National Archives and Records Administration
The NARA transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress. The chief administrator of NARA is the Archivist of the United States, the Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. The Archivist not only maintains the official documentation of the passage of amendments to the U. S, Constitution by state legislatures, but has the authority to declare when the constitutional threshold for passage has been reached, and therefore when an act has become an amendment. The Office of the Federal Register publishes the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations and it administers the Electoral College. Since 1964, the NHPRC has awarded some 4,500 grants, the Office of Government Information Services is a Freedom of Information Act resource for the public and the government. Congress has charged NARA with reviewing FOIA policies and compliance of Federal agencies, NARAs mission includes resolving FOIA disputes between Federal agencies and requesters.
Originally, each branch and agency of the U. S. government was responsible for maintaining its own documents, Congress established the National Archives Establishment in 1934 to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States as chief administrator. The National Archives was incorporated with GSA in 1949, in 1985 it became an independent agency as NARA, began serving in 1934, when the National Archives was established by Congress. As a result of a first Hoover Commission recommendation, in 1949 the National Archives was placed within the newly formed General Services Administration. The Archivist served as an official to the GSA Administrator until the National Archives. An audit indicated that more than one third withdrawn since 1999 did not contain sensitive information, the program was originally scheduled to end in 2007. In 2011, a retired employee pleaded guilty to stealing original sound recordings from the archives, Archival Recovery Teams investigate the theft of records.
NARAs holdings are classed into record groups reflecting the governmental department or agency from which they originated, Records include paper documents, still pictures, motion pictures, and electronic media. Archival descriptions of the permanent holdings of the government in the custody of NARA are stored in the National Archives Catalog. The archival descriptions include information on traditional paper holdings, electronic records, as of December 2012, the catalog consisted of about 10 billion logical data records describing 527,000 artifacts and encompassing 81% of NARAs records. There are 922,000 digital copies of already digitized materials, most records at NARA are in the public domain, as works of the federal government are excluded from copyright protection. However, records from other sources may still be protected by copyright or donor agreements and its Information Security Oversight Office monitors and sets policy for the U. S. governments security classification system. Many of NARAs most requested records are used for genealogy research
It preceded the Batavian Republic, the Kingdom of Holland, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and ultimately the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands. Alternative names include the United Provinces, Seven Provinces, Federated Dutch Provinces, most of the Low Countries had come under the rule of the House of Burgundy and subsequently the House of Habsburg. In 1549 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V issued the Pragmatic Sanction, Charles was succeeded by his son, King Philip II of Spain. This was the start of the Eighty Years War, in 1579 a number of the northern provinces of the Low Countries signed the Union of Utrecht, in which they promised to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army. This was followed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence of the provinces from Philip II. In 1582 the United Provinces invited Francis, Duke of Anjou to lead them, but after an attempt to take Antwerp in 1583. After the assassination of William of Orange, both Henry III of France and Elizabeth I of England declined the offer of sovereignty, the latter agreed to turn the United Provinces into a protectorate of England, and sent the Earl of Leicester as governor-general.
This was unsuccessful and in 1588 the provinces became a confederacy, the Union of Utrecht is regarded as the foundation of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, which was not recognized by the Spanish Empire until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. During the Anglo-French war, the territory was divided into groups, the Patriots, who were pro-French and pro-American and the Orangists. The Republic of the United Provinces faced a series of revolutions in 1783–1787. During this period, republican forces occupied several major Dutch cities, initially on the defence, the Orangist forces received aid from Prussian troops and retook the Netherlands in 1787. After the French Republic became the French Empire under Napoleon, the Batavian Republic was replaced by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland, the Netherlands regained independence from France in 1813. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the names United Provinces of the Netherlands, on 16 March 1815, the son of stadtholder William V crowned himself King William I of the Netherlands.
Between 1815 and 1890 the King of the Netherlands was in a union the Grand Duke of the sovereign Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. After Belgium gained its independence in 1830, the state became known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The County of Holland was the wealthiest and most urbanized region in the world, the free trade spirit of the time received a strong augmentation through the development of a modern, effective stock market in the Low Countries. The Netherlands has the oldest stock exchange in the world, founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company, while Rotterdam has the oldest bourse in the Netherlands, the worlds first stock exchange, that of the Dutch East-India Company, went public in six different cities. Later, a court ruled that the company had to reside legally in a city so Amsterdam is recognized as the oldest such institution based on modern trading principles
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
He succeeded in securing peace with America and this feat remains his most notable legacy. He was known as a collector of antiquities and works of art. Lord Shelburne was born in Dublin in 1737 and spent his years in Ireland. After attending Oxford University he served in the British army during the Seven Years War taking part in the Raid on Rochefort, as a reward for his conduct at the Battle of Kloster Kampen, Shelburne was appointed an aide-de-camp to George III. He became involved in politics, becoming a member of parliament in 1760, after his fathers death in 1761 he inherited his title and was elevated to the House of Lords and took an active role in politics. He served as President of the Board of Trade in the Grenville Ministry but resigned this position only a few months. When Pitt was made Prime Minister in 1766 Shelburne was appointed as Southern Secretary and he departed office during the Corsican Crisis and joined the Opposition. Along with Pitt he was an advocate of a policy towards Britains American Colonies.
Following the fall of the North government Shelburne joined its replacement led by Lord Rockingham, Shelburne was made Prime Minister in 1782 following Rockinghams death with the American War still being fought. Shelburne however had a vision of long-term benefit to Britain through trade with a large and increasingly prosperous United States, after he was forced from office in 1783 at age 45, he permanently lost his power and influence. Shelburne lamented that his career had been a failure, despite the high offices he held over 40 years. He blamed his poor education—although it was as good as that of most peers—and said the problem was that it has been my fate through life to fall in with clever. Historians, point to a nasty personality that alienated friend and his contemporaries distrusted him as too prone to trickery and duplicity. Biographer John Cannon says His uneasiness prompted him to alternate flattery and hectoring, which most of his colleagues found unpleasant, in debate he was frequently vituperative and sarcastic.
Success came too early, and produced jealousy, especially when he was tagged as an upstart Irishman and he never understood the power of the House of Commons, or how to deal with its leaders. He advocated numerous reforms, especially trade, religious toleration. He was ahead of his time, but was unable to build a network of support from his colleagues who distrusted his motives. In turn he distrusted others, and tried to do all the work himself so that it would be done right and he was born William Fitzmaurice in Dublin in Ireland, the first son of John Fitzmaurice, who was the second surviving son of the 1st Earl of Kerry
The Bahamas, known officially as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an archipelagic state within the Lucayan Archipelago. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence, the designation of the Bahamas can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. As stated in the mandate/manifesto of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Bahamas is the site of Columbus first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayan, although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera, the Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas, they brought their slaves with them, Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period.
Slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834, Today the descendants of slaves and free Africans make up nearly 90% of the population, issues related to the slavery years are part of society. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch, in terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas, with an economy based on tourism and finance. The name Bahamas is derived from either the Taino ba ha ma, alternatively, it may originate from Guanahani, a local name of unclear meaning. In English, the Bahamas is one of two countries whose self-standing short name begins with the word the, along with The Gambia. Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century and they came to be known as the Lucayan people. An estimated 30,000 Lucayan inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus arrival in 1492, Columbuss first landfall in the New World was on an island he named San Salvador.
Some researchers believe this site to be present-day San Salvador Island, an alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge, based on Columbuss log. Evidence in support of this remains inconclusive, on the landfall island, Columbus made first contact with the Lucayan and exchanged goods with them. The Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to Hispaniola for use as forced labour, the slaves suffered from harsh conditions and most died from contracting diseases to which they had no immunity, half of the Taino died from smallpox alone. The population of the Bahamas was severely diminished, in 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers, led by William Sayle, migrated from Bermuda. These English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom and they settled New Providence, naming it Sayles Island after one of their leaders.
To survive, the settlers salvaged goods from wrecks, in 1670 King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas in North America
Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes
Charles Gravier, Count of Vergennes was a French statesman and diplomat. He served as Foreign Minister from 1774 during the reign of Louis XVI, Vergennes rose through the ranks of the diplomatic service during postings in Portugal and Germany before receiving the important post of Envoy to the Ottoman Empire in 1755. While there he oversaw complex negotiations that resulted from the Diplomatic Revolution before being recalled in 1768, after assisting a pro-French faction to take power in Sweden, he returned home and was promoted to foreign minister. Vergennes hoped that by giving French aid to the American rebels and he went on to be a dominant figure in French politics during the 1780s. Charles Gravier was born in Dijon, France in 1719 and his family were members of the country aristocracy. He spent his youth in a townhouse at Dijon and on the country estates. He had an elder brother Jean Gravier, marquis de Vergennes, born in 1718 and his mother died when he was three, and his father subsequently remarried.
Vergennes received his education from Jesuits in Dijon, Chavigny was an experienced diplomat and secret agent who had been made ambassador to Portugal. In 1743 Vergennes accompanied his uncle to the court of Charles VII who was the ruler of Bavaria and held the title of Holy Roman Emperor. Charles VII was a key ally of the French in the war against Austria. They next were instrumental in the agreement of the Union of Frankfurt, in November 1745 Chavigny was relieved of his post, and returned to France accompanied by Vergennes. The following year returned to Portugal to take up their previous posts there where they remained until 1749. After their return home and his uncle were now in favour with the French Foreign Minister Puiseulx, when Chavigny met Louis XV at Versailles, he lobbied for Vergennes to be given an appointment. In 1750 Vergennes was appointed as Ambassador to the Electorate of Trier, the Austrians had supplied the Emperors for centuries until 1740, when Charles VII of Bavaria had been elected triggering the War of the Austrian Succession.
The title eventually came back under Austrian control, and in 1748 the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was agreed bringing peace, the British strategy was directed by the Duke of Newcastle, the Northern Secretary and brother of the Prime Minister. Newcastle hoped the election would prevent a recurrence of the recent war, the French saw the proposal as part of a scheme by the British to boost their own power in Germany. Vergennes appointment was designed to frustrate the British plan, and Trier was considered a strategic spot for this mission. He worked at getting the ruler of Trier to withhold his vote from Joseph, in 1752 an attempt to settle the matter, Newcastle travelled to Hanover where a special Congress was convened
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the half of the Carolingian Empire. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy, in Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France, during the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War.
Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars, religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France, Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America, the Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the great powers in 1814. During the years of the elderly Charlemagnes rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks, after Charlemagnes death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Viking advances were allowed to increase, and their dreaded longboats were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other waterways, wreaking havoc. During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years. Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, and married Frances newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne. The death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line, under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman, so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois
American Revolutionary War
From about 1765 the American Revolution had led to increasing philosophical and political differences between Great Britain and its American colonies. The war represented a culmination of these differences in armed conflict between Patriots and the authority which they increasingly resisted. This resistance became particularly widespread in the New England Colonies, especially in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. On December 16,1773, Massachusetts members of the Patriot group Sons of Liberty destroyed a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor in an event that became known as the Boston Tea Party. Named the Coercive Acts by Parliament, these became known as the Intolerable Acts in America. The Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, establishing a government that removed control of the province from the Crown outside of Boston. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, and established committees, British attempts to seize the munitions of Massachusetts colonists in April 1775 led to the first open combat between Crown forces and Massachusetts militia, the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Militia forces proceeded to besiege the British forces in Boston, forcing them to evacuate the city in March 1776, the Continental Congress appointed George Washington to take command of the militia. Concurrent to the Boston campaign, an American attempt to invade Quebec, on July 2,1776, the Continental Congress formally voted for independence, issuing its Declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe began a British counterattack, focussing on recapturing New York City, Howe outmaneuvered and defeated Washington, leaving American confidence at a low ebb. Washington captured a Hessian force at Trenton and drove the British out of New Jersey, in 1777 the British sent a new army under John Burgoyne to move south from Canada and to isolate the New England colonies. However, instead of assisting Burgoyne, Howe took his army on a campaign against the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia. Burgoyne outran his supplies, was surrounded and surrendered at Saratoga in October 1777, the British defeat in the Saratoga Campaign had drastic consequences.
Giving up on the North, the British decided to salvage their former colonies in the South, British forces under Lieutenant-General Charles Cornwallis seized Georgia and South Carolina, capturing an American army at Charleston, South Carolina. British strategy depended upon an uprising of large numbers of armed Loyalists, in 1779 Spain joined the war as an ally of France under the Pacte de Famille, intending to capture Gibraltar and British colonies in the Caribbean. Britain declared war on the Dutch Republic in December 1780, in 1781, after the British and their allies had suffered two decisive defeats at Kings Mountain and Cowpens, Cornwallis retreated to Virginia, intending on evacuation. A decisive French naval victory in September deprived the British of an escape route, a joint Franco-American army led by Count Rochambeau and Washington, laid siege to the British forces at Yorktown. With no sign of relief and the situation untenable, Cornwallis surrendered in October 1781, Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tory majority in Parliament, but the defeat at Yorktown gave the Whigs the upper hand
Spain and the American Revolutionary War
Spains role in the independence of Britains Thirteen Colonies was part of its dispute over colonial supremacy with the Kingdom of Great Britain. Spain actively supported the Thirteen Colonies throughout the American Revolutionary War, beginning in 1776, it jointly funded Roderigue Hortalez and Company, a trading company that provided critical military supplies. Spain provided financing for the final Siege of Yorktown in 1781 with a collection of gold and silver in Havana, smuggling from New Orleans began in 1776, when General Charles Lee sent two Continental Army officers to request supplies from the New Orleans Governor, Luis de Unzaga. Unzaga, concerned about overtly antagonizing the British before the Spanish were prepared for war, Unzaga authorized the shipment of desperately needed gunpowder in a transaction brokered by Oliver Pollock, a Patriot and financier. When Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez was appointed Governor of New Orleans in January 1777, during the Seven Years War, the British had attacked and occupied two of Spains key trading ports and Manila in 1762.
In the peace settlement of 1763 Spain recovered Havana by ceding Florida, including St. Augustine, the Spanish ministers had concerns about Spains geographic neighbor Portugal, an ally of the British, and about Spains immensely wealthy treasure fleet that was due to sail from Havana. Genoese by birth and a shrewdly calculating politician by nature, Grimaldi demurred, You have considered your own situation, the moment is not yet come for us. The war with Portugal — France being unprepared, and our treasure ships from South America not being arrived — makes it improper for us to declare immediately. Meanwhile, Grimaldi reassured Lee, stores of clothing and powder were deposited at New Orleans and Havana for the Americans, by June 1779 the Spanish had finalized their preparations for war. The British cause seemed to be at a low ebb. The Spanish joined France in the war, implementing the Treaty of Aranjuez signed in April 1779, the siege of Gibraltar, June 16,1779 to February 7,1783, was the longest lasting Spanish action in the war.
Luis de Córdova y Córdova was unable to prevent Howes fleet returning home after resupplying Gibraltar in October 1782, in 1780 and 1781, Luis de Córdovas fleet captured America-bound British convoys, doing much damage to British military supplies and commerce. In the Caribbean, the effort was directed to prevent possible British landings in Cuba. Other goals included the reconquest of Florida, and the resolution of logging disputes involving the British in Belize and this secured the southern route for supplies and closed off the possibility of any British offensive into the western frontier of United States via the Mississippi River. When Spain entered the war, Britain went on the offensive in the Caribbean, at the end of the Seven Years War, France gave the Mississippi Valley to her ally Spain, in order to prevent it from coming under British control at the Treaty of Paris. The Spanish assisted the Thirteen Colonies in their campaigns in the American Midwest, in January 1778, Virginia Governor Patrick Henry authorized an expedition by George Rogers Clark, who captured the fort at Vincennes and secured the northern region of the Ohio for the rebels.
Clark relied on Gálvez and Oliver Pollock for support to supply his men with weapons and ammunition, the credit lines that Pollock established to purchase supplies for Clark were supposed to be backed by the state of Virginia. However, Pollock in turn had to rely on his own credit and Gálvez
Great Siege of Gibraltar
The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence. This was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers, at three years and seven months, it is the longest siege endured by the British Armed Forces. In 1738 a dispute between Spain and Great Britain arose over commerce between Europe and the Americas, a short time later, the War of Jenkins Ear began, and both countries declared war on 23 October 1739, each side drawing up plans to establish trenches near Gibraltar. Seeing these first movements, Britain ordered Admiral Vernon to sail from Portobello, the passage of years failed to break the hostilities in the region. Then on 9 July 1746, King Philip V of Spain died in Madrid and his successor, Ferdinand VI, soon began negotiations with Britain on trade. The British Parliament was amenable to such negotiations, and even looked favourably upon lifting the British embargo on Spain, the neutrality adopted by Ferdinand VI quickly ended with his death in 1759.
The new king, Charles III, was willing to negotiate with Great Britain. Instead, he signed a Family Compact with Louis XV of France on 15 August 1761, at that time France was at war with Britain, so Britain responded by declaring war on Spain and capturing the Spanish colonial capitals of Manila and Havana. Two years later, after cessation of hostilities, Spain recovered Manila, in the years of peace that followed both France and Spain hoped for an opportunity to launch a war against Britain on more favourable terms and recover their lost colonial possessions. Following the outbreak of the American War of Independence, both states supplied funding and arms to the American rebels, and drew up a strategy to intervene on the American side and defeat Britain. On 12 April 1779, France and Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez wherein they agreed to aid one another in recovering lost territory from Britain, then, in June 1779, Spain declared war on Great Britain, France having done so the year before.
The Spanish blockade was directed by Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor, Spanish ground forces were composed of two battalions of Royal Guards, another two of Walloon Guards, with artillery and cavalry, about 13,000 in all. The artillery was commanded by Rudesindo Tilly, while the cavalry, antonio Barceló commanded the maritime forces responsible for blockading the bay, and established his base in Algeciras, commanding a fleet of several xebecs and gunboats. A fleet of 11 ships and two frigates were placed in the Gulf of Cadiz under the command of Luis de Córdova y Córdova to block the passage of British reinforcements. All the defences were strengthened, and many of the infantry, including picked men, the garrison included contingents of Hanoverian and Corsican troops. The British had anticipated an attack for some time, and a number of ships had sailed to reinforce and supply Gibraltar. The combined Spanish and French fleets blockaded Gibraltar from the sea, while on the side a enormous army constructed forts, entrenchments.
General Eliott formed a corps of sharpshooters, as the winter of 1779 came down the garrison began to suffer from want of fresh provisions, which became very scarce and dear
Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a polymath and a leading author, political theorist, freemason, scientist, civic activist, statesman. As a scientist, he was a figure in the American Enlightenment. As an inventor, he is known for the rod, bifocals. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphias fire department and the University of Pennsylvania, Franklin earned the title of The First American for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation, in the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat. To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin the most accomplished American of his age, Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23.
He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richards Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym Richard Saunders, after 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies. He pioneered and was first president of The Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and he organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. His efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France, during the Revolution, he became the first US Postmaster General.
He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, from 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. He initially owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective, Franklins father, Josiah Franklin, was a tallow chandler, a soap-maker and a candle-maker. Josiah was born at Ecton, England on December 23,1657, the son of Thomas Franklin, a blacksmith-farmer, and Jane White. His mother, Abiah Folger, was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on August 15,1667, to Peter Folger, a miller and schoolteacher, and his wife, Mary Morrill, Josiah Franklin had seventeen children with his two wives. He married his first wife, Anne Child, in about 1677 in Ecton and emigrated with her to Boston in 1683, after her death, Josiah was married to Abiah Folger on July 9,1689 in the Old South Meeting House by Samuel Willard. Benjamin, their child, was Josiah Franklins fifteenth child and tenth
Richard Oswald (merchant)
Richard Oswald was a Scottish merchant, slave trader, and advisor to the British government on trade regulations and the conduct of the American War of Independence. He is best known as the British peace commissioner who in 1782 negotiated the Peace of Paris, Oswald was born in Scotland in 1705 to the Reverend George Oswald of Dunnet. As a young man he lived for six years in Virginia as a merchant and he returned to England and established himself in mercantile business in London for the next thirty years. While in London, he devoted a considerable amount of time to the African slave trade, in 1748, the firm of Alexander Grant, Richard Oswald, and Company purchased Bance Island, on the Sierra Leone River, where the Royal African Company had erected a fort. Oswald and his associates gained control of small islands through treaties with native chiefs. Oswald was instrumental in directing English businessmen to promising locales in America for growing rice, Oswalds extensive network of business connections served him well in building his slave-tradingempire.
Oswald was a premier networker of his day and he put together deals with investors who had immaculate connections, thus assuring himself of immediate social entree. This formula of connecting power-brokers was Oswalds stock-in-trade, and the key to his success, Oswald had a cadre of young merchants whom he trained. Among these was John Levett, brother of planter Francis, who was in Oswalds employ as a young man. Levett was born in Turkey to an English merchant father, and settled in India, as a former trader in the Levant, Levett was ready to help Indian silk merchants supplant the former Mediterranean silk trade, which had fallen off. The English merchants were sensitive to the vagaries of fashion, each year merchant Richard Oswald sent wigs to Levett in Calcutta, for instance. At the same time, Oswald associates like John Levett in Calcutta kept an eye on local trends, for instance, who had previously managed some German bread interests for Oswald, now planted cornfields in Bengal. As an active slave trader, Oswald always kept his finger on the pulse of the world markets.
When he needed Chinese laborers for his own estates, for instance, he approached John Levett in Calcutta, Oswald was particularly close to the Levett and Thoroton families, as well as to the Duke of Rutland. Thoroton, and others where jokes passed round the table about the settlements that would be needed to satisfy Mr. Thorotons nine children. Recently published research identifies Richard Oswald as the anonymous author of the encyclopedic two volume American Husbandry. In 1782, Oswald was selected by Lord Shelburne to open negotiations with the Americans. Because of his experience living in America and his knowledge of its geography and trade
France in the American Revolutionary War
France played a key role in the American Revolutionary War. Motivated by a rivalry with Britain and to avenge their territorial losses during the French and Indian War. By 1763, the French debt acquired to fight in the French and it set off Frances own fiscal crisis, in which a political brawl over taxation soon became one of the reasons for the French Revolution. The French objective in assisting the Americans was to weaken Britain, in 1777, America captured the British invasion army at Saratoga. In 1778, France recognized the United States of America as a nation, signed a military alliance. Benjamin Franklin served as the American ambassador to France from 1776 to 1785 and he met many leading diplomats, intellectuals, scientists. Franklins image and writings caught the French imagination, there were many images of Franklin being sold on the market, and he became the cultural icon of the archetypal new American. Franklin even became a hero for a call for new order inside France, having lost Canada in the Conquest of 1760, France wanted revenge.
Meanwhile, the American colonists and the British government began a dispute over whether Parliament in London, the ideological conflict escalated into open warfare in 1775, at which point the American patriots took control of each of the 13 colonies away from Royal officials. Britain refused to accept the independence, which had been rebuilding their Navy and other forces, now saw an opportunity to seriously weaken her perennial enemy. France bitterly resented her loss in the Seven Years War and sought revenge, the opportunity came following the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was well received in France, by both the general population and the aristocracy. The Revolution was perceived as the incarnation of the Enlightenment Spirit against the English tyranny, Benjamin Franklin, dispatched to France in December 1776 to rally its support, was welcomed with great enthusiasm. The French had become interested in the American Revolution from the outset and they saw the revolution as an opportunity to strip Britain of their North American possessions in retaliation for Frances loss of Canada a decade earlier.
At first, French support was covert, French agents sent the Patriots military aid through a company called Rodrigue Hortalez et Compagnie, estimates place the percentage of French supplied arms to the Americans in the Saratoga campaign up to 90%. By 1777, over five million livres of aid had been sent to the American rebels, motivated by the prospect of glory in battle or animated by the sincere ideals of liberty and republicanism, volunteers joined the American army such as Pierre Charles LEnfant. The most famous was Lafayette, a young aristocrat who defied the kings order. He became an aide to Washington and a combat general, more importantly, he solidified a favorable American view of France. Kramer argues that Lafayette provided a legitimacy for the war and confidence that there was serious European support for independence, Lafayettes personal style was highly attractive