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tv   Larrie Ferreiro Discusses Brothers at Arms  CSPAN  February 20, 2017 8:30pm-9:53pm EST

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obviously it depends if you are a flyover state or one of the ones so contested like ohio. broadcast broadcasters are very happy there right now. i say tattoo -- i say to members of congress when you are on the ballot you have to pay at reduced rates but do talk shocks and be interviewed because it is free and there is no better way to communicate and let them know row are home. >> courtney smith is the president and ceo of fcc and amir, thank you. >> c-span where history unfolds dai daily.
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in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable companies and is brought to you today by your local cable or satellite provider. >> good evening, can everybody hear me okay? my name is elizabeth with smithsonian associates. it is my pleasure to welcome you to "brothers at arms." let me ask you to silence and turn off cell phones or other electron electronics you might have with you. we have bright lights in here because our friends at c-span are filming tonight's program. i ask when we go to the q and a
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part of the event we make a line here in the front because of the filming from c-span. to our valued members who make tonight and each night possible, our thanks for a warm welcome. for those who might be joining for the first time an equally warm welcome and i encourage you to check out all of the programming offered by smithsonian associations. we are welcome to introduce larrie ferreiro who received his degree from imperil college in london and teaches history and engineering at george mason university and the stevens institute of technology in new jersey. he served for over 35 years in the u.s. navy, coast guard and department of defense and an ex change engineer in the french navy. he is the author of three books, ships and science, the birth of architecture.
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measure of the earth. and this newest book "brothers at arms: american independence and the men of france and spain who saved it" again, thank you for joining us and i would like to welcome larry to the stage. thank you. >> guest: thank you. by early 1776, america was fighting britain but without a navy, al artillery or even gunfire. only britain and france had the military strength to defeat the british. we needed their alliance.
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as john adams pointed out foreign knowledge couldn't recognize us until we recognized ourselves as an independent nation and jefferson said a declaration of independence would help us. i say it was not just the declaration of independence it was also the declaration that we depend on france and spain, too. now, the americans knew france and spain wanted a rematch with great britain. they had come out badly in the
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seven years' war which ended in 1763 with britain and france loosing canada and spain loosing florida. france and spain were already closely aligned by both family and military ties. it was called the bourbon family compact with the bourbon family nation and burke nations wanted revenge against britain. spain wanted to regain jibalter and drive the british from the gulf of mexico. both nations are predicted that the american revolution would hap' long before the people knew it would work. in 1776, the french foreign minister said only the future american revolution will consign england to a state of weakness.
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they knew this revolt of the american colonies that was certain to happen would weaken britain so they sent spies and observers to see when that would happen. it would not take place for another eight years. when the fighting began in 1775, the british army was supplied by gun factories that turned out hundreds of thousands of arms per year? france and spain provided arms and merchants as fronts to disguise their source from
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britain and not reveal the arms came from the french and spanish government but the british were not fooled. in the end, over 90% of all the arms and the equivalent of 30 billion dollars in aid would come from overseas. may worked with dean who was the american envoy in paris to negotiate a contract for the arms ever n before the news of the declaration of independence reached france. and five ships carried those arms across the atlantic in 1776 and 1777. they arrived just in time to furnish the american troops who were preparing to meet at saratoga. it was the french arms that turned the tide of the campaign.
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he would have made an easy march to albany so it was these arms from overseas that gave the americans their first major victory against the british. meanwhile, most of the french and european volunteers who came to the united states did so to fight their long-time enemies the british. but along the way, they also made the american cause their own and washington came to depend upon these immigrants who got the job done as the hamilton musical so aptly puts it. washington had a new chief of early and planned the sieges and gave needed strategic advice.
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washington had a man to create a training plan and regime that would turn the band of militia into a professional continental army a fighting force to be reckoned with. lafayette commanded troops and kept corn wallace from coming north and eventually followed him to yorktown. the battle of brandy wine in 1777 was washington's attempt to prevent the british from occupying philadelphia. it was the trial by fire of these french and european volunteers who had been so mistrusted you can see the quote up there so many spies in our camp is how we regarded him
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before the battle of brandy wine. but the battle changed that. a calvary charge led the troops and today the army corp of engineers now has the flurry medal for courage and boldness. after the battle, this initial mistrust turned first to acceptance and then to reliance. and green, who had called these men so many spies in our camp just a few weeks earlier, actually came to rely on both of them during the certain campaign. back in versia.
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he made almost all of the key decisions that made this alliance. his primary goal as i mentioned was to have the war of american independence significantly weaken britain so that the balance of power was thrown back in france's favor. he had already decided to rely on the americans even before the battle of saratoga on the grounds that without france the americans would lose the war and that a reunited british empire on the noerth american continent would threaten the french sugar colonies in the caribbean and that was to great of risk to
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ent entertain. so this was the pre-text he needed to form thought alliance. the treaty brought france into war against britain and brought the french navy to the american shores. that forced the british troops to evacuate philadelphia and consolidate new york city. at the time, spain was aligned with france but they could not risk going to war in early 1778 and the reason was they had a treasure fleet at sea still carrying 50 billion in silver from peru and until that treasure was safely home in spain they could not risk having that attacked by the british. when that fleet safely arrived in 1778, spain was free to go to war with britain.
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the spanish foreign minister had established the spanish goals of the war. recover jiballter and drive the british from the gulf of mexico. spain offered mediate. britain refused to hand over jiballter. -- gibalter. france went to war against britain on the side of france. it is no stretch to say that britain sacrificed america for gibralt gibralter. this pile of rocks.
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spain would not ally with the americans during the war but did agree the terms of the peace could only happen with britain's recognition of the sovereignty of the united states. the entry of spain alongside france fundamentally changed the nature of the war. from a regional clash in north america to a global conflict. the british navy and army were spread every thinner around the world. the ships were along the line and they were overwhelmed. instead of only attacking the americans in america britain now had to shield england from the threat of invasion, defend
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against the see of gibralter. this all happened in 1779-1780 as the war in america was coming to its lowest point. you can see by alexander hamilton's comment: if we are saved, france and spain must save us. that reflected the fact that americans understood winning the war against britain rested with france and spain. after spain declared war in 1779, the french and spanish navies formed a fleet of 150 ships and 30,000 troops to invade britain.
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this was larger than the famed armada of 1588. the planned invasion of britain would capture portsmith and southampton, wreck havoc on the economy, and it would potentially bring britain to the peace table. but it was sidelined by a massive dysintry outbreak. the spanish admiral was unable to carry out this mission and the entire invasion scheme fizzled out. now, as a sidenote, the french navy had assigned a little known american captain, john paul jones, to create a diversion for britain by cruising around the british empire by cruising around with a squad.
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no british was fool enough to chase after john paul jones and this diversion was largely ignored. but his victory over the larger british saps made the headlines in the american newspapers as a david versus goliath conflict that stood for a much larger britain versus american war. back in new orleans, the governor of spanish louisiana supplied the troops up the western mississippi and what is today's pittsburgh with arms and ammunition. but when war was finally declared by spain against britain in 1779, he lept into action and laufnched a series o
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attacks at mobile, natch ez, and baton rouge. after a series of setbacks due to hurricanes in 1771 he commanded a joint force that captured pensacola. britain was out of west florida now. with spain ruling the gulf of mexico and with britain no longer a threat, the french involve commander who had just arrived on scene asked the spanish navy to protect the french sugar colonies while he took the entire fleet up to the chesapeake. now, washington and rogues learned they were headed to the chesapeake and raced south to new york to meet him and circle con wallace at yorktown.
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it was said of him, the grass stands 6-4 on days of paddle. and yes, since you asked, he was an ancestor of the rock star astrophycisist neal degrass. he embraced him when he met him and explained [foreign phrase]. the troops were landed around yorktown when the british footnote fle-- fleet appeared. it prevented him from resupplying or evacuating corn wa wallace and that sealed the fate of the british at yorktown.
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the story of yorktown is very well known. after they had led the troops on a quick march from new york to yorktown they surrounded corn wall ace. the siege began on october 9th, 1781. the guns blasted away for five days while the siege line advanc advanced. it was french officers who directed the siege and the gunfire. the french also suffered twice the casualities of the americans during the battle. the situation for corn wallace became unatt-attaiun-attainable. when they came out to offer the
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surrender, the scene in the painting, they considered the victory to be a french one and offered the surrender to rosham bow who understand this was a french victory. but he also understood that the moment belonged to george washington. without a word, he gestured o'hare to washington. washington in turn gestured him to his own second in command, benjamin lincoln, who accepted with surrender. after yorktown, there were no more major american battles but that didn't mean the fighting stopped. the fighting was continuing around the world between brit n britain, the bourbon alliance and other nations. in fact, by the time of yorktown, britain was fighting five separate nation states. it was simply overwhelmed. for example, the battle of gibralter observed 60,000
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spanish troops in a four-year siege that failed and yes it is a mushroom cloud. the fighting was that fierce. the dutch republic was drawn into the war for allowing supplies to go to france and the battles in the north sea were equally as advances. the last battle of the war, happening in india happened six months after the preliminary peace treaties were signed. the peace treaty ended eight years of war and over 200,000 french and spanish troops and sa
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sailors fraught fat war xierd to 280,000 americans -- compared. they were as invested in the war as we were. americans could never have won the war without france and france would never have fought the war without spain. what i hope all of you take away from this is the following: the united states did not achieve independence by itself. it was born as the center piece of working together to defeat a common advirsary. it continues today to define the united states as the in indepensable nation. thank you. [applause]
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>> question number one. can you say something about the debt that france went into? and my second question: where is russia in all of this and catherine the great? i do remember reading that she was not a fan of george the iii but if you had any comments about catherine's role in what her views were i would be appreciative. >> certainly. i do discuss both in the book. the first question is about the debt of france after the war. the short answer was that it was in debt but it had seen that level of debt before. it was not crushing in the way
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it is sometimes portrayed. just to give you some background, after the seven-years war, all the countries, britain and france were heavily in debt but through strict financial measures france was able to repay the debt and they both entered the war of american independence relatively free of debt. france abandoned strict financial policies and allowed less than savory ways of collecting money to creep back in and they were not able to get the kind of loan rates that britain was able to get because it had a centralized bank. at the end of the war of american independence, both nations as a percentage of their gross domestic product were equally in debt. britain had better terms, they could pay it down quicker,
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france couldn't pay it down and they continued to accumulate debt on top of that. the point is when the french revolution which was to a large point a result of france's fiscal crisis erupted, yes, the american revolution was one cause but it was not the catalyst or the primary cause. it had abandoned good fiscal policy. that is the first one. catherine the great was a wonderful, hidden player in all of this. european politics didn't stop while the american war was going on. at the center of bergen's juggling was russia. they just recently invaded crimea -- sound familiar? and also, there was a siege -- or not siege but partition of poland.
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catherine the great was making noises about helping britain and britain was certainly trying to attract russia's help by offering them minorca as a prize which catherine the ii wisely refused. she was very concerned about britain's continued crediation on mutual shipping. many nations were helping france. the dutch republic, for example. she authored something known as the league of armed neutrality which was supposed to be a fleet of a dozen ships that would control the oceans and stop britain from attacking neutral ships. that was the intent. unfortunately, it brought the dutch republic to the war because they thought they would be protected. they were not and britain declared war and it was devastating for them. so, russia never officially got into the war but they were
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always behind the scenes in everybody's calculation. that help? >> yes, thank you. >> sir? >> if internationalism is center to the birth of our independence, why is american isolation such a persistent and if i dare say reoccurring phenomenon? >> i have thought of this question and unfortunately this question is not for me. this question -- well, since the beginning we have been a nation that has depended on alliances and that is who we are as a nation. the question is more for the administration. historically we have actually despite protests from time to time about isolationism, about
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closing the gates and barring the door, we have generally been quite open. that is who we are as a people. i think the real question that you should all be asking is if that is who we are as a nation, as a people, how does the administration, the congress, the government, live up to that and live up to our core set of beliefs and actions over the past 200 years? that is the question you need to ask more so. ....
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>> the answer is that they made the decision with the full knowledge, by washington that he had done so. to to washington's disappointment, washington was too good a strategist to reject what he was doing. here was the issue. you ask washington did want to get new york back. and i mentioned louis, he was washington's right-hand person. and deportation went to lay siege to the city because that's what they did for living in the
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seven years war for 100 years before that. so he understood the logistics that would be required to lay siege to an overwhelming force inside and they would need a solid naval presence to be able to carry out the siege. they needed both. the problem with new york city is that it's hard to invest in attack has a besieging army. but the seaward side is difficult because there is an area sandy hook which is too shallow for large depot vessels to go inches that's that's why almost all the british vessels were small. unless they're able to cross that bar by offloading their guns which would be death, they couldn't lay effective naval siege. so they required more troops
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than washington or -- had. now they both understood there was a strategic opportunity from the chesapeake that had just afforded itself. they wrote letters and the it was concorde and a sister ship which was just up a few years ago. some of the greatest and they were architecture and i have to say that because i'm a naval architect. great ships and they they said in the letter it was really up to you, but intense your best opportunity it's going to be in the chesapeake. and by the way, they had sent
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pilots for any port of call. so they sent pilots for all of those locations. went across read the letter and he was a very skilled mariner who fought alongside the army, he saw the writing and saw what they were saying and said, i can can come up i will come to the chesapeake. it's a two day sale from the chesapeake to new york. that's where you have to meet me. that same ship took the letter back. at that point there were around new york city. they had to do a quick march and job clinton's attention away from where they were. everyone who studies studies this was the most amazing thing. the two together managed to draw two separate fleets and three armies into one place into a very narrow window. they were
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only going to be there for a few weeks during the hurricane season. somehow they managed to pull it off. so that is a longer story. the direct answer to the question is, roshambo did make the journey. they were equal partners and they both knew the measure of each other. they were both experienced, sober warriors and they respected each other's opinion and they worked side-by-side. which is one reason why the burgers termed brothers at arms because there is a wonderful from washington to roshambo as roshambo was departing the country referring to him as his brother. >> can you speak a little bit about the piece of paris. there are certain stories or
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opinions that america was a bit discomforted by the deals that spain and france were drawing and getting out of britain during that piece of paris was being written. that america was was not aware that they had their own agendas. >> what happened is as the piece was being negotiated cannot version, the minister who i mentioned and franklin worked very well together. franklin was extremely capable ambassador. it is important to understand that franklin understood the role of the ambassador as being someone who gave information, who helped to convey a position but was never one to impose a view on the leader of a sovereign nation. no ambassador today would do that, franklin certainly didn't. fortunately, he -- while he was negotiated they understood they had to negotiate somewhat
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separate, one between britain and the united states and the other between britain and france, which also acted on behalf of spain and the dutch republic. but they agreed, as always we are conducting these side-by-side, as long as neither side makes a commitment before letting the other one no we are keeping the terms of the treaty. that was was going along well. then franklin was laid up sick. may have been gallstones or kidney stones. john jay was there and he took over for a little while. he was unfortunate character who saw that these negotiations which franklin had to prove going on and immediately cried and threatened to pull out of the negotiation, almost snatching defeat. fortunately franklin recovered. the peace process was continued.
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now, what actually happened was that due to the pressure that franklin faced on the rest of his the other people in his group, j and so on, he had to agree to a premature settlement with britain prior to france having finalized his own negotiations with britain. what happened happened as a result of that was spain lost gibraltar. effectively when the terms of the american treaty got back to the parliament they could possibly accept that they would lose america. but the idea idea of also losing gibraltar was unsupportable. so that negotiators backed out of the gibraltar deal at the
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last minute. spain spain was left with almost nothing until the spanish ambassador to the french stepped in and on his own recognizance excepted florida as retainer for gibraltar. now they just mention the tirades was furious. at this point he was smart enough to understand he was the best deal he was going to get. that is why today gibraltar is the one of the around which a brexit is being argued. it is still in british hands. so again to lay to rest the idea that somehow france was that doubledealing, no, it was not franklin works very well side-by-side in this correspondence was very clear about that.
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whoever asked the question i hope that answered it. >> in your introduction you do not suggest, you say that thomas jefferson included the phrase that we mutually pledge to all of each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor as a direct plea for the french and spanish to support the revolutionary war. i would take exception to that. i would say that is not true. and it thomas jefferson and the other 55 men only wrote the declaration of independence after the american army had achieved certain successes and 75.
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in your introduction you give no evidence whatsoever that was a direct inclusion by mr. jefferson as a plea for either of the continental powers to join the revolution. so if i may read the quote for my book. it was was only at the very end that they included a passage that the kings of france and spain man taken particular notice of. who is the action on? that action describes what the kings of france and spain would likely take notice of, not what jefferson's intent was. that was how i wrote it. wrote it. >> my proposition is that in anticipation of french or spanish support was not what motivated mr. jefferson, but the success of an army in 1775.
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had that army not been successful in 1775 the not only with the gathering of those 55 men have been delayed, but such a proposition would have never been written by mr. jefferson. >> so please read the book. i laid out in the introduction very carefully the cry for independence only happened after thomas paine's common sense is published in january of 1776. every discussion before that, that was done in public refer to trying to find a way to an accommodation. yes, i'm sure independence had been routed privately but the majority of the publications including jefferson's declaration on the causes of taking up arms were all directed to come to an accommodation with britain. it was thomas paine who drew the line that said, that ship has
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left the station. the train has sailed. it is time to call for independence. once that call for independence by independent by thomas paine was made all of the legislative bodies around the state started to discuss sending their people to philadelphia to call for independence. thomas paine says clearly in common sense, the only thing that is going to achieve and independence is to write a declaration that would be received by the kings and courts of europe and he means france and spain and he says that. because we need their help. you see, america in 1775 and the early part of 1776 as i have explained, have explained, was incapable of fighting a war with britain. it was like an adolescent i was running away from home without a
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penny to his name. and as i said, they had no arms, no gunpowder, no canon, no navy. there was there was no hope for them to ever win. the only way they could prevail and they knew this was to have france and spain by their side. the letters are very clear about this. the letters by the people who are proposing independence are clear about this. thomas jefferson and adams are clear about this. that although it was written by jefferson by a document for the ages that i make that very clear will specifically address from france and spain. you don't don't write a declaration just for the record. the declaration they wrote for taking up arms was specifically addressed to king george the third even if he wasn't in the
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bylaws. say this because the first considered action by the congress after his signature on after its acceptance was not trying to until august but the acceptance and printing the first action that congress took was to put it on a ship down to france so that the kings of france and spain can see it. they were very, very clear about that. so again, the writing, the evidence is quite clear. yes, it certainly helped to rally the troops but the intent was always to bring france and spain in the side of the americans. >> france and spain both had impetus to jump in, they had -- regarding france that
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traditional account is that ben franklin spent some time could join with the french government to get them to jump in and it was saratoga that exploited france. could you elaborate more about how much was franklin and how much was the french administration regarding spain that they did not jump into the water so was safely home, perfectly understandable. but is there a point to before hand which they had already committed like when they decided to go even if they had to wait a little bit. >> when i look at the question franklin first and i made it the illusion that he was a very effective ambassador. let's be clear about the role of any ambassador is. to represent the position of the
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country, to present facts, but not to try to influence in a direct way the decision of a sovereign nation. we would never accept an ambassador coming into the white house and same you must go to war against our enemy or was someone else. that it's never been the role of the ambassador. franklin understood that. he actually spent time idling about. but what franklin understood better than anybody was doing nothing and was not same as not getting something accomplished. he was probably quite astute in knowing that even this was an
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absolute monarchy, so let's be clear, the french government bore no resemblance to the british government. britain had a parliament and ultimately they did have to gain popular support, and absolute monarchy did not. they were worried about popular support but it helped to keep them at least happy. and certainly the aristocrats. franklin was very good at keeping them happy. he happy. he was also very good at presenting facts that made america look better than it actually was which was the role of any ambassador 70 years before franklin stepped foot in france someone has said ambassador is the man today sent abroad to lie for his country. he certainly did that effectively. but let me be very clear, they called the shots at every turn. there is not one action that was taken that was not his doing. i will go beyond franklin because
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it is [inaudible] common to see reports. from the point of view it look like cause-and-effect. lafayette, after the first encounters where the first battles had gone back to when france declared war on britain was back in action he came back with the news of troops and money so in the play hamilton they give all the credit to lafayette for bringing guns and ships. it's just not true. lafayette and keep in mind lafayette was a charismatic person and he's certainly kept the king and queen entertain. he was an effective general, let me be very clear. but lafayette had made the decisions that we needed to
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comment on the side of the americans and provide more troops for the reasons i already elaborated that a reestablish british empire and the north american continent would've been too great a risk for the french colonies. let me say one more thing about that. i think this is the most important idea to have as you're reading this book. no nation ever goes to work with someone else against another nation for all to restrict purposes. we have never done it, no nation is ever done it. when we talk about america first, even when we are intervening overseas that is because it is in our national interest to maintain a stable, global economy, just have a stable partnerships. these are are part of our national interest. it was france first.
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our interest in france interest intercepted. for spain, spain first meant we are going to get back florida, we want gibraltar, that may never align with the americans but it was in their interest if i become an enemy. the fact that they were doing it for their own purposes should in no way undercut the support they gave us. you you had a second question, i overextended on your first one because i thought that was a critical point. his second question has to do with. >> when did spain make the decision? did they see the war started say here's our chance. >> they have been preparing for some time. they're arming the americans and were in with the french when they arms. i mentioned a spanish merchant who supplied them merchants. it's certain that they knew what he was doing.
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all along they saw the says an opportunity to get britain out of the territories they wanted. this was really critical for them. remember where the geordie of their wealth came from. we call it today south south america and then it was pru. the route to peru was through the caribbean on the golf and they did not want the british there. this was an opportunity but they had to wait until the right moment. specifically until the treasure fleet was home before they went to war directly. but it was understood that eventually spain would come in on the side of france. it is critical for their alliance. i cannot overstress how important the french spanish alliance was against the british.
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i would actually gladly do and entire lecture on that. that was the crux of this entire work. did that answer question? >> think you. >> you told us that one of the french observers, spies in 1767 was the american were going to revolt. i don't think that they would be an american revolution. how could he say that what is the background? i think probably very few colonists, americans, or in england maybe there are a few intellectuals who saw that coming. what were the reasons? i have another question. >> there were series of of acts after the seven years war. by the way, i can't really see
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if anybody in the balcony is interested in a question. question. if you are if you could please come down. right after the seven years war one historian famously said the americans were never more british. but the thing that sparked the curiosity was at the same time britain decided that it needed to bolster the defenses of the americans and also start getting them to shoulder the burden. there is a series of taxes but that wasn't a big deal. in terms of track numbers. many historians say this, just happens to. most history books books the tax burden was very small. the average britain at the time was pain equivalent today of about $200 per year in taxes. the americans were paying one 20th of that.
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it was never the tax burden that was a problem. two issues, the americans did not believe that parliaments had the right to tax because only the americans legislative bodies in the colonies states they said had the right. so that was a philosophical disagreement. but the economic disagreement this is the ones you have to follow because yours follow the money is that british laws were prohibiting the import of american manufactured goods and when americans tried to sell their commodities there is a law that meant all goods had to flow through britain and i can to be other part. in fact washington was famous for smuggling a lot of the crops and produce a now the granary
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made whiskey and he was very happy to smuggle that to the caribbean. these were the things that often on got the americans upset, the british would put on wall and the americans would get upset and revolt. they would backtrack on the law americans would come down. it. it kept going back and forth that way. until around 1774 when things became unattainable. so when he went they said they are definitely upset a number two, the revolution is not going to happen in our lifetime. now the french minister also saw the reports and thought otherwise. he was more pressing as it turned out. that's what happened. >> other colonies had similar concerns and those economic issues with britain. my other question about lafayette and others, france and
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spain who i think so the american revolution is potentially triggering other revolutions against the imperialist. >> very much so. spain was far more worried than france. by the way just reminded me that one of the early questions their short answers they never wanted to the kind a debt that france did, in part because they're always able to fund their money through the colonies, mexico and peru. they never made quite a large-scale commitment that the french did in terms of supplying the americans. so although 30,000,000,000 dollars in aid that i mentioned, only that one or two billion-dollar equipment came from spain. the rest came from spans. and they're very worried. ever since the spanish was taken
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over the empire interestingly enough the colonies never did go all the way -- every ten years there some kind of uprising. usually among the indigenous people a very nasty way of imposing law on the native. those uprisings and rebellions were put down viciously. right around the time of pensacola. i describe it very briefly because i did not want to deter it from reading further it was put down in like a matter of six
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or ten months once captured if you don't mind bearing with us all of the body parts were sent around the royalty approved to show residents what would happen if you went up against the king. they are very worried about the uprising. one reason why. >> is it true that general washington stopped off on his way to yorktown as head of the chesapeake bay and he saw the french fleet there and understood what was going to happen? >> he was actually at wilmington, delaware. i believe he was in chester. chester, pennsylvania when this happened. i have become. and yes, i think it was chester
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luke's who wrote the account and if i am wrong it's in my book someplace, it is footnoted he saw from his the boat they were inspecting further down the river he saw washington way being in a handkerchief and jumping on the bank. the interesting interesting thing they go ashore and there's a letter stating that dick ross had arrived. so he knew he was going to happen. he embraced roshambo. this i find fascinating. . .
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>> >> there it is a running theme of most accounts the of the wars between france and britain that probably they just were not british. if they were it would have been so much better. [laughter]
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france knew they could be outfought by britain simple guy could even reference that in my book there is a wonderful bachelors' thesis by naval want academy shipman who looks at the actions, diaries, the logs and draws the conclusion that i give you now. by the way the spanish refine sailors. paid did not operate at sea nearly as much as britain and there are various reasons britain was an island with very few troops france was always worried about enemies on the border as was paid so the military budgets two-thirds was spent on the navy with britain and
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france spent two-thirds of the army in france there were called capt. generals but they do their business. day of thought and outmaneuvered. in my book action against a british convoy carrying remiss amount of wealth to the caribbean and in the middle of the night they heard a cabin and figured it was a signal from the british convoy so the middle of the night when sale into the middle of the convoy they saw the sun lamps and thought it was there own escort and followed the
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spanish than they were under the combined spanish and french fleet. it is worth reading because of the french navy that are in french or read in another but after you buy mind of the spanish navy -- david you should buy after mind that would give you more balanced view. they were all professional and by the way they were all royal navy's. one o negative and they were
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all very, very good. >> benjamin lincoln best accepted the surrender at yorktown is the ancestor of abraham lincoln could. >> a intriguing question that i willing to bet is answerable quickly but i don't know. i hope somebody here bb here want. >> nobody met mentions this man as his ancestors. >> was lincoln who was second in command and ancestor of abraham lincoln somebody says in the barter fee of benjamin franklin -- lincoln 55 got something
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different what reno. >> notwithstanding what did the french canadians throw and and then did they have any stake in the conflict? >> why a didn't canada commit on this side of the americans? because they saw no added did vantage to be with the americans win the british were already trading never as reasonably as could be expected. what the americans are not happy about was the laws
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that permitted the practice in pullback -- quebec. in this is important. french canada came in on this side of the americans. some more volunteers were from canada. but the vast majority saw no benefit to side with the americans the same was true in 1812 again in one to grab ahold of canada that is one of reason we went to war and again they saw no benefit. >> did the holy roman empire have a stake in any of this but. >> with have to remember which nations were a part of this.
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austria is what springs to mind and of course, and to be alive with france the queen she and her son joseph this second listed on the sidelines that during this call period of the major conflict that was always the concern because he did not one to set off a firestorm to bring other nations better now scared of france to the side of britain so it was very delicate balance of power so toward the end of
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the war that joseph the second with a line with what russia. so there was always a concern so they did not directly fight with anybody. that prints a polities of the age of the holy roman empire austrian in belgium and netherlands and i talk about this to anybody that collects arms you would see with their oversold to the americans and were major
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suppliers. every betty dryexx to make up profit so within the holy roman empire there are a number of small principalities of the nation states could general lee it was in the indirect way that is the question. >> i had a fascination with the civil war and recently i root learned that britain freed the slaves so with washington and all his buddies word put into place
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so comment on that but after identical question to the park service presentation part of the reason the americans went to war they knew that the british when did to free their slaves but they did not want to be parted that our british empire. >> nothing from what i have encountered indicates in the year 177-5476 -- or 76 that depended on the slaves. remember where we get most of the wealth.
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all the nations of europe europe, of the caribbean caribbean, slaveholders, por tugal, brazil, and nothing that i have read can indicate britain was considering that at that time and that was one of the concerns of the americans. not to say that idea in some people's minds were specific reasons you could see when you encounter writings to break free has more to do with the reasons that i stated that of national or colonial sovereignty and the inability to conduct trade. the counterfactual saar fascinating.
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if is wonderful to a mansion because many people stayed behind in some word noted abolitionist. and they wondered unbacked noir why the americans themselves are not fighting for those same freedoms. not just the african slaves but the americans were equally enslaved. all i can do is direct use to another after. [booing] the first two books after you buy my book it is the 20 ways it could have turned out differently antitoxin
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had a number of scenarios where britain could have won and actually it is amazing that it did happen in. i think is a distinct possibility. with a different outcomes it could have taken it could have been days split off the southern colonies georgette was the underbidder -- british control for most of the war but those that never could have expanded because of a dominant empire it could have been these 13 states read through the met conditions any number of
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things could have happened if it is possible to end up as canada and have done reasonably well economically but if that was the case to have the complex on uh continent and russia don't forget we simply don't know what might have happened there. >> also what i heard was that they were trying to get qaddafi european war and they did not want america driving into those wars.
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>> that was during his farewell speech does anybody remember the exact phrase? that is a national lexicon. he was quite worried at the time in did it one-two be in mash between the complex between giants. so with the question you're asking is where he thinks america needed to go. let me be very clear when he says entangling alliances we were in nation of traders or even as colonies and was
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quite interested in trade even as a farmer so with that reciprocity that we were used to with the still small unsettled nation to be in the middle of the conflict. >> here is my last question. i was in colonial williamsburg and they told us how thomas payne died can you comment on that quick. >> at the george tucker house that he committed suicide in france and thoughts the democracy would not go crazy like a did.
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>> i will look into this absolutely you have piqued my interest. >> the young man who raised the question of masai am wrong i suspect the nationalism that runs through the educational system has then alternative view and if you are a fact fighter did you encounter that attitude to put that into context? does france and spain have that same nationalism?
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>> is a weak shadow of french exceptional is some in negative your you that there is a peruvian and it is normal. so with american exceptional as some that is not the idea to be endowed with the religious capability because guess where we came from pacs, of these countries that we did not just become exceptional. and is not quite the question to you last but who
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have vice seen that fried through the history books? and came to the story from what they had in the textbook and i did my doctoral thesis on the shipbuilding during the age of sail i knew they had a common navy. and they were critical to the victory of america. someone saw that france barely got the mention then made and said there is a story there so that narrative that occurred during the 19th century when we were moving to the west to go to the pacific
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pacific, there was a particular historian who wrote the standard histories of the united states with a very exceptional model. for what france and spain had done. and i understand the idea of exceptional is some after doing this research and looking at the history we are re exceptional because more than any of their nation to bring people from other countries and to our nation and correctly so.
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but we do far more. we become the comes to our shores and it is always for the better. sorry france and spain analyst julia. and ic it around to me all the time. and we in turn have become the of. >> nobody ask the question that i thought they would ask if lafayette was not the most important figure why did he get all the press so he came to america and was
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the hero of two worlds poolsides of the land tickler of tim. he looks so elegant and at the same time very frail. to honor the obligation of lafayette but this is important to be the icon that he did going back from 1770 the majority of the mesh:negative mentions and then he dies. great career move. in did is also true in the french language.


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