The Involvement of the European Countries in the American Revolutionary War

The American Revolution is commonly known to be a revolution in which the Americans are only fighting against the British for their independence; however, it was not just a fight between the Americans and the British, other European countries had also participated in the fight. These other countries may sound insignificant, but they played a critical role in when and how the war was won. Although there were many factors that contributed to the reason why the American Revolution became an international conflict between European and American powers, the major factors were the disagreements on the control of Britain over the colonies, the lust for revenge for the loss of land and pride in the Seven Years’ war, and the monetary profit of selling soldiers.

Even though it has already been established that the American Revolution was fought between America and Britain, the competition between America and Britain was the start of the multinational clash of countries. Americans believed that the British had no right to control what was occurring in America after years of neglect.

According to the textbook America’s History, many Americans blamed the monarchy for “oppressive legislation and ordering armed retaliation.” Britain believed that they had the right to impose any laws or taxes on the colonies, with or without their consent (Declaratory Act). The contrast in opinion was what ultimately led to revolution and an international conflict.

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In addition, France and Spain joined the American Revolution, increasing the number of countries participating in the war, making it, more so, an international conflict. France and Spain were both bitter about their defeat and loss of land after the Seven Years’ War. France, according to Ted Brackemyre, was “eager to see a British defeat, which would signal a break in Britain’s recent imperial domination, and help restore French pride and prestige after their humiliating defeat.”2 Clearly, the French were unhappy with the British, especially after the Seven Years’ War. Although not mentioned very often, Spain, who also contributed to the American Revolution, was in a similar situation. After the victory of the British during the Seven Years’ War, Spanish lands were also taken away by Britain. Brackemyre continues, saying that “Spain became involved in the American Revolution as a means to fight British imperialism and recoup some Spanish pride after the Seven Years’ War.”3 John Buescher, an author and former professor, adds that “Spain’s motivation to help the American colonists was driven by a desire to regain the land it had lost to Britain and, with other European powers, make incremental gains against British possessions in other parts of the world.”

Both of these countries wanted to restore of their pride, to take their revenge on the British, and possibly regain their land back. The effect of this need to regain their pride led to the countries aiding the colonists’ cause. The French provided money, troops, supplies, ammunition and weapons, and many more for the colonists. The immense amount of help given to the colonists by France, according to Office of the Historian, “was crucial in securing the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781.95 Spain, like France, loaned a lot of money to the colonies, which helped secure the Continental currency and helped pay for foreign military officers. By starting a military campaign in Florida, the Spanish stretched the British military further apart. Because of the motivations of both France and Spain (restore pride and get revenge), they acquired major roles in the American Revolution that conclusively allowed the colonists to win the American Revolution.

Though France and Spain were solely on the side of the colonists, Germany (not a unified country at a time; however, many of the states did the same thing), driven by money, sold many soldiers to Britain. According to Jack Green and J.R. Pole’s A companion to the American Revolution, Germany “offered troops for the war in its rebellious colonies in order to improve its budget.”? Germany only included itself in the American Revolution for the monetary profit that it could make from selling soldiers to Britain. After all, money meant power, and everyone wanted power. All in all, the opposing points of view of how much control of the colonies the British had, the desire for revenge for the loss of their land and pride, and the money one could gain from selling soldiers all were critical elements leading up to how the American Revolution ended up involving multiple countries.

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The Involvement of the European Countries in the American Revolutionary War. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

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