the said Nation do or shall enjoy.
ART. 5.

In the above Exemption is particularly comprised the Imposition of 100 Sols pr Ton, established in France on foreign Ships; unless when the Ships of the United States shall load with the Merchandize of France for another Port of the same Dominion, in which Case the said Ships shall pay the Duty abovementioned so long as other Nations the most favour'd shall be obliged to pay it. But it is understood that the said United States or any of them are at Liberty when they shall judge it proper, to establish a Duty equivalent in the same Case.
ART. 6.

The most Christian King shall endeavour by all the means in his Power to protect and defend all Vessels and the Effects belonging to the Subjects, People or Inhabitants of the said United States, or any of them, being in his Ports Havens or Roads or on the Sea near to his Countries, Islands Cities or Towns and to recover and restore to the right owners, their agents or Attornies all such Vessel & Effects, which shall be taken within his Jurisdiction; and the Ships of War of his most Christian Majesty or any Convoys sailing under his authority shall upon all Occasions take under their Protection all Vessels belonging to the Subjects, People or Inhabitants of the said United States, or any of them & holding the same Course or going the same Way, and shall defend such Vessels, as long as they hold the same Course or go the same way, against all Attacks, Force and Violence in the same manner, as they ought to protect and defend the Vessels belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King.
ART. 7.

In like manner the said United States and their Ships of War sailing under their Authority shall protect and defend, conformable to the Tenor of the preceeding Article, all the Vessels and Effect belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King; and use al their Endeavours to recover cause to be restored the said Vessels and Effects, that shall have been taken within the Jurisdiction of the said United State or any of them.
ART. 8.

The most Christian King will employ his good Offices and Interposition with the King or Emperor of Morocco or Fez, the Regencies of Algier, Tunis and Tripoli, or with any of them, and also with every other Prince, State or Power of the Coast of Barbary in Africa, and the Subjects of the said King Emperor, States and Powers, and each of them; in order to provide as fully and efficaciously as possible for the Benefit, Conveniency and Safety of the said United States, and each of them, their Subjects, People, and Inhabitants, and their Vessels and Effects, against all Violence, Insult, Attacks, or Depredations on the Part of the said Princes and States of Barbary, or their Subjects.
ART. 9.

The Subjects, Inhabitants, Merchants, Commanders of Ships Masters and Mariners of the States, Provinces, and Dominions of each Party respectively shall abstain and forbear to fish in all Places possessed or which shall be possessed by the other Party: The most Christian Kings Subjects shall not fish in the Havens, Bays, Creeks, Roads Coasts or Places, which the said united States hold or shall hereafter hold; and in like manner the Subjects, People and Inhabitants of the said United States shall not fish in the Havens Bays, Creeks, Roads, Coasts or Places, which the most Christian King possesses or shall hereafter possess; and if any and if any Ship or Vessel shall be found fishing contrary to the Tenor of this Treaty, the said Ship or Vessel with its lading, proof being made thereof, shall be confiscated. It is however understood, that the Exclusion stipulated in the present Article shall take place only so long, and so far as the most Christian King or the United States shall not in this respect have granted an Exemption to some other Nation.
ART. 10.

The United States their Citizens and Inhabitants shall never disturb the Subjects, of the most Christian King in the Enjoyment and Exercise of the Right of Fishing on the Banks of Newfoundland; nor in the indefinite and exclusive Right which belongs to them on that Part of the Coast of that Island which is designed by the Treaty of Utrecht; nor in the Rights relative to all and each of the Isles which belong to his most Christian Majesty; the whole conformable to the true Sense of the Treaties of Utrecht and Paris.
ART. 11. (1)

It is agreed and concluded that there shall never be any Duty imposed on the Exportation of the Mellasses that may be taken by the Subjects of any of the United States from the Islands of America which belong or may hereafter appertain to his most Christian Majesty.
ART. 12. (2)

In compensation of the Exemption stipulated by the preceeding Article, it is agreed and concluded that there shall never be any Duties imposed on the Exportation of any kind of Merchandize which the Subjects of his most Christian Majesty may take from the Countries and Possessions present or future of any of the thirteen United States, for the Use of the Islands which shall furnish Mellasses.
ART 13 [11].

The Subjects and Inhabitants of the said United States, or any one of them, shall not be reputed Aubains in France, & consequently shall be exempted from the Droit d'Aubaine or other similar Duty under what name soever. They may by Testament, Donation, or otherwise dispose of their Goods moveable and immoveable in favour of such Persons as to them shall seem good; and their Heirs, Subjects of the Said United States, residing whether in France or elsewhere, may succeed them ab intestat, without being obliged to obtain Letters of Naturalization, and without having the Effect of this Concession contested or impeded under Pretext of any Rights or Prerogatives of Provinces, Cities, or Private Persons. And the said Heirs, whether such by particular Title, or ab intestat, shall be exempt from all Duty called Droit de Detraction, or other Duty of the same kind; saving nevertheless, the local Rights or Duties as much and as long as similar ones are not established by the United States or any of them. The Subjects of the most Christian fling shall enjoy on their Part, in all the Dominions of the sd. States, an entire and perfect Reciprocity relative to the Stipulations contained in the present Article.

But it is at the same Time agreed that its Contents shall not affect the Laws made or that may be made hereafter in France against Emigrations, which shall remain in all their Force and Vigour; and the United States on their Part, or any of them, shall be at Liberty to enact such Laws relative to that Matter, as to them shall seem proper.
ART. 14 [12].

The merchant Ships of either of the Parties, which shall be making into a Port belonging to the Enemy of the other Ally and concerning whose Voyage & the Species of Goods on board her there shall be just Grounds of Suspicion shall be obliged to exhibit as well upon the high Seas as in the Ports and Havens not only her Passports, but likewise Certificates expressly strewing that her Goods are not of the Number of those, which have been prohibited as contraband
ART. 15 [13].

If by the exhibiting of the above said Certificates, the other Party discover there are any of those Sorts of Goods, which are prohibited and declared contraband and consigned for a Port under the Obedience of his Enemies, it shall not be lawful to break up the Hatches of such Ship, or to open any Chest, Coffers, Packs, Casks, or any other Vessels found therein, or to remove the smallest Parcels of her Goods, whether such Ship belongs to the Subjects of France or the Inhabitants of the said United States, unless the lading be brought on Shore in the presence of the Officers of the Court of Admiralty and an Inventory thereof made; but there shall be no allowance to sell, exchange, or alienate the same in any manner untill after that due and lawful Process shall have been had against such prohibited Goods and the Court of Admiralty shall by a Sentence pronounced, have confiscated the same: saving always as well the Ship itself as any other Goods found therein, which by this Treaty are to be esteemed free: neither may they be detained on presence of their being as it were infected by the prohibited Goods, much less shall they be confiscated as lawful Prize: But if not the whole Cargo, but only part thereof shall consist of prohibited or contraband Goods and the Commander of the Ship shall be ready and willing to deliver them to the Captor, who has discovered them, in such Case the Captor having received those Goods shall forthwith discharge the Ship and not hinder her by any means freely to prosecute the Voyage, on which she was bound. But in Case the Contraband Merchandiscs, cannot be all receiv'd on board the Vessel of the Captor, then the Captor may, notwithstanding the Offer of delivering him the Contraband Goods, carry the Vessel into the nearest Port agreable to what is above directed.
ART. 16 [14].

On the contrary it is agreed, that whatever shall be found to be laden by the Subjects and Inhabitants of either Party on any Ship belonging to the Enemys of the other or to their Subjects, the whole although it be not of the Sort of prohibited Goods may be confiscated in the same manner, as if it belonged to the Enemy, except such Goods and Merchandizes as were put on board such Ship before the Declaration of War, or even after such Declaration, if so be it were done without knowledge of such Declaration. So that the Goods of the Subjects and People of either Party, whether they be of the Nature of such as are prohibited or otherwise, which, as is aforesaid were put on board any Ship belonging to an Enemy before the War, or after the Declaration of the same, without the knowledge of it, shall no ways be liable to confiscation, but shall well and truely be restored without Delay to the proprietors demanding the same; but so as that, if the said Merchandizes be contraband, it shall not be any Ways lawful to carry them afterwards to any Ports belonging to the Enemy. The two contracting Parties agree, that the Term of two Months being passed after the Declaration of War, their respective Subjects, from whatever Part of the World they come, shall not plead the Ignorance mentioned in this Article.
ART. 17 [15].

And that more effectual Care may be taken for the Security of the Subjects and Inhabitants of both Parties, that they suffer no injury by the men of War or Privateers of the other Party, all the Commanders of the Ships of his most Christian Majesty & of the said United States and all their Subjects and Inhabitants shall be forbid doing any Injury or Damage to the other Side; and if they act to the contrary, they shall be punished and shall moreover be bound to make Satisfaction for all Matter of Damage, and the Interest thereof, by reparation, under the Pain and obligation of their Person and Goods.
ART. 18 [16].

All Ships and Merchandizes of what Nature soever which shall be rescued out of the hands of any Pirates or Robbers on the high Seas, shall be brought into some Port of either State and shall be delivered to the Custody of the Officers of that Port, in order to be restored entire to the true Proprietor, as soon as due and sufficient Proof shall be made concerning the Property thereof.
ART. 19 [17].

It shall be lawful for the Ships of War of either Party & Privateers freely to carry whithersoever they please the Ships and Goods taken from their Enemies, without being obliged to pay any Duty to the Officers of the Admiralty or any other Judges; nor shall such Prizes be arrested or seized, when they come to and enter the Ports of either Party; nor shall the Searchers or other Officers of those Places search the same or make examination concerning the lawfulness of such Prizes, but they may hoist Sail at any time and depart and carry their Prizes to the Places express'd in their Commissions, which the Commanders of such Ships of War shall be obliged to shew: On the contrary no Shelter or Refuge shall be given in their Ports to such as shall have made Prize of the Subjects, People or Property of either of the Parties; but if such shall come in, being forced by Stress of Weather or the Danger of the Sea, all proper means shall be vigorously used that they go out and retire from thence as soon as possible.
ART. 20 [18].

If any Ship belonging to either of the Parties their People or Subjects, shall, within the Coasts or Dominions of the other, stick upon the Sands or be wrecked or suffer any other Damage, all friendly Assistance and Relief shall be given to the Persons shipwrecked or such as shall be in danger thereof; and Letters of safe Conduct shall likewise be given to them for their free and quiet Passage from thence, and the return of every one to his own Country.
ART. 21 [19].

In Case the Subjects and Inhabitants of either Party with their shipping whether publick and of War or private and of Merchants, be forced, through Stress of Weather, pursuit of Pirates or Enemies, or any other urgent necessity for seeking of Shelter and Harbour, to retreat and enter into any of the Rivers, Bays, Roads or Ports belonging to the other Party, they shall be received and treated with all humanity and Kindness and enjoy all friendly Protection & Help; and they shall be permitted to refresh and provide themselves at reasonable Rates with victuals and all things needful for the sustenance of their Persons or reparation of their Ships and conveniency of their Voyage; and they shall no Ways be detained or hindred from returning out of the said Ports or Roads but may remove and depart when and whither they please without any let or hindrance.
ART. 22 [20].

For the better promoting of Commerce on both Sides, it is agreed that if a War shall break out between the said two Nations, six Months after the Proclamation of War shall be allowed to the Merchants in the Cities and Towns, where they live, for selling and transporting their Goods and Merchandizes; and if any thing be taken from them, or any Injury be done them within that Term by either Party or the People or Subjects of either, full Satisfaction shall be made for the same.
ART. 23 [21].

No Subjects of the most Christian King shall apply for or take any Commission or Letters of marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as Privateers against the said United States or any of them or against the Subjects People or Inhabitants of the said United States or any of them or against the Property of any of the Inhabitants of any of them from any Prince or State with which the said United States shall be at War. Nor shall any Citizen Subject or Inhabitant of the said United States or any of them apply for or take any Commission or letters of marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as Privateers against the Subjects O f the most Christian King or any of them or the Property of any of them from any Prince or State with which the said fling shall be at War: And if any Person of either Nation shall take such Commissions or Letters of Marque he shall be punished as a Pirate.
ART. 24 [22].

It shall not be lawful for any foreign Privateers, not belonging to Subjects of the most Christian King nor Citizens of the said United States, who have Commissions from any other Prince or State in enmity with either Nation to fit their Ships in the Ports of either the one or the other of the aforesaid Parties, to sell what they have taken or in any other manner whatsoever to exchange their Ships, Merchandizes or any other lading; neither shall they be allowed even to purchase victuals except such as shall be necessary for their going to the next Port of that Prince or State from which they have Commissions.
ART. 25 [23].

It shall be lawful for all and singular the Subjects of the most Christian King and the Citizens People and Inhabitants of the said United States to sail with their Ships with all manner of Liberty and Security; no distinction being made, who are the Proprietors of the Merchandizes laden thereon, from any Port to the places of those who now are or hereafter shall be at Enmity with the most Christian King or the United States. It shall likewise be Lawful for the Subjects and Inhabitants aforesaid to sail with the Ships and Merchandizes aforementioned and to trade with the same Liberty and. security from the Places, Ports and Havens of those who are Enemies of both or either Party without any Opposition or disturbance whatsoever, not only directly from the Places of the Enemy afore mentioned to neutral Places; but also from one Place belonging to an Enemy to another place belonging to an Enemy, whether they be under the Jurisdiction of the same Prince or under several; And it is hereby stipulated that free Ships shall also give a freedom to Goods, and that every thing shall be deemed to be free and exempt, which shall be found on board the Ships belonging to the Subjects of either of the Confederates, although the whole lading or any Part thereof should appertain to the Enemies of either, contraband Goods being always excepted. It is also agreed !' in like manner that the same Liberty be extended to Persons, who are on board a free Ship, with this Effect, that although they be Enemies to both or either Party, they are not to be taken out of that free Ship, unless they are Soldiers and in actual Service of the Enemies.
ART. 26 [24].

This Liberty of Navigation and Commerce shall extend to all kinds of Merchandizes, excepting those only which are distinguished by the name of contraband; And under this Name of Contraband or prohibited Goods shall be comprehended, Arms, great Guns, Bombs with the fuzes, and other things belonging to them, Cannon Ball, Gun powder, Match, Pikes, Swords, Lances, Spears, halberds, Mortars, Petards, Granades Salt Petre, Muskets, Musket Ball, Bucklers, Helmets, breast Plates, Coats of Mail and the like kinds of Arms proper for arming Soldiers, Musket rests, belts, Horses with their Furniture, and all other Warlike Instruments whatever. These Merchandizes which follow shall not be reckoned among Contraband or prohibited Goods, that is to say, all sorts of Cloths, and all other Manufactures woven of any wool, Flax, Silk, Cotton or any other Materials whatever; all kinds of wearing Apparel together with the Species, whereof they are used to be made; gold & Silver as well coined as uncoin'd, Tin, Iron, Latten, Copper, Brass Coals, as also Wheat and Barley and any other kind of Corn and pulse; Tobacco and likewise all manner of Spices; salted and smoked Flesh, salted Fish, Cheese and Butter, Beer, Oils, Wines, Sugars and all sorts of Salts; & in general all Provisions, which serve for the nourishment of Mankind and the sustenance of Life; Furthermore all kinds of Cotton, hemp, Flax, Tar, Pitch, Ropes, Cables, Sails, Sail Cloths, Anchors and any Parts of Anchors; also Ships Masts, Planks, Boards and Beams of what Trees soever; and all other Things proper either for building or repairing Ships, and all d other Goods whatever, which have not been worked into the form of any Instrument or thing prepared for War by Land or by Sea, shall not be reputed Contraband, much less such as d have been already wrought and made up for any other Use; all which shall be wholly reckoned among free Goods: as likewise I all other Merchandizes and things, which are not comprehended and particularly mentioned in the foregoing enumeration of contraband Goods: so that they may be transported and carried in the freest manner by Subjects of both Confederates even to Places belonging to an Enemy such Towns or Places being only excepted as are at that time beseiged, blocked up or invested.
ART. 27 [25].

To the End that all manner of Dissentions and Quarrels may be avoided and prevented on one Side and the other, it is agreed, that in case either of the Parties hereto should be engaged in War, the Ships and Vessels belonging to the Subjects or People of the other Ally must be furnished with Sea Letters or Passports expressing the name, Property and Bulk of the Ship as also the name and Place of habitation of the Master or Commander of the said Ship, that it may appear thereby, that the Ship really & truely belongs to the Subjects of one of the Parties, which Passport shall be made out and granted according to the Form annexed to this Treaty; they shall likewise be recalled every Year, that is if the Ship happens to return home within the Space of a Year. It is likewise agreed, that such Ships being laden are to be provided not only with Passports as above mentioned, but also with Certificates containing the several Particulars of the Cargo, the Place whence the Ship sailed and whither she is bound, that so it may be known,. whether any forbidden or contraband Goods be on board the same: which Certificates shall be made out by the Officers of the Place, whence the Ship set sail, in the accustomed Form. And if any one shall think it fit or adviseable to express in the said Certificates the Person to whom the Goods on board belong, he may freely do so.
ART. 28 [26].

The Ships of the Subjects and Inhabitants of either of the Parties, coming upon any Coasts belonging to either of the said, Allies, but not willing to enter into Port, or being entered into Port and not willing to unload their Cargoes or break Bulk, they shall be treated according to the general Rules prescribed or to be prescribed relative to the Object in Question.
ART. 29 [27].

If the Ships of the said Subjects, People or Inhabitants of either of the Parties shall be met with either sailing along the Coasts or on the high Seas by any Ship of War of the other or by any Privateers, the said Ships of War or Privateers, for the avoiding of any Disorder shall remain out of Cannon Shot, and may send their Boats aboard the Merchant Ship, which they shall so meet with, and may enter her to number of two or three Men only to whom the Master or Commander of such Ship or Vessel hall exhibit his passport concerning the Property of the Ship made out according to the Form inserted in this present Treaty, and the Ship, when she shall have shewed such Passport shall be free and st Libert, to pursue her Voyage, so as it shall not be lawful to molest or search her in any manner or to give her chase, or force her to quit her intended
ART. 30 [28].

It is also agreed that all Goods, when once put on board the Ships or Vessels of either of the two contracting Parties shall be subject to no farther Visitation; but all Visitation or Search shall be made before hand, and all prohibited Goods shall be stopped on the Spot, before the same be put on board, unless there are manifest Tokens or Proofs of fraudulent Practice; nor shall either the Persons or goods of the Subjects of his most Christian Majesty or the United States be put under any arrest or molested by any other kind of Embargo for that Cause; and only the Subject of that State, to whom the said; Goods have been or shall be prohibited and who shall presume to sell or alienate such sort of Goods shall be duly punished for the Offense
ART. 31 [29].

The two contracting Parties grant mutually the Liberty of having each in the Ports of the other, Consuls, Vice Consuls, Agents and Commissaries, whose; Functions shall be regulated by a particular Agreement.
ART. 32 [30].

And the more to favour and facilitate the Commerce which the Subjects of the United States may have with France, the most Christian King will grant them in Europe one or more free Ports, where they may bring and dispose of all the Produce and Merchandize of the thirteen United States; and his Majesty will also continue to the Subjects of the said States, the free Ports which have been and are open in the french Islands of America. Of all which free Ports, the said Subjects of the United States shall enjoy the Use, agreable to the Regulations which relate to them.
ART. 33 [31].

The present Treaty shall be ratified on both Sides and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in the Space of Six Months, or sooner if possible.

In Faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above Articles, both in the French and English Languages, declaring nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally composed and concluded in the French Language, and they have thereto affixed their Seals.

Done at Paris, this Sixth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred & seventy eight


French Alliance, French Assistance, and European Diplomacy during the American Revolution, 1778–1782

During the American Revolution, the American colonies faced the significant challenge of conducting international diplomacy and seeking the international support it needed to fight against the British. The single most important diplomatic success of the colonists during the War for Independence was the critical link they forged with France. Representatives of the French and American governments signed the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce on February 6, 1778.

American colonists hoped for possible French aid in their struggle against British forces. The Continental Congress established the Secret Committee of Correspondence to publicize the American cause in Europe. Committee member Benjamin Franklin wrote to contacts in France with encouraging accounts of colonial resistance. The French had suffered a defeat by the British during the Seven Years’ War and had lost North American territory under the 1763 Treaty of Paris. As the French and the British continued to vie for power in the 1770s, French officials saw an opportunity in the rebellion of Britain’s North American colonies to take advantage of British troubles. Through secret agents, the French Government began to provide clandestine assistance to the United States, much of which they channeled through American trader Silas Deane.

As the members of the Continental Congress considered declaring independence, they also discussed the possibility and necessity of foreign alliances, and assigned a committee to draft a Model Treaty to serve as guide for this work. After Congress formally declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, it dispatched a group of several commissioners led by Benjamin Franklin to negotiate an alliance with France. When news of the Declaration of Independence and the subsequent British evacuation of Boston reached France, French Foreign Minister Comte de Vergennes decided in favor of an alliance. However, once news of General George Washington ’s defeats in New York reached Europe in August of 1776, Vergennes wavered, questioning the wisdom of committing to a full alliance.

Benjamin Franklin’s popularity in France bolstered French support for the American cause. The French public viewed Franklin as a representative of republican simplicity and honesty, an image Franklin cultivated. A rage for all things Franklin and American swept France, assisting American diplomats and Vergennes in pushing for an alliance. In the meantime, Vergennes agreed to provide the United States with a secret loan.

Despite the loan and discussions of a full alliance, French assistance to the new United States was limited at the outset. Throughout 1777, Vergennes delayed as he conducted negotiations with the Spanish Government, which was wary of U.S. independence and also wanted assurances that Spain would regain territories if it went to war against the British.

Vergennes finally decided in favor of an alliance when news of the British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga reached him in December 1777. Vergennes, having heard rumors of secret British peace offers to Franklin, decided not to wait for Spanish support and offered the United States an official French alliance. On February 6, 1778, Benjamin Franklin and the other two commissioners, Arthur Lee and Silas Deane , signed a Treaty of Alliance and a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France. The Treaty of Alliance contained the provisions the U.S. commissioners had originally requested, but also included a clause forbidding either country to make a separate peace with Britain, as well as a secret clause allowing for Spain, or other European powers, to enter into the alliance. Spain officially entered the war on June 21, 1779. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce promoted trade between the United States and France and recognized the United States as an independent nation.

Between 1778 and 1782 the French provided supplies, arms and ammunition, uniforms, and, most importantly, troops and naval support to the beleaguered Continental Army. The French navy transported reinforcements, fought off a British fleet, and protected Washington’s forces in Virginia. French assistance was crucial in securing the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781.

With the consent of Vergennes, U.S. commissioners entered negotiations with Britain to end the war, and reached a preliminary agreement in 1782. Franklin informed Vergennes of the agreement and also asked for an additional loan. Vergennes did lodge a complaint on this instance, but also granted the requested loan despite French financial troubles. Vergennes and Franklin successfully presented a united front despite British attempts to drive a wedge between the allies during their separate peace negotiations. The United States, Spain, and France formally ended the war with Britain with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Although European powers considered their treaty obligations abrogated by the French Revolution, the United States considered it to be in effect despite President Washington’s policy of neutrality in the war between Britain and France. The Citizen Genêt Affair erupted partially because of clauses contained in the alliance treaty that violated the neutrality policy. The Treaty of Paris also remained technically in effect during the undeclared Quasi-War with France, and was formally ended by the Convention of 1800 which also terminated the Quasi-War.


Treaty of Alliance with France

The most Christian King and the United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhodes island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, having this Day concluded a Treaty of amity and Commerce, for the reciprocal advantage of their Subjects and Citizens have thought it necessary to take into consideration the means of strengthening those engagements and of rondring them useful to the safety and tranquility of the two parties, particularly in case Great Britain in Resentment of that connection and of the good correspondence which is the object of the said Treaty, should break the Peace with france, either by direct hostilities, or by hindring her commerce and navigation, in a manner contrary to the Rights of Nations, and the Peace subsisting between the two Crowns and his Majesty and the said united States having resolved in that Case to join their Councils and efforts against the Enterprises of their common Enemy, the respective Plenipotentiaries, impower'd to concert the Clauses & conditions proper to fulfil the said Intentions, have, after the most mature Deliberation, concluded and determined on the following Articles.

If War should break out betwan france and Great Britain, during the continuance of the present War betwan the United States and England, his Majesty and the said united States, shall make it a common cause, and aid each other mutually with their good Offices, their Counsels, and their forces, according to the exigence of Conjunctures as becomes good & faithful Allies.

The essential and direct End of the present defensive alliance is to maintain effectually the liberty, Sovereignty, and independance absolute and unlimited of the said united States, as well in Matters of Gouvernement as of commerce.

The two contracting Parties shall each on its own Part, and in the manner it may judge most proper, make all the efforts in its Power, against their common Ennemy, in order to attain the end proposed.

The contracting Parties agree that in case either of them should form any particular Enterprise in which the concurrence of the other may be desired, the Party whose concurrence is desired shall readily, and with good faith, join to act in concert for that Purpose, as far as circumstances and its own particular Situation will permit and in that case, they shall regulate by a particular Convention the quantity and kind of Succour to be furnished, and the Time and manner of its being brought into action, as well as the advantages which are to be its Compensation.

If the united States should think fit to attempt the Reduction of the British Power remaining in the Northern Parts of America, or the Islands of Bermudas, those Countries or Islands in case of Success, shall be confederated with or dependent upon the said united States.

The Most Christian King renounces for ever the possession of the Islands of Bermudas as well as of any part of the continent of North america which before the treaty of Paris in 1763. or in virtue of that Treaty, were acknowledged to belong to the Crown of Great Britain, or to the united States heretofore called British Colonies, or which are at this Time or have lately been under the Power of The King and Crown of Great Britain.

If his Most Christian Majesty shall think proper to attack any of the Islands situated in the Gulph of Mexico, or near that Gulph, which are at present under the Power of Great Britain, all the said Isles, in case of success, shall appertain to the Crown of france.

Neither of the two Parties shall conclude either Truce or Peace with Great Britain, without the formal consent of the other first obtain'd and they mutually engage not to lay down their arms, until the Independence of the united states shall have been formally or tacitly assured by the Treaty or Treaties that shall terminate the War.

The contracting Parties declare, that being resolved to fulfil each on its own Part the clauses and conditions of the present Treaty of alliance, according to its own power and circumstances, there shall be no after claim of compensation on one side or the other whatever may be the event of the War.

The Most Christian King and the United states, agree to invite or admit other Powers who may have received injuries from England to make common cause with them, and to accede to the present alliance, under such conditions as shall be freely agreed to and settled between all the Parties.

The two Parties guarantee mutually from the present time and forever, against all other powers, to wit, the united states to his most Christian Majesty the present Possessions of the Crown of france in America as well as those which it may acquire by the future Treaty of peace: and his most Christian Majesty guarantees on his part to the united states, their liberty, Sovereignty, and Independence absolute, and unlimited, as well in Matters of Government as commerce and also their Possessions, and the additions or conquests that their Confederation may obtain during the war, from any of the Dominions now or heretofore possessed by Great Britain in North America, conformable to the 5th & 6th articles above written, the whole as their Possessions shall be fixed and assured to the said States at the moment of the cessation of their present War with England.

In order to fix more precisely the sense and application of the preceding article, the Contracting Parties declare, that in case of rupture between france and England, the reciprocal Guarantee declared in the said article shall have its full force and effect the moment such War shall break out and if such rupture shall not take place, the mutual obligations of the said guarantee shall not commence, until the moment of the cessation of the present War between the united states and England shall have ascertained the Possessions.

The present Treaty shall be ratified on both sides and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months, sooner if possible.

In faith where of the respective Plenipotentiaries, to wit on the part of the most Christian King Conrad Alexander Gerard royal syndic of the City of Strasbourgh & Secretary of his majestys Council of State and on the part of the United States Benjamin Franklin Deputy to the General Congress from the State of Pennsylvania and President of the Convention of the same state, Silas Deane heretofore Deputy from the State of Connecticut & Arthur Lee Councellor at Law have signed the above Articles both in the French and English Languages declaring Nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally composed and concluded in the French Language, and they have hereunto affixed their Seals

Done at Paris, this sixth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight.


Treaty of Alliance Between The United States and France

The most Christian King and the United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhodes island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, having this Day concluded a Treaty of amity and Commerce, for the reciprocal advantage of their Subjects and Citizens have thought it necessary to take into consideration the means of strengthening those engagements and of rondring them useful to the safety and tranquility of the two parties, particularly in case Great Britain in Resentment of that connection and of the good correspondence which is the object of the said Treaty, should break the Peace with france, either by direct hostilities, or by hindring her commerce and navigation, in a manner contrary to the Rights of Nations, and the Peace subsisting between the two Crowns and his Majesty and the said united States having resolved in that Case to join their Councils and efforts against the Enterprises of their common Enemy, the respective Plenipotentiaries, impower’d to concert the Clauses & conditions proper to fulfil the said Intentions, have, after the most mature Deliberation, concluded and determined on the following Articles.

If War should break out betwan france and Great Britain, during the continuance of the present War betwan the United States and England, his Majesty and the said united States, shall make it a common cause, and aid each other mutually with their good Offices, their Counsels, and their forces, according to the exigence of Conjunctures as becomes good & faithful Allies.

The essential and direct End of the present defensive alliance is to maintain effectually the liberty, Sovereignty, and independance absolute and unlimited of the said united States, as well in Matters of Gouvernement as of commerce.

The two contracting Parties shall each on its own Part, and in the manner it may judge most proper, make all the efforts in its Power, against their common Ennemy, in order to attain the end proposed.

The contracting Parties agree that in case either of them should form any particular Enterprise in which the concurrence of the other may be desired, the Party whose concurrence is desired shall readily, and with good faith, join to act in concert for that Purpose, as far as circumstances and its own particular Situation will permit and in that case, they shall regulate by a particular Convention the quantity and kind of Succour to be furnished, and the Time and manner of its being brought into action, as well as the advantages which are to be its Compensation.

If the united States should think fit to attempt the Reduction of the British Power remaining in the Northern Parts of America, or the Islands of Bermudas, those Countries or Islands in case of Success, shall be confederated with or dependent upon the said united States.

The Most Christian King renounces for ever the possession of the Islands of Bermudas as well as of any part of the continent of North america which before the treaty of Paris in 1763. or in virtue of that Treaty, were acknowledged to belong to the Crown of Great Britain, or to the united States heretofore called British Colonies, or which are at this Time or have lately been under the Power of The King and Crown of Great Britain.

If his Most Christian Majesty shall think proper to attack any of the Islands situated in the Gulph of Mexico, or near that Gulph, which are at present under the Power of Great Britain, all the said Isles, in case of success, shall appertain to the Crown of france.

Neither of the two Parties shall conclude either Truce or Peace with Great Britain, without the formal consent of the other first obtain’d and they mutually engage not to lay down their arms, until the Independence of the united states shall have been formally or tacitly assured by the Treaty or Treaties that shall terminate the War.

The contracting Parties declare, that being resolved to fulfil each on its own Part the clauses and conditions of the present Treaty of alliance, according to its own power and circumstances, there shall be no after claim of compensation on one side or the other whatever may be the event of the War.

The Most Christian King and the United states, agree to invite or admit other Powers who may have received injuries from England to make common cause with them, and to accede to the present alliance, under such conditions as shall be freely agreed to and settled between all the Parties.

The two Parties guarantee mutually from the present time and forever, against all other powers, to wit, the united states to his most Christian Majesty the present Possessions of the Crown of france in America as well as those which it may acquire by the future Treaty of peace: and his most Christian Majesty guarantees on his part to the united states, their liberty, Sovereignty, and Independence absolute, and unlimited, as well in Matters of Government as commerce and also their Possessions, and the additions or conquests that their Confederation may obtain during the war, from any of the Dominions now or heretofore possessed by Great Britain in North America, conformable to the 5th & 6th articles above written, the whole as their Possessions shall be fixed and assured to the said States at the moment of the cessation of their present War with England.

In order to fix more precisely the sense and application of the preceding article, the Contracting Parties declare, that in case of rupture between france and England, the reciprocal Guarantee declared in the said article shall have its full force and effect the moment such War shall break out and if such rupture shall not take place, the mutual obligations of the said guarantee shall not commence, until the moment of the cessation of the present War between the united states and England shall have ascertained the Possessions.

The present Treaty shall be ratified on both sides and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months, sooner if possible.

In faith where of the respective Plenipotentiaries, to wit on the part of the most Christian King Conrad Alexander Gerard royal syndic of the City of Strasbourgh & Secretary of his majestys Council of State and on the part of the United States Benjamin FranklinDeputy to the General Congress from the State of Pensylvania and President of the Convention of the same state, Silas Deaneheretofore Deputy from the State of Connecticut & Arthur LeeCouncellor at Law have signed the above Articles both in the French and English Languages declaring Nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally composed and concluded in the French Language, and they have hereunto affixed their Seals

Done at Paris, this sixth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight.


3. They provided covert aid.

Benjamin Franklin received at the French court in Versailles, 1778.

One evening in December 1775, Benjamin Franklin, a delegate to the Second Continental Congress𠅊nd a member of its Committee of Secret Correspondence, which conducted foreign communications—slipped silently into Philadelphia’s Carpenters’ Hall along with four of his colleagues to commit what the British would certainly view as treason. They had come to meet Julien-Alexandre de Bonvouloir, a secret envoy from the French regime. The clandestine meeting sowed the seeds of a strong covert relationship between the revolutionaries and France that predated the formal 1778 treaties between the two.

Bonvouloir’s reports back to France were enthusiastic. 𠇎veryone here is a soldier,” he said of the colonies. Franklin’s team of negotiators sent Silas Deane to Paris under the guise of a merchant looking for goods to buy for resale to Native Americans. Deane’s real quest was very different: He sought military engineers, along with clothing, arms and ammunition for 25,000 soldiers. Oh, and credit from the French to pay for it all. Within two weeks of arriving, he had what he wanted, and France had become a secret supporter of the revolution.

When Benjamin Franklin himself traveled to Paris in November 1776, much of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations with France fell away. But Franklin’s popularity with everyone from the aristocracy (he encouraged Lafayette to volunteer) to the general public put more pressure on the French regime to keep supporting their new allies𠅎ven amid reports of American losses and their dreadful winter at Valley Forge.


Treaty of Alliance with France

Treaty of Alliance with France signed on February 6, 1778 at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris.

Committee of Secret Correspondence

In November 1775 the Continental Congress created the Committee of Secret Correspondence to communicate with sympathetic Europeans and seek their support. Agents had the authority to conduct international diplomacy which in this case included aid for the independence cause. In April 1777 Congress renamed it Committee of Foreign Affairs.

On October 27, 1776 Benjamin Franklin was selected as an agent to the Second Continental Congress in France. He was accompanied by his two grandsons, 17 year old William Temple Franklin, son of Governor William Franklin of New Jersey and Sally’s oldest son, 17 year old Benjamin Franklin Bache.

The French government was already supporting America in a smaller scale before Franklin arrived. Franklin joined Silas Deane, a trader and secret agent who was on a mission to seek money, ships and personnel from the French government. Franklin was a well known man in Europe, in fact he was the best known American in the world. He was particularly admired in France, a country that first recognized his experiments as ground breaking while the British dismissed them but later they came to recognize its importance. Franklin was charismatic and had a magnetic personality even though his French was not perfect.

At the time the world had two superpowers, France and Britain. The French were defeated by the British with the help of the colonies in the Seven-Year War and lost North American territory. To France supporting American independence was a way to get back to Britain without being involved in a direct war. America gained a valuable ally with a powerful military.

On December 28, 1776 Franklin had his first meeting with French Foreign Minister, Charles Gravier, Compte de Vergennes. The French had already supplied war equipment and funds but Franklin asked for more to defeat Britain. He also wanted France to sign a treaty with America but France was reluctant as it meant direct confrontation with Britain which could bankrupt the French government as the success of the Continental Army was uncertain. By the time this meeting took place Washington had lost the Battle of Long Island and the attempt to take Canada had failed.

The Continental Congress sent a third agent, Arthur Lee, to help Franklin and Deane with negotiations with the French. Franklin tried to keep the American Revolution cause alive in Paris, negotiations lasted two years until the Continental Army defeated the British at Saratoga, New York. In November the British service agent Paul Wentworth approached Franklin with a proposal for reconciliation. At this point Vergennes agreed to a treaty with the United States.

Treaty of Alliance and Treaty of Amity and Commerce

The Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce were signed on February 6, 1778 and approved by Louis XVI, King of France, in March of the same year.

The Treaty of Alliance called for mutual defense in case France or the Union was attacked by the British. One of the clauses in the treaty specified that neither country could seek a separate peace agreement with Britain.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce promoted trade and commercial ties between the two countries. It allowed the presence of consuls and recognized the United States as an independent nation. This treaty was based on the Model Treaty prepared by John Adams in 1776 which protected trade and shipping rights in the event of war but did not call for mutual defense.

Once the treaty was signed Spain joined the war. This alliance was one of Franklin’s most important achievements which led to French military aid, fundamental in the fight against Britain.

Before the Treaty of Alliance was signed Franklin arranged for the translation and publication of the constitutions of the thirteen states and founding documents. He presented them to the French King and ministers. The Great Seal of the United States made its first printed appearance in this publication.

After the treaty was signed Franklin was made minister plenipotentiary to France and the sole representative of America in France.


Treaty with Morocco

To all Persons to whom these Presents shall come or be made known.

Whereas the United States of America in Congress assembled by their Commission bearing date the twelvth day of May One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty four thought proper to constitute John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson their Ministers Plenipotentiary, giving to them or a Majority of them full Powers to confer, treat and negotiate with the Ambassador, Minister or Commissioner of His Majesty, the Emperor of Morocco concerning a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, to make and receive propositions for such Treaty and to conclude and sign the same, transmitting it to the United States in Congress assembled for their final Ratification, And by one other Commission bearing date the Eleventh day of March One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty five did further empower the said Ministers Plenipotentiary or a Majority of them, by writing under their hands and Seals to appoint such Agent in the said Business as they might think proper with Authority under the directions and Instructions of the said Ministers to commence and prosecute the said Negotiations and Conferences for the said Treaty provided that the said Treaty should be signed by the said Ministers: And Whereas, We the said John Adams and Thomas Jefferson two of the said Ministers Plenipotentiary (the said Benjamin Franklin being absent) by writing under the Hand and Seal of the said John Adams at London October the fifth, One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty five, and of the said Thomas Jefferson at Paris October the Eleventh of the same Year, did appoint Thomas Barclay, Agent in the Business aforesaid, giving him the Powers therein, which by the said second Commission we were authorized to give, and the said Thomas Barclay in pursuance thereof, hath arranged Articles for a Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Morocco, which Articles written in the Arabic Language, confirmed by His said Majesty the Emperor of Morocco and seal’d with His Royal Seal, being translated into the Language of the said United States of America, together with the Attestations thereto annexed are in the following Words, To Wit:1

In the Name of Almighty God,

This is a Treaty of Peace and Friendship established between us and the United States of America, which is confirmed, and which we have ordered to be written in this Book and sealed with our Royal Seal at our Court of Morocco on the twenty fifth day of the blessed Month of Shaban, in the Year One thousand two hundred, trusting in God it will remain permanent.

We declare that both Parties have agreed that this Treaty consisting of twenty five Articles shall be inserted in this Book and delivered to the Honorable Thomas Barclay, the Agent of the United States now at our Court, with whose Approbation it has been made and who is duly authorized on their Part to treat with us concerning all the Matters contained therein.

If either of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatever, the other Party shall not take a Commission from the Enemy nor fight under their Colors.

If either of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatever and take a Prize belonging to that Nation, and there shall be found on board Subjects or Effects belonging to either of the Parties, the Subjects shall be set at Liberty and the Effects returned to the Owners. And if any Goods belonging to any Nation, with whom either of the Parties shall be at War, shall be loaded on Vessels belonging to the other Party, they shall pass free and unmolested without any attempt being made to take or detain them.

A signal or Pass shall be given to all Vessels belonging to both Parties, by which they are to be known when they meet at Sea, and if the Commander of a Ship of War of either Party shall have other Ships under his Convoy, the Declaration of the Commander shall alone be sufficient to exempt any of them from examination.

If either of the Parties shall be at War, and shall meet a Vessel at Sea, belonging to the other, it is agreed that if an examination is to be made, it shall be done by sending a Boat, with two or three Men only, and if any Gun shall be fired and injury done without Reason, the offending Party shall make good all damages.

If any Moor shall bring Citizens of the United States or their Effects to His Majesty, the Citizens shall immediately be set at Liberty and the Effects2 restored, and in like Manner, if any Moor not a Subject of these Dominions shall make Prize of any of the Citizens of America or their Effects and bring them into any of the Ports of His Majesty, they shall be immediately released, as they will then be considered as under His Majesty’s Protection.

If any Vessel of either Party shall put into a Port of the other and have occasion for Provisions or other Supplies, they shall be furnished without any interruption or molestation.

If any Vessel of the United States shall meet with a Disaster at Sea and put into one of our Ports to repair, she shall be at Liberty to land and reload her Cargo, without paying any Duty whatever.

If any Vessel of the United States shall be cast on Shore on any Part of our Coasts, she shall remain at the disposition of the Owners and no one shall attempt going near her without their Approbation, as she is then considered particularly under our Protection and if any Vessel of the United States shall be forced to put into our Ports, by Stress of weather or otherwise, she shall not be compelled to land her Cargo, but shall remain in tranquillity untill the Commander shall think proper to proceed on his Voyage.

If any Vessel of either of the Parties shall have an engagement with a Vessel belonging to any of the Christian Powers within Gunshot of the Forts of the other, the Vessel so engaged shall be defended and protected as much as possible untill she is in safety And if any American Vessel shall be cast on shore on the Coast of Wadnoon or any Coast thereabout, the People belonging to her shall be protected, and assisted untill by the help of God, they shall be sent to their Country.

If we shall be at War with any Christian Power and any of our Vessels sail from the Ports of the United States, no Vessel belonging to the Enemy shall follow within twenty four hours after the Departure of our Vessels, and the same Regulation shall be observed towards the American Vessels sailing from our Ports—be their Enemies Moors or Christians.3

If any Ship of War belonging to the United States shall put into any of our Ports she shall not be examined on any Pretence whatever, even though she should have fugitive Slaves on Board, nor shall the Governor or Commander of the Place compel them to be brought on Shore on any pretext, nor require any payment for them.

If a Ship of War of either Party shall put into a Port of the other and salute, it shall be returned from the Fort, with an equal Number of Guns, not with more or less.

The Commerce with the United States shall be on the same footing as is the Commerce with Spain or as that with the most favored Nation for the time being and their Citizens shall be respected and esteemed and have full Liberty to pass and repass our Country and Sea Ports whenever they please without interruption.

Merchants of both Countries shall employ only such interpreters, and such other Persons to assist them in their Business, as they shall think proper. No Commander of a Vessel shall transport his Cargo on board another Vessel, he shall not be detained in Port, longer than he may think proper, and all persons employed in loading or unloading Goods or in any other Labor whatever, shall be paid at the Customary rates, not more and not less.

In case a War between the Parties, the Prisoners are not to be made Slaves, but to be exchanged one for another, Captain for Captain, Officer for Officer and one private Man for another and if there shall prove a difficiency on either side, it shall be made up by the payment of one hundred Mexican Dollars for each Person wanting And it is agreed that all Prisoners shall be exchanged in twelve Months from the Time of their being taken, and that this exchange may be effected by a Merchant or any other Person authorized by either of the Parties.

Merchants shall not be compelled to buy or Sell any kind of Goods but such as they shall think proper and may buy and sell all sorts of Merchandise but such as are prohibeted to the other Christian Nations.

All goods shall be weighed and examined before they are sent on board, and to avoid all detention of Vessels, no examination shall afterwards be made, unless it shall first be proved that contraband Goods have been sent on board, in which Case the Persons who took the contraband Goods on board shall be punished according to the Usage and Custom of the Country and no other Person whatever shall be injured, nor shall the Ship or Cargo incur any Penalty or damage whatever.

No Vessel shall be detained in Port on any pretence whatever, nor be obliged to take on board any Article without the consent of the Commander who shall be at full Liberty to agree for the Freight of any Goods he takes on board.

If any of the Citizens of the United States, or any Persons under their Protection, shall have any disputes with each other, the Consul shall decide between the Parties and whenever the Consul shall require any Aid or Assistance from our Government to enforce his decisions it shall be immediately granted to him.

If a Citizen of the United States should kill or wound a Moor, or on the contrary if a Moor shall kill or wound a Citizen of the United States, the Law of the Country shall take place and equal Justice shall be rendered, the Consul assisting at the Tryal, and if any Delinquent shall make his escape, the Consul shall not be answerable for him in any manner whatever.

If an American Citizen shall die in our Country and no Will shall appear, the Consul shall take possession of his Effects, and if there shall be no Consul, the Effects shall be deposited in the hands of some Person worthy of Trust, untill the Party shall appear who has a Right to demand them, but if the Heir to the Person deceased be present, the Property shall be delivered to him without interruption and if a Will shall appear, the Property shall descend agreeable to that Will, as soon as the Consul shall declare the Validity thereof.

The Consuls of the United States of America shall reside in any Sea Port of our Dominions that they shall think proper, And they shall be respected and enjoy all the Privileges which the Consuls of any other Nation enjoy, and if any of the Citizens of the United States shall contract any Debts or engagements, the Consul shall not be in any Manner accountable for them, unless he shall have given a Promise in writing for the payment or fulfilling thereof, without which promise in Writing no Application to him for any redress shall be made.

If any differences shall arise by either Party infringing on any of the Articles of this Treaty, Peace and Harmony shall remain notwithstanding in the fullest force, untill a friendly Application shall be made for an Arrangement, and untill that Application shall be rejected, no appeal shall be made to Arms. And if a War shall break out between the Parties, Nine Months shall be granted to all the Subjects of both Parties, to dispose of their Effects and retire with their Property. And it is further declared that whatever indulgences in Trade or otherwise shall be granted to any of the Christian Powers, the Citizens of the United States shall be equally entitled to them.

This Treaty shall continue in full Force, with the help of God for Fifty Years.

We have delivered this Book into the Hands of the before-mentioned Thomas Barclay on the first day of the blessed Month of Ramadan, in the Year One thousand two hundred.

I Certify that the annex’d is a true Copy of the Translation made by Isaac Cardoza Nuñez, Interpreter at Morocco, of the treaty between the Emperor of Morocco and the United States of America.4

Translation of the additional Article

I the underwritten the Servant of God, Taher Ben Abtelhack5 Fennish do certify that His Imperial Majesty my Master (whom God preserve) having concluded a Treaty of Peace and Commerce with the United States of America has ordered me the better to compleat it and in addition of the tenth Article of the Treaty to declare “That, if any Vessel belonging to the United States shall be in any of the Ports of His Majesty’s Dominions, or within Gunshot of his Forts, she shall be protected as much as possible and no Vessel whatever belonging either to Moorish or Christian Powers with whom the United States may be at War, shall be permitted to follow or engage her, as we now deem the Citizens of America our good Friends.”

And in obedience to His Majesty’s Commands I certify this Declaration by putting my hand and Seal to it, on the Eighteenth day of Ramadan in the Year One thousand two hundred.

The Servant of the King my Master whom God preserve.

Taher Ben Abdelhack Fennish 6

I Do Certify that the above is a True Copy of the Translation made at Morocco by Isaac Cardoza Nunes, Interpreter, of a Declaration made and Signed by Sidi Hage Tahar Fennish in addition to the Treaty between the Emperor of Morocco and the United States of America which Declaration the said Tahar Fennish made by the Express Directions of His Majesty.

Note, The Ramadan of the Year of the Hegira 1200 Commenced on the 28th. June in the Year of our Lord 1786.7

Now know Ye that We the said John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Ministers Plenipotentiary aforesaid do approve and conclude the said Treaty and every Article and Clause therein contained, reserving the same nevertheless to the United States in Congress assembled for their final Ratification.

In testimony whereof we have signed the same with our Names and Seals, at the Places of our respective residence and at the dates expressed under our signatures respectively.8

John Adams
London January 25. 1787.
Thomas Jefferson
Paris January 1. 1787.

The original Arabic text of the treaty as enclosed in the “book” sent by Barclay to the Commissioners, 2 Oct. 1786, is reproduced in facsimile in Miller, ed., Treaties of the United States , ii , 186–211, with a commentary by Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje on the translation by the interpreter Isaac Cardoza Nuñez as printed above. Barclay had been authorized by the Commissioners to negotiate a preliminary treaty with such person or persons as the Emperor of Morocco might appoint for the purpose, to sign the Articles agreed upon in preliminary form, and to transmit the result to the Commissioners for “definitive execution” (see Vol. 8: 611–4). Actually, as Barclay’s letters and the documents transmitted with his communication of 2 Oct. 1786 show, the Arabic text of the treaty was, as Miller points out, somewhat similar to the idea of a unilaterally executed grant, bearing only the seal of the Emperor of Morocco and not signed or sealed on behalf of the Commissioners or by them. The “book” embracing this original Arabic text is “literally a book, in leather covers, with the text running from the back leaf on alternate pages and the front pages blank” (Miller, ed., Treaties of the United States , ii , 225). The signing of the above text by the Commissioners is therefore not to be considered as one of the original texts of a treaty in the usual sense in view of the fact that the treaty was already completed on the part of Morocco and awaiting only ratification and promulgation by Congress, the above text is to be considered primarily as a part of the Commissioners’ report to Congress of the mission with which they were charged and which, in this instance, they had delegated to Barclay. See TJ to Adams, 23 Oct. 1786. On the ratification and promulgation, see Miller, same, ii , 225–7 the instrument of ratification by the United States was published in the Daily Advertiser (N.Y.), 21 July 1787.

3 . Preceding six words evidently inserted later, being in a different hand they are in Franks’ hand in Tr (MHi : AMT ).

4 . This certification in an unidentified clerk’s hand signature in Barclay’s hand—both being the same in Tr (MHi : AMT ).

5 . This name interlined in substitution for “Abdelmelick,” deleted.

6 . Translation of the additional Article in an unidentified clerk’s hand in above text and in Tr (MHi : AMT ).

7 . Certification, signature, and note in Barclay’s hand. Tr (MHi : AMT ) ends at this point.

8 . This paragraph was added in Paris and is in Franks’ hand signatures and date-lines in hands of Adams and TJ respectively see note 1, above.


Moorish Agreements

Treaty of Peace and Friendship, with additional article also Ship-Signals Agreement. The treaty was sealed at Morocco with the seal of the Emperor of Morocco June 23, 1786 (25 Shaban, A. H. 1200), and delivered to Thomas Barclay, American Agent, June 28, 1786 (1 Ramadan, A. H. 1200). Original in Arabic. The additional article was signed and sealed at Morocco on behalf of Morocco July 15, 1786 (18 Ramadan, A. H. 1200). Original in Arabic. The Ship-Signals Agreement was signed at Morocco July 6, 1786 (9 Ramadan, A. H. 1200). Original in English.

Certified English translations of the treaty and of the additional article were incorporated in a document signed and sealed by the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States, Thomas Jefferson at Paris January 1, 1787, and John Adams at London January 25, 1787.

Treaty and additional article ratified by the United States July 18, 1787. As to the ratification generally, see the notes. Treaty and additional article proclaimed July 18, 1787.

Ship-Signals Agreement not specifically included in the ratification and not proclaimed but copies ordered by Congress July 23, 1787, to be sent to the Executives of the States (Secret Journals of Congress, IV, 869 but see the notes as to this reference).

[Certified Translation of the Treaty and of the Additional Article, with Approval by Jefferson and Adams)

To all Persons to whom these Presents shall come or be made known- Whereas the United States of America in Congress assembled by their Commission bearing date the twelfth day of May One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty four thought proper to constitute John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson their Ministers Plenipotentiary, giving to them or a Majority of them full Powers to confer, treat & negotiate with the Ambassador, Minister or Commissioner of His Majesty the Emperor of Morocco concerning a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, to make & receive propositions for such Treaty and to conclude and sign the same, transmitting it to the United States in Congress assembled for their final Ratification, And by one other (commission bearing date the Eleventh day of March One thousand Seven hundred & Eighty five did further empower the said Ministers Plenipotentiary or a majority of them, by writing under the* hands and Seals to appoint such Agent in the said Business as they might think proper with Authority under the directions and Instructions of the said Ministers to commence & prosecute the said Negotiations & Conferences for the said Treaty provided that the said Treaty should be signed by the said Ministers: And Whereas, We the said John Adams & Thomas Jefferson two of the said Ministers Plenipotentiary (the said Benjamin Franklin being absent) by writing under the Hand and Seal of the said John Adams at London October the fifth, One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty five, & of the said Thomas Jefferson at Paris October the Eleventh of the same Year, did appoint Thomas Barclay, Agent in the Business aforesaid, giving him the Powers therein, which by the said second Commission we were authorized to give, and the said Thomas Barclay in pursuance thereof, hath arranged Articles for a Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Morocco, which Articles written in the Arabic Language, confirmed by His said Majesty the Emperor of Morocco & seal’d with His Royal Seal, being translated into the Language of the said United States of America, together with the Attestations thereto annexed are in the following Words, To Wit.

In the name of Almighty God,

This is a Treaty of Peace and Friendship established between us and the United States of America, which is confirmed, and which we have ordered to be written in this Book and sealed with our Royal Seal at our Court of Morocco on the twenty fifth day of the blessed Month of Shaban, in the Year One thousand two hundred, trusting in God it will remain permanent.

1. We declare that both Parties have agreed that this Treaty consisting of twenty five Articles shall be inserted in this Book and delivered to the Honorable Thomas Barclay, the Agent of the United States now at our Court, with whose Approbation it has been made and who is duly authorized on their Part, to treat with us concerning all the Matters contained therein.

2. If either of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatever, the other Party shall not take a Commission from the Enemy nor fight under their Colors.

3. If either of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatever and take a Prize belonging to that Nation, and there shall be found on board Subjects or Effects belonging to either of the Parties, the Subjects shall be set at Liberty and the Effects returned to the Owners. And if any Goods belonging to any Nation, with whom either of the Parties shall be at War, shall be loaded on Vessels belonging to the other Party, they shall pass free and unmolested without any attempt being made to take or detain them.

4. A Signal or Pass shall be given to all Vessels belonging to both Parties, by which they are to be known when they meet at Sea, and if the Commander of a Ship of War of either Party shall have other Ships under his Convoy, the Declaration of the Commander shall alone be sufficient to exempt any of them from examination.

5. If either of the Parties shall be at War, and shall meet a Vessel at Sea, belonging to the other, it is agreed that if an examination is to be made, it shall be done by sending a Boat with two or three Men only, and if any Gun shall be Bred and injury done without Reason, the offending Party shall make good all damages.

6. If any Moor shall bring Citizens of the United States or their Effects to His Majesty, the Citizens shall immediately be set at Liberty and the Effects restored, and in like Manner, if any Moor not a Subject of these Dominions shall make Prize of any of the Citizens of America or their Effects and bring them into any of the Ports of His Majesty, they shall be immediately released, as they will then be considered as under His Majesty’s Protection.

7. If any Vessel of either Party shall put into a Port of the other and have occasion for Provisions or other Supplies, they shall be furnished without any interruption or molestation.

If any Vessel of the United States shall meet with a Disaster at Sea and put into one of our Ports to repair, she shall be at Liberty to land and reload her cargo, without paying any Duty whatever.

8. If any Vessel of the United States shall be cast on Shore on any Part of our Coasts, she shall remain at the disposition of the Owners and no one shall attempt going near her without their Approbation, as she is then considered particularly under our Protection and if any Vessel of the United States shall be forced to put into our Ports, by Stress of weather or otherwise, she shall not be compelled to land her Cargo, but shall remain in tranquillity untill the Commander shall think proper to proceed on his Voyage.

9. If any Vessel of either of the Parties shall have an engagement with a Vessel belonging to any of the Christian Powers within gunshot of the Forts of the other, the Vessel so engaged shall be defended and protected as much as possible untill she is in safety And if any American Vessel shall be cast on shore on the Coast of Wadnoon (1) or any coast thereabout, the People belonging to her shall be protected, and assisted untill by the help of God, they shall be sent to their Country.

10. If we shall be at War with any Christian Power and any of our Vessels sail from the Ports of the United States, no Vessel belonging to the enemy shall follow untill twenty four hours after the Departure of our Vessels and the same Regulation shall be observed towards the American Vessels sailing from our Ports.-be their enemies Moors or Christians.

11. If any Ship of War belonging to the United States shall put into any of our Ports, she shall not be examined on any Pretence whatever, even though she should have fugitive Slaves on Board, nor shall the Governor or Commander of the Place compel them to be brought on Shore on any pretext, nor require any payment for them.

12. If a Ship of War of either Party shall put into a Port of the other and salute, it shall be returned from the Fort, with an equal Number of Guns, not with more or less.

13. The Commerce with the United States shall be on the same footing as is the Commerce with Spain or as that with the most favored Nation for the time being and their Citizens shall be respected and esteemed and have full Liberty to pass and repass our Country and Sea Ports whenever they please without interruption.

14. Merchants of both Countries shall employ only such interpreters, & such other Persons to assist them in their Business, as they shall think proper. No Commander of a Vessel shall transport his Cargo on board another Vessel, he shall not be detained in Port, longer than he may think proper, and all persons employed in loading or unloading Goods or in any other Labor whatever, shall be paid at the Customary rates, not more and not less.

15. In case of a War between the Parties, the Prisoners are not to be made Slaves, but to be exchanged one for another, Captain for Captain, Officer for Officer and one private Man for another and if there shall prove a deficiency on either side, it shall be made up by the payment of one hundred Mexican Dollars for each Person wanting And it is agreed that all Prisoners shall be exchanged in twelve Months from the Time of their being taken, and that this exchange may be effected by a Merchant or any other Person authorized by either of the Parties.

16. Merchants shall not be compelled to buy or Sell any kind of Goods but such as they shall think proper and may buy and sell all sorts of Merchandise but such as are prohibited to the other Christian Nations.

17. All goods shall be weighed and examined before they are sent on board, and to avoid all detention of Vessels, no examination shall afterwards be made, unless it shall first be proved, that contraband Goods have been sent on board, in which Case the Persons who took the contraband Goods on board shall be punished according to the Usage and Custom of the Country and no other Person whatever shall be injured, nor shall the Ship or Cargo incur any Penalty or damage whatever.

18. No vessel shall be detained in Port on any presence whatever, nor be obliged to take on board any Article without the consent of the Commander, who shall be at full Liberty to agree for the Freight of any Goods he takes on board.

19. If any of the Citizens of the United States, or any Persons under their Protection, shall have any disputes with each other, the Consul shall decide between the Parties and whenever the Consul shall require any Aid or Assistance from our Government to enforce his decisions it shall be immediately granted to him.

20. If a Citizen of the United States should kill or wound a Moor, or on the contrary if a Moor shall kill or wound a Citizen of the United States, the Law of the Country shall take place and equal Justice shall be rendered, the Consul assisting at the Tryal, and if any Delinquent shall make his escape, the Consul shall not be answerable for him in any manner whatever.

21. If an American Citizen shall die in our Country and no Will shall appear, the Consul shall take possession of his Effects, and if there shall be no Consul, the Effects shall be deposited in the hands of some Person worthy of Trust, untill the Party shall appear who has a Right to demand them, but if the Heir to the Person deceased be present, the Property shall be delivered to him without interruption and if a Will shall appear, the Property shall descend agreeable to that Will, as soon as the Consul shall declare the Validity thereof.

22. The Consuls of the United States of America shall reside in any Sea Port of our Dominions that they shall think proper And they shall be respected and enjoy all the Privileges which the Consuls of any other Nation enjoy, and if any of the Citizens of the United States shall contract any Debts or engagements, the Consul shall not be in any Manner accountable for them, unless he shall have given a Promise in writing for the payment or fulfilling thereof, without which promise in Writing no Application to him for any redress shall be made.

23. If any differences shall arise by either Party infringing on any of the Articles of this Treaty, Peace and Harmony shall remain notwithstanding in the fullest force, untill a friendly Application shall be made for an Arrangement, and untill that Application shall be rejected, no appeal shall be made to Arms. And if a War shall break out between the Parties, Nine Months shall be granted to all the Subjects of both Parties, to dispose of their Effects and retire with their Property. And it is further declared that whatever indulgences in Trade or otherwise shall be granted to any of the Christian Powers, the Citizens of the United States shall be equally entitled to them.

24. This Treaty shall continue in full Force, with the help of God for Fifty Years.

We have delivered this Book into the Hands of the before-mentioned Thomas Barclay on the first day of the blessed Month of Ramadan, in the Year One thousand two hundred.

I certify that the annex’d is a true Copy of the Translation made by Issac Cardoza Nunez, Interpreter at Morocco, of the treaty between the Emperor of Morocco and the United States of America.

Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Arabic
Morocco is one of the first countries to recognize the independence of the United States as the Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah issued a declaration in 1777 allowing American ships access to Moroccan ports. In 1787 a Treaty of peace and friendship was signed in Marrakech and ratified in 1836. It is still in force making it the longest unbroken treaty in the U.S history.
The U.S had also its first consulate in Tangier in 1797 in a building given by the sultan Moulay Sliman. It is the oldest U.S diplomatic property in the world.
Below is the Treaty called the “Marrakech Treaty” in its original form as was written in 1786.

“This is a Treaty of Peace and Friendship established between Morocco and the United States of America, which is confirmed, and which we have ordered to be written in this Book and sealed with our Royal Seal at our Court of Morocco on the twenty fifth day of the blessed Month of Shaban, in the Year One thousand two hundred, trusting in God it will remain permanent” The Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdullah.

2. If one of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatsoever, the other Party shall not take a Commission either from the Enemy nor fight under their Colors.

3. If either of the Parties shall be at War with any Nation whatever and take a Prize belonging to that Nation, and there shall be found on board Subjects or Effects belonging to of the Parties, the Subjects shall be set at Liberty and the Effects returned to the Owners. In addition, if any Goods belonging to any Nation, with whom either of the Parties shall be at War, shall be loaded on Vessels belonging to the other Party, they shall pass free and unmolested without any attempt being made to take or detain them.

One of the hard facts of life is that the United States of America is not a Christian Nation. The following Treaty was made by the United States of America with the Barbary Pirates. It passed the 5th Congress without a hitch. Article 11 was made part of the record to convince the Muslims that the United States of America is not a Christian Nation, and therefore peace could be established between the two nations.

Compiled under the direction of
CHARLES I. BEVANS, LL.B.
Assistant Legal Adviser, Department of State

Volume II
PHILIPPINES-
UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC

DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 8728
Released February 1974

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402 – Price $14.35
pages 1070 – 1074

Tripoli
PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP

Treaty signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, and at Algiers January 3, 1797
Senate advice and consent to ratification June 7, 1797
Ratified by the President of the United States June 10, 1797
Entered into force June 10, 1797
Proclaimed by the President of the United States June 10, 1797
Superseded April 17, 1806, by treaty of June, 4, 18051
8 Stat. 154 Treaty Series 3582

[TRANSLATION of 1796]3
TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE BEY AND SUBJECTS OF TRIPOLI OF BARBARY

ARTICLE 1
There is a firm and perpetual Peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, made by the free consent of both parties, and guaranteed by the most potent Dey & regency of Algiers.

ARTICLE 2
If any goods belonging to any nation with which either of the parties is at war shall be loaded on board of vessels belonging to the other party they shall pass free, and no attempt shall be made to take or detain them.

ARTICLE 3
If any citizens, subjects or effects belonging to either party shall be found on board a prize vessel taken from an enemy by the other party, such citizens or subjects shall be set at liberty, and the effects restored to the owners.

ARTICLE 4
Proper passports are to be given to all vessels of both parties, by which they are to be known. And, considering the distance between the two countries, eighteen months from the date of this treaty shall be allowed for procuring such passports. During this interval the other papers belonging to such vessels shall be sufficient for their protection.

ARTICLE 5
A citizen or subject of either party having bought a prize vessel condemned by the other party or by any other nation, the certificate of condemnation and bill of sale shall be a sufficient passport for such vessel for one year this being a reasonable time for her to procure a proper passport.

ARTICLE 6
Vessels of either party putting into the ports of the other and having need of provisions or other supplies, they shall be furnished at the market price. And if any such vessel shall so put in from a disaster at sea and have occasion to repair, she shall be at liberty to land and reembark her cargo without paying any duties. But in no case shall she be compelled to land her cargo.

ARTICLE 7
Should a vessel of either party be cast on the shore of the other, all proper assistance shall be given to her and her people no pillage shall be allowed the property shall remain at the disposition of the owners, and the crew protected and succoured till they can be sent to their country.

ARTICLE 8
If a vessel of either party should be attacked by an enemy within gun-shot of the forts of the other she shall be defended as much as possible. If she be in port she shall not be seized or attacked when it is in the power of the other party to protect her. And when she proceeds to sea no enemy shall be allowed to pursue her from the same port within twenty four hours after her departure.

ARTICLE 9
The commerce between the United States and Tripoli, – the protection to be given to merchants, masters of vessels and seamen, – the reciprocal right of establishing consuls in each country, and the privileges, immunities and jurisdictions to be enjoyed by such consuls, are declared to be on the same footing with those of the most favoured nations respectively.

ARTICLE 10
The money and presents demanded by the Bey of Tripoli as a full and satisfactory consideration on his part and on the part of his subjects for this treaty of perpetual peace and friendship are acknowledged to have been received by him previous to his signing the same, according to a receipt which is hereto annexed, except such part as is promised on the part of the United States to be delivered and paid by them on the arrival of their Consul in Tripoli, of which part a note is likewise hereto annexed. And no pretence of any periodical tribute or farther payment is ever to be made by either party.

ARTICLE 11
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,4 – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

ARTICLE 12
In case of any dispute arising from a violation of any of the articles of this treaty no appeal shall be made to arms, nor shall war be declared on any pretext whatever. But if the Consul residing at the place where the dispute shall happen shall not be able to settle the same, an amicable reference shall be made to the mutual friend of the parties, the Dey of Algiers, the parties hereby engaging to abide by his decision. And he by virtue of his signature to this treaty engages for himself and successors to declare the justice of the case according to the true interpretation of the treaty, and to use all the means in his power to enforce the observance of the same.

Signed and sealed at Tripoli of Barbary the 3d day of Jumad in the year of the Higera 1211 – corresponding with the 4th day of Novr 1796 by

JUSSUF BASHAW MAHOMET Bey SOLIMAN Kaya
MAMET – Treasurer GALIL – Genl of the Troops
AMET – Minister of Marine MAHOMET – Comt of the city
AMET – Chamberlain MAMET – Secretary
ALLY – Chief of the Divan

Signed and sealed at Algiers the 4th day of Argib 1211 – corresponding with the 3d day of January 1797 by HASSAN BASHAW Dey
and by the Agent plenipotentiary of the United States of America JOEL BARLOW [SEAL]

[THE “RECEIPT”]
Praise be to God & c-
The present writing done by our hand and delivered to the American Captain OBrien makes known that he has delivered to us forty thousand Spanish dollars, – thirteen watches of gold, silver & pins-back, – five rings, of which three of diamonds, one of saphire and one with a watch in it, – one hundred & forty piques of cloth, and four caftans of brocade, – and these on account of the peace concluded with the Americans.
Given at Tripoli in Barbary the 20th day of Jumad 1211, corresponding with the 21st day of Novr 1796 –
JUSSUF BASHAW – Bey
whom God Exalt
The foregoing is a true copy of the receipt given by Jussuf Bashaw – Bey of Tripoli –
HASSAN BASHAW – Dey of Algiers
The foregoing is a literal translation of the writing in Arabic on the opposite page
JOEL BARLOW

On the arrival of a consul of the United States in Tripoli he is to deliver to Jussuf Bashaw Bey –

twelve thousand Spanish dollars
five hawsers – 8 Inch
three cables – 10 Inch
twenty five barrels tar
twenty five do pitch
ten do rosin
five hundred pine boards
five hundred oak do
ten masts (without any measure mentioned, suppose for vessels from 2 to 300 ton)
twelve yards
fifty bolts canvas
four anchors
And these when delivered are to be in full of all demands on his part or on that of his successors from the United States according as it is expressed in the tenth article of the following treaty. And no farther demand of tributes, presents or payments shall ever be made.
Translated from the Arabic on the opposite page, which is signed & sealed by Hassan Bashaw Dey of Algiers – the 4th day of Argib 1211 – or the 3d day of Jany 1797 – by –

JOEL BARLOW

[APPROVAL OF U.S. MINISTER AT LISBON]

To all to whom these Presents shall come or be made known.
Whereas the Underwritten David Humphreys hath been duly appointed Commissioner Plenipotentiary by Letters Patent, under the Signature of the President and Seal of the United States of America, dated the 30th of March 1795, for negociating and concluding a Treaty of Peace with the Most Illustrious the Bashaw, Lords and Governors of the City & Kingdom of Tripoli whereas by a Writing under his Hand and Seal dated the 10th of February 1796, he did (in conformity to the authority committed to me therefor) constitute and appoint Joel Barlow and Joseph Donaldson Junior Agents jointly and seperately in the business aforesaid whereas the annexed Treaty of Peace and Friendship was agreed upon, signed and sealed at Tripoli of Barbary on the 4th of November 1796, in virtue of the Powers aforesaid and guaranteed by the Most potent Dey and Regency of Algiers and whereas the same was certified at Algiers on the 3d of January 1797, with the Signature and Seal of Hassan Bashaw Dey, and of Joel Barlow one of the Agents aforesaid, in the absence of the other.
Now Know ye, that I David Humphreys Commissioner Plenipotentiary aforesaid, do approve and conclude the said Treaty, and every article and clause therein contained, reserving the same nevertheless for the final Ratification of the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said United States.
In testimony whereof I have signed the same with my Name and Seal, at the City of Lisbon this 10th of February 1797.

DAVID HUMPHREYS [SEAL] [United States Minister at Lisbon]

1 TS 359, post, p. 1081.
2 For a detailed study of this treaty, see 2 Miller 349.
3 This translation from the Arabic by Joel Barlow, Consul General at Algiers, has been printed in all official and unofficial treaty collections since it first appeared in 1797 in the Session Laws of the Fifth Congress, first session. In a “Note Regarding the Barlow Translation” Hunter Miller stated: “. . . Most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase, ‘the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.’ does not exist at all. There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point.” (2 Miller 384.)
The Miller edition also contains an annotated translation from the original Arabic made in 1930 by Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje of Leiden for text, see p. 1075.
4 See footnote 3, p. 1070.

MANY OF YOU NEVER KNOWN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MOORISH EMPIRE. THE SCHOOLS and ISLAMIC MOVEMENTS HAVE KEPT THIS A SECRET.
Office of the Historian – U.S. Department of State

Morocco and the United States have a long history of friendly relations. This North African nation was one of the first states to seek diplomatic relations with America. In 1777, Sultan Sidi Muhammad Ben Abdullah, the most progressive of the Barbary leaders who ruled Morocco from 1757 to 1790, announced his desire for friendship with the United States. The Sultan’s overture was part of a new policy he was implementing as a result of his recognition of the need to establish peaceful relations with the Christian powers and his desire to establish trade as a basic source of revenue. Faced with serious economic and political difficulties, he was searching for a new method of governing which required changes in his economy. Instead of relying on a standing professional army to collect taxes and enforce his authority, he wanted to establish state-controlled maritime trade as a new, more reliable, and regular source of income which would free him from dependency on the services of the standing army. The opening of his ports to America and other states was part of that new policy.

The Sultan issued a declaration on December 20, 1777, announcing that all vessels sailing under the American flag could freely enter Moroccan ports. The Sultan stated that orders had been given to his corsairs to let the ship “des Americains” and those of other European states with which Morocco had no treaties-Russia Malta, Sardinia, Prussia, Naples, Hungary, Leghorn, Genoa, and Germany-pass freely into Moroccan ports. There they could “take refreshments” and provisions and enjoy the same privileges as other nations that had treaties with Morocco. This action, under the diplomatic practice of Morocco at the end of the 18th century, put the United States on an equal footing with all other nations with which the Sultan had treaties. By issuing this declaration, Morocco became one of the first states to acknowledge publicly the independence of the American Republic.

On February 2O, l778, the sultan of Morocco reissued his December 20, 1777, declaration. American officials, however, only belatedly learned of the Sultan’s full intentions. Nearly identical to the first, the February 20 declaration was again sent to all consuls and merchants in the ports of Tangier, Sale, and Mogador informing them the Sultan had opened his ports to Americans and nine other European States. Information about the Sultan’s desire for friendly relations with the United States first reached Benjamin Franklin, one of the American commissioners in Paris, sometime in late April or early May 1778 from Etienne d’Audibert Caille, a French merchant of Sale. Appointed by the Sultan to serve as Consul for all the nations unrepresented in Morocco, Caille wrote on behalf of the Sultan to Franklin from Cadiz on April 14, 1778, offering to negotiate a treaty between Morocco and the United States on the same terms the Sultan had negotiated with other powers. When he did not receive a reply, Caille wrote Franklin a second letter sometime later that year or in early 1779. When Franklin wrote to the committee on Foreign Affairs in May 1779, he reported he had received two letters from a Frenchman who “offered to act as our Minister with the Emperor” and informed the American commissioner that “His Imperial Majesty wondered why we had never sent to thank him for being the first power on this side of the Atlantic that had acknowledged our independence and opened his ports to us.” Franklin, who did not mention the dates of Caille’s letters or when he had received them, added that he had ignored these letters because the French advised him that Caille was reputed to be untrustworthy. Franklin stated that the French King was willing to use his good offices with the Sultan whenever Congress desired a treaty and concluded, “whenever a treaty with the Emperor is intended, I suppose some of our naval stores will be an acceptable present and the expectation of continued supplies of such stores a powerful motive for entering into and continuing a friendship.”

Since the Sultan received no acknowledgement of his good will gestures by the fall of 1 779, he made another attempt to contact the new American government. Under instructions from the Moroccan ruler, Caille wrote a letter to Congress in September 1779 in care of Franklin in Paris to announce his appointment as Consul and the Sultan’s desire to be at peace with the United States. The Sultan, he reiterated, wished to conclude a treaty “similar to those Which the principal maritime powers have with him.” Americans were invited to “come and traffic freely in these ports in like manner as they formerly did under the English flag.” Caille also wrote to John Jay, the American representative at Madrid, on April 21,1780, asking for help in conveying the Sultan’s message to Congress and enclosing a copy of Caille’s commission from the Sultan to act as Consul for all nations that had none in Morocco, as well as a copy of the February 20, 1778, declaration. Jay received that letter with enclosures in May 1780, but because it was not deemed to be of great importance, he did not forward it and its enclosures to Congress until November 30, 1 780.

Before Jay’s letter with the enclosures from Caille reached Congress, Samuel Huntington, President of Congress, made the first official response to the Moroccan overtures in a letter of November 28,1780, to Franklin. Huntington wrote that Congress had received a letter from Caille, and asked Franklin to reply. Assure him, wrote Huntington, “in the name of Congress and in terms most respectful to the Emperor that we entertain a sincere disposition to cultivate the most perfect friendship with him, and are desirous to enter into a treaty of commerce with him and that we shall embrace a favorable opportunity to announce our wishes in form.”

The U.S. Government sent its first official communication to the Sultan of Morocco in December 1780. It read:
We the Congress of the 13 United States of North America, have been informed of your Majesty’s favorable regard to the interests of the people we represent, which has been communicated by Monsieur Etienne d’Audibert Caille of Sale, Consul of Foreign nations unrepresented in your Majesty’s states. We assure you of our earnest desire to cultivate a sincere and firm peace and friendship with your Majesty and to make it lasting to all posterity. Should any of the subjects of our states come within the ports of your Majesty’s territories, we flatter ourselves they will receive the benefit of your protection and benevolence. You may assure yourself of every protection and assistance to your subjects from the people of these states whenever and wherever they may have it in their power. We pray your Majesty may enjoy long life and uninterrupted prosperity.

No action was taken either by Congress or the Sultan for over 2 years. The Americans, preoccupied with the war against Great Britain, directed their diplomacy at securing arms, money, military support, and recognition from France, Spain, and the Netherlands and eventually sought peace with England. Moreover, Sultan Sidi Muhammad and more pressing concerns and focused on his relations with the European powers, especially Spain and Britain over the question of Gibraltar. From 1778 to 1782, the Moroccan leader also turned to domestic difficulties resulting from drought and famine, and unpopular food tax, food shortages and inflation of food prices, trade problems, and a disgruntled military.

The American commissioners in Paris, John Adams, Jay, and Franklin urged Congress in September 1783 to take some action in negotiating a treaty with Morocco. “The Emperor of Morocco has manifested a very friendly disposition towards us,” they wrote. “He expects and is reading to receive a Minister from us and as he may be succeeded by a prince differently disposed, a treaty with him may be of importance. Our trade to the Mediterranean will not be inconsiderable, and the friendship of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli may become very interesting in case the Russians should succeed in their endeavors to navigate freely into it by Constantinople.”

Congress finally acted in the spring of 1784. On May 7, Congress authorized its Ministers in Paris, Franklin, Jay, and Adams, to conclude treaties of amity and commerce with Russia, Austria, Prussia, Denmark, Saxony, Hamburg, great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Genoa, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, Venice, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Porte as well as the Barbary States of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. The treaties with the Barbary States were to be in force for 10 years or longer. The commissioners were instructed to inform the Sultan of Morocco of the “great satisfaction which Congress feels from the amicable disposition he has shown towards these states.” They were asked to state that “the occupations of the war and distance of our situation have prevented our meeting his friendship so early as we wished.” A few days later, commissions were given to the three men to negotiate the treaties.

Continued delays by American officials exasperated the sultan and prompted him to take more drastic action to gain their attention. On October 11,1784, the Moroccans captured the American merchant ship, Betsey. After the ship and crew were taken to Tangier, he announced that he would release the men, ship, and cargo once a treaty with the United States was concluded. Accordingly, preparation for negotiations with Morocco began in 1785. On March 1 Congress authorized the commissioners to delegate to some suitable agent the authority to negotiate treaties with the Barbary States. The agent was required to follow the commissioners’ instructions and to submit the negotiated treaty to them for approval. Congress also empowered the commissioners to spend a maximum of 80,000 dollars to conclude treaties with these states. Franklin left Paris on July 12, 1785, to return to the United States, 3 days after the Sultan released the Betsey and its crew. Thomas Jefferson became Minister to France and thereafter negotiations were conducted by Adams in London and Jefferson in Paris. On October 11, 1785, the commissioners appointed Thomas Barclay, American Consul in Paris, to negotiate a treaty with Morocco on the basis of a draft treaty drawn up by the commissioners. That same day the commissioners appointed Thomas Lamb as special agent to negotiate a treaty with Algiers. Barclay was given a maximum of 20,000 dollars for the treaty and instructed to gather information concerning the commerce, ports, naval and land forces, languages, religion, and government as well as evidence of Europeans attempting to obstruct American negotiations with the Barbary States.

Barclay left Paris on January 15, 1 786, and after several stops, including 21/2 months in Madrid, arrived in Marrakech on June 19. While the French offered some moral support to the United States in their negotiations with Morocco, it was the Spanish government that furnished substantial backing in the form of letters from the Spanish King and Prime Minister to the Sultan of Morocco. After a cordial welcome, Barclay conducted the treaty negotiations in two audiences with Sidi Muhammad and Tahir Fannish, a leading Moroccan diplomat from a Morisco family in Sale who headed the negotiations. The earlier proposals drawn up by the American commissioners in Paris became the basis for the treaty. While the Emperor opposed several articles, the final form contained in substance all that the Americans requested. When asked about tribute, Barclay stated that he “had to offer to His Majesty the friendship of the United States and to receive his in return, to form a treaty with him on liberal and equal terms. But if any engagements for future presents or tributes were necessary, I must return without any treaty.” The Moroccan leader accepted Barclay’s declaration that the United States would offer friendship but no tribute for the treaty, and the question of presents or tribute was not raised again. Barclay accepted no favor except the ruler’s promise to send letters to Constantinople, Tunisia, Tripoli, and Algiers recommending they conclude treaties with the United States.

Barclay and the Moroccans quickly reached agreement on the Treaty of Friendship and Amity. Also called the Treaty of Marrakech, it was sealed by the Emperor on June 23 and delivered to Barclay to sign on June 28. In addition, a separate ship seals agreement, providing for the identification at sea of American and Moroccan vessels, was signed at Marrakech on July 6,1786. Binding for 50 years, the Treaty was signed by Thomas Jefferson at Paris on January 1, 1787, and John Adams at London on January 25, 1787, and was ratified by Congress on July 18, 1787. The negotiation of this treaty marked the beginning of diplomatic relations between the two countries and it was the first treaty between any Arab, Muslim, or African State and the United States.

Congress found the treaty with Morocco highly satisfactory and passed a note of thanks to Barclay and to Spain for help in the negotiations. Barclay had reported fully on the amicable negotiations and written that the king of Morocco had “acted in a manner most gracious and condescending, and I really believe the Americans possess as much of his respect and regard as does any Christian nation whatsoever.” Barclay portrayed the King as “a just man, according to this idea of justice, of great personal courage, liberal to a degree, a lover of his people, stern” and “rigid in distributing justice.” The Sultan sent a friendly letter to the President of Congress with the treaty and included another from the Moorish minister, Sidi Fennish, which was highly complimentary of Barclay.

The United States established a consulate in Morocco in 1797. President Washington had requested funds for this post in a message to Congress on March 2, 1795, and James Simpson, the U.S. Consul at Gibraltar who was appointed to this post, took up residence in Tangier 2 years later. Sultan Sidi Muhammad’s successor, Sultan Moulay Soliman, had recommended to Simpson the establishment of a consulate because he believed it would provide greater protection for American vessels. In 1821, the Moroccan leader gave the United States one of the most beautiful buildings in Tangier for its consular representative. This building served as the seat of the principal U.S. representative to Morocco until 1956 and is the oldest piece of property owned by the United States abroad.

U. S.-Moroccan relations from 1777 to 1787 reflected the international and economic concerns of these two states in the late 18th century. The American leaders and the Sultan signed the 1786 treaty, largely for economic reasons, but also realized that a peaceful relationship would aid them in their relations with other powers. The persistent friendliness of Sultan Sidi Muhammad to the young republic, in spite of the fact that his overtures were initially ignored, was the most important factor in the establishment of this relationship.

THIS IS LEGAL RECORD FOR YOU TO KNOW THAT EVEN THE DEY DECLARED WAR WITH THE UNION. AS C.M. Bey says, Here is my legal proof.

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE
January 24, 1996

the problem he noted: ‘‘Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided.’’

1 Richardson 377. Military conflicts in the Mediterranean continued after Jefferson left office. The Dey of Algiers made war against U.S. citizens trading in that region and kept some in captivity. With the conclusion of the War of 1812 with England, President Madison recommended to Congress in 1815 that it declare war on Algiers: ‘‘I recommend to Congress the expediency of an act declaring the existence of a state of war between the United States and the Dey and Regency of Algiers, and of such provisions as may be requisite for a vigorous prosecution of it to a successful issue.’’

2 Richardson 539. Instead of a declaration of war, Congress passed legislation ‘‘for the protection of the commerce of the United States against the Algerine cruisers.’’ The first line of the statute read: ‘‘Whereas the Dey of Algiers, on the coast of Barbary, has commenced a predatory warfare against the United States. . . .’’ Congress gave Madison authority to use armed vessels for the purpose of protecting the commerce of U.S.seamen on the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and adjoining seas. U.S. vessels (both governmental and private) could ‘‘subdue, seize, and make prize of all vessels, goods and effects of or belonging to the Dey of Algiers.’’ 3 Stat. 230 (1815). An American flotilla set sail for Algiers, where it captured two of the Dey’s ships and forced him to stop the piracy, release all captives, and renounce the practice of annual tribute payments. Similar treaties were obtained from Tunis and Tripoli. By the end of 1815, Madison could report to Congress on the successful termination of the war with Algiers.

LEGISLATIVE CONTROLS ON PROSPECTIVE ACTIONS

Can Congress only authorize and declare war, or may it also establish limits on prospective presidential actions? The statutes authorizing President Washington to ‘‘protect the inhabitants’’ of the frontiers ‘‘from hostile incursions of the Indians’’ were interpreted by the Washington administration as authority for defensive, not offensive, actions.

1 Stat. 96, § 5 (1789) 1 Stat. 121, § 16 (1790) 1 Stat. 222 (1791). Secretary of War Henry Knox wrote to Governor Blount on October 9, 1792: ‘‘The Congress which possess the powers of declaring War will assemble on the 5th of next Month—Until their judgments shall be made known it seems essential to confine all your operations to defensive measures.’’ 4 The Territorial Papers of the United States 196 (Clarence Edwin Carter ed. 1936). President Washington consistently held to this policy. Writing in 1793, he said that any offensive operations against the Creek Nation must await congressional action: ‘‘The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.’’ 33 The Writings of George Washington 73. The statute in 1792, upon which President Washington relied for his actions in the Whiskey Rebellion, conditioned the use of military force by the President upon an unusual judicial check. The legislation said that whenever the United States ‘‘shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe,’’ the President may call forth the state militias to repel such invasions and to suppress insurrections.’’ 1 Stat. 264, § 1 (1792). However, whenever federal laws were opposed and their execution obstructed in any state, ‘‘by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act,’’ the President would have to be first notified of that fact by an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court or by a federal district judge. Only after that notice could the President call forth the militia of the state to suppress the insurrection.

Id., § 2. In the legislation authorizing the Quasi-War of 1798, Congress placed limits on what President Adams could and could not do. One statute authorized him to seize vessels sailing to French ports. He acted beyond the terms of this statute by issuing an order directing American ships to capture vessels sailing to or from French ports. A naval captain followed his order by seizing a Danish ship sailing from a French port. He was sued for damages and the case came to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled for a unanimous Court that President Adams had exceeded his statutory authority. Little v. Barreme, 6 U.S. (2 Cr.) 169 (1804). The Neutrality Act of 1794 led to numerous cases before the federal courts. In one of the significant cases defining the power of Congress to restrict presidential war actions, a circuit court in 1806 reviewed the indictment of an individual who claimed that his military enterprise against Spain ‘‘was begun, prepared, and set on foot with the knowledge and approbation of the executive department of the government.’’ United States v. Smith, 27 Fed. Cas. 1192, 1229 (C.C.N.Y. 1806) (No. 16,342). The court repudiated his claim that a President could authorize military adventures that violated congressional policy. Executive officials were not at liberty to waive statutory provisions: ‘‘if a private individual, even with the knowledge and approbation of this high and preeminent officer of our government [the President], should set on foot such a military expedition, how can be expect to be exonerated from the obligation of the law?’’ The court said that the President ‘‘cannot control the statute, nor dispense with its execution, and still less can he authorize a person to do what the law forbids. If he could, it would render the execution of the laws dependent on his will and pleasure which is a doctrine that has not been set up, and will not meet with any supporters in our government. In this particular, the law is paramount.’’ The President could not direct a citizen to conduct a war ‘‘against a nation with whom the United States are at peace.’’ Id. at 1230. The court asked: ‘‘Does [the President] possess the power of making war? That power is exclusively vested in congress. . . . it is the exclusive province of Congress to change a state of peace in a state of war. Id. f

REPORT ON RESOLUTION WAIVING REQUIREMENT OF CLAUSE 4(b) OF RULE XI WITH RESPECT TO SAME CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN RESOLUTIONS Mr. MCINNIS, from the Committee on Rule, submitted a privilege report (Rept. No. 104–453) on the resolution (H. Res. 342) waiving a requirement of clause 4(b) of rule XI with respect to consideration of certain resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, which was referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed. TRIBUTE TO THE LATE HON.BARBARA JORDAN The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker’s announced policy of May 12, 1995, the gentlewoman from Texas [Ms. JACKSON-LEE] is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, many fear the future, many are distrustful of their leaders, and believe that their voices are never heard. Many seek only to satisfy their private work wants and to satisfy their private interests. But this is the great danger America faces, that we will cease to be one Nation and become, instead, a collection of interest groups, city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual, each seeking to satisfy private wants. Mr. Speaker, if that happens, who then will speak for America? Who then will speak for America? What are those of us who are elected public officials supposed to do? I will tell you this, we as public servants must set an example for the rest of the Nation. It is hypocritical for the public official to admonish and exhort the people to uphold the common good if we are derelict in upholding the common good. More is required of public officials than slogans and handshakes and press releases. More is required. We must hold ourselves strictly accountable. We must provide the people with a vision of the future. Mr. Speaker, that was from Barbara Jordan, 1976, at the Democrat Convention. Mr. Speaker, last week we lost an American hero. Barbara Jordan died last week on Wednesday, January 17, 1996, a friend to many, a mentor, and an icon. The late honorable Congresswoman, Barbara Jordan, who not only represented the 18th Congressional District of Texas that I am now privileged to serve, was one of the first two African-Americans from the South to be elected to this august body since reconstruction. She was a renaissance woman, eloquent, fearless, and peerless in her pursuit of justice and equality. She exhorted all of us to strive for excellence, stand fast for justice and fairness, and yield to no one in the matter of defending this Constitution and upholding the most sacred principles of a democratic government. To Barbara Jordan, the Constitution was a very profound document, one to be upheld. The lady, Barbara Jordan, the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate, was born February 21, 1936, the daughter of Benjamin and Arlene Jordan. The youngest daughter of a Baptist minister, she lived with her two sisters in the Lyons Avenue area of Houston’s Fifth Ward. The church played an important role in her life. She joined the Good Hope Baptist Church on August 15, 1953, under the leadership of Rev. A.A. Lucas, graduating with honors from Houston’s Phyllis Wheatley High School in the Houston Independent School District

This my fellow moors is what the Bey, El, Deys, Ali’s Pasha and Al’s are legally fighting for. The reclamation of there national birthrights as moors and a nation. Yes, we ruled at that time and we will rule again. The only difference we will rule with Love.


Franco-American Alliance

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Franco-American Alliance, (Feb. 6, 1778), agreement by France to furnish critically needed military aid and loans to the 13 insurgent American colonies, often considered the turning point of the U.S. War of Independence. Resentful over the loss of its North American empire after the French and Indian War, France welcomed the opportunity to undermine Britain’s position in the New World.

Though maintaining a position of neutrality from 1775 to 1777, France was already secretly furnishing the American colonists with munitions and loans. As early as 1776, the Continental Congress had established a joint diplomatic commission—composed of Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee—to seek recognition and financial aid from the Bourbon monarchy. The colonists’ victory at the Battle of Saratoga (Oct. 17, 1777) was the show of strength needed to convince France that the revolutionaries would pursue the war to final victory. Hastening to act before the British peace overtures of the Carlisle Commission could tempt the colonists, the French foreign minister, the comte de Vergennes, succeeded in concluding the alliance the following February.


Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and France - History

Today there is a relatively mutual relationship between France and the United States. It is popular in some so-called patriotic circles to make snarky comments about France and the French, but the fact is, the United States may not exist today if it had not been for France and the Treaty of Alliance signed during the American Revolutionary War.

The Treaty of Alliance between France and the new United States of America was signed in February of 1778. Essentially, it was an agreement between the two countries to support each other in war against England. This alliance played a key role in countering the vastly superior British Royal Navy, taking away a key advantage the British maintained over American freedom fighters.

A Natural Alliance

It is not difficult to understand why France was motivated to support the 13 American colonies in their attempt to overthrow their mother country, Great Britain. France and England had been at various stages of war, on and off, for centuries.

Also, France had recently suffered a stinging defeat in the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763), an event which caused them to lose much of their influence in the Americas. Losing the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War) shifted the balance of power in Europe dangerously toward Great Britain – so much so that France was contemplating and alliance with Spain for an outright invasion of England to regain French power and advantage.

However, the outbreak of the American War of Independence produced another opportunity for France to strike a blow against its bitter enemy.

The Key Role of Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps the person who was most influential in getting the Treaty of Alliance signed was none other than Benjamin Franklin, the American genius, statesman, scientist and diplomat. Franklin enjoyed “rock-star” status along the French political and aristocratic elite. Franklin’s experiments with electricity made him world famous, but he also possessed extreme charisma, charming the French, and influencing their view of world politics.

The Treaty of Alliance was originally drafted by John Adams, the future second President of the United States. Adams’ version of the document originally established only commercial trade relationships with France, but included no military support. It was the persistent and clever work of Ben Franklin, who was living in Paris, and other American diplomats that eventually lead to a two-way military alliance.

The Treaty of Alliance was made more attractive to the French when it became an agreement of mutual support in war against England – requiring the United States to join France in any future wars against England.

Far-Reaching Consequences

The Treaty of Alliance had far-reaching consequences. It meant that France officially recognized the United States as an independent nation. It also meant that Spain entered the war effort on the side of the Americans. It meant that France, Spain and the Dutch would help supply America with arms, clothing, and gunpowder – everything it needed to keep its war effort moving forward.

Perhaps most of all, it greatly reduced the power of the mighty British navy by countering and distracting it with French, Spanish, and Dutch naval power.