De Broglies Armada: A Plan for the Invasion of England, 1765-1777

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Lyssna fritt i 30 dagar! The author does an excellent description of the French role in this endeavor. I think this book will be an essential tool to help graduate and undergraduate students, now and in the future, to understand, comprehend, and enjoy the academic field of European history. This manuscript brings to life historical perspective, which allows students to connect current political events and trace the common thread that brings the subject to reality. Sudipta Das, a naturalized U. This monograph represents her second major publication of historical study in European diplomatic history.

Du kanske gillar. Permanent Record Edward Snowden Inbunden. Lady in Waiting Anne Glenconner Inbunden. On the other hand, if this latter [the metropolis] caused them to be dependent on it because of its factories, it is by means of forced and prohibitive laws whose bonds they break by becoming free, by constructing factories of the same type and of which they have the primary material in their midst, and by opening their ports to all nations; such colonies are thus evidently destined one day to form an independent state from Europe, and the nature of things always mastering the events in the long run, such a natural destiny must be accomplished sooner or later.

This is thus the inevitable point that must form the basis of the diplomacy of England; she must have felt that the independence of her colonies in the continent of America was an inevitable revolution and that she was able to suspend it or delay it a few years by address or force but that there would arrive a time when no human effort could prevent it. Out of this, all of her diplomacy must have attempted to procure establishments that might lessen the loss of this vast continent; she was only able to obtain these compensations by attacking the House of Bourbon and by carrying off the Antilles.

This conquest assured her domination in this part of the seas of the new world. She acquired the exclusive property of several commodities—such as spices—that luxury has made necessary for us as well as for the Dutch; she opened for her factories an outlet nearly as abundant and secure as that of her former colonies; she thus acquired some establishments that she was no longer able 28 Chapter IV to lose and guarded only with the assistance of her fleets without being obliged to maintain costly garrisons there.

Nothing was easier for the English than to strike this great blow last year; we furnished them with a sufficient pretext to justify a war begun without any preliminaries of a declaration. Our commerce was secure; our navy, which has made immense progress for two years, was ineffective; our colonies were not in a state of defense, the six battalions of reinforcement that one has since sent there had still not arrived; the English troops in America numbered 50, men—an immense force in these areas and more than sufficient for all the conquests to be had at the expense of the House of Bourbon; their arms had not suffered any great defeat.

The congress, less proud, was able to accept accommodating dispositions. Thus, whether England comes to terms with her colonies or whether she takes the position of limiting herself to a naval war, never has she had a more brilliant or fortuitous occasion to amend her losses.

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But the end of their blindness must have finally arrived; they can no longer delude themselves about the fate of their American colonies; they must see that this is not a false uprising conducted by some ambitious persons but a unanimous confederation of all the provinces founded upon the thoughtful recognition of their position and their interests; moreover, they can no longer reasonably suppose to vanquish them and to dictate a temporary peace to them; they would not reduce them, and the inevitable loss of these rich possessions would only be deferred for a few years.

If these reflections do not sufficiently open the eyes of the English minister, the calculation of the resources that would be necessary to undertake a fourth campaign in America will end in overwhelming them.

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It would be necessary to send no less than 30, men to the army of General Howe only to redress it on the footing where it was at the beginning of the last campaign; whatever are the resources either outside or within England to furnish such reinforcement? There only remain 15, trained troops in the three realms of Gibraltar, Minorca, and the Isle of Wight.

Will she dismantle them under the current circumstances? Will this be those new levies of troops, those regiments offered by subscription about which their gazettes have made so much noise? The last campaign especially disgusted the German youth. With the disaster of Bourgoin having ramifications in large part upon the people of Brunswick, Hessse will not want to weaken herself; the landgrave received on this point very lively representations from the states of the country, and the Electorate of Hanover would easily have still 10, to 12, men to furnish, but England feels that there are more pressing and essential needs for which it is necessary to reserve them.

The King of Prussia is opposed to the departure of troops from Auspack, and finally, in the crisis where the Empire finds itself, it is not the moment for England to conclude new treaties. It will oblige her to block the ports of the insurgents and the entrance of the principal rivers and to maintain a large number of frigates to protect both her commerce and her operations.

This new endeavor would be almost as costly as the one she renounced without ever being able to ensure from this the benefit of subduing the country. Since a war of this nature only serves to sour the spirit instead of reducing it, the English would soon become, with respect to the Americans, what the Genoese— locked up in a few places, hesitant to come out, and even scoffed in their entrenchment—were with respect to the Corsican masters of the entire interior of their island.

Thus, in the supposition that they might succeed in remaining in these places by means of numerous garrisons and vessels for support, they would be at least easily chased from all the flatlands that they maintain in all the continent of America, such as in Canada, Florida, Nova Scotia; it would be there that the insurgents would direct all their effort, and thus these three provinces would be irreparably lost to England because they would not fail to enlarge the confederation and incorporate themselves into the new Republic.

All types of war with her colonies thus necessarily being equally ruinous and useless for England, the most reasonable course of action that she might able to follow would be to accommodate herself to them, but this very course offers the greatest difficulties. First of all, we could have acted before the English, and our alliance with the insurgents creates great hindrances to their vices and removes all types of resources from them. Even if our treaty was not ratified, England could negotiate an accommodation; these accommodations 30 Chapter IV would be no less difficult, and in effect, what could the conditions of this be and what would its basis be?

The insurgents will never renounce independence, and would the current ministry dare to recognize it? Would the nation forgive it for this? A portion of it believed up to now that honor is lost for England. If she does not suppress America, a new ministry composed of members of the opposition directed by Lord Chatham himself will find no fewer difficulties for an accommodation if independence is not the first article.

De Broglie's Armada: A Plan for the Invasion of England, 1765-1777

Lord Chatham spoke several times himself in his speech to parliament of a treaty of union; he said that it requires the English to form a familial pack with their American brothers—a remarkable expression that, alluding to our familiar pact, positively indicates what the plan of this ex-minister would be if he were to return to the head of affairs. But how did Lord Chatham understand this pact? He did not explain if he wanted to speak of a treaty of union on the model of that which subsists between England and Scotland—a formally insidious treaty to the disadvantage of Scotland and which converted the realm into a simple province of England.

The goal of those who fight is independence without compromise or restriction; after learning about the proposal of Lord Chatham, Doctor Franklin said that one does not become brothers when one was a master. The insurgents no longer have to consent to an exclusive treaty of commerce in compensation of recognition of their independence. For such spirits as those of Adams, Hancock, Franklin, and the other congressional leaders who are so enlightened and advanced in the true principles of politics and administration, would one create illusions on a treaty of commerce that—if it is advantageous for England—could only be detrimental to America?

De Broglie's Armada: A Plan for the Invasion of England, 1765-1777

This is not the effervescence of a moment, this is not fanaticism, this is not a feeling of vengeance or of persecution that placed arms into the hands of the insurgents. To repeat, this is the thoughtful recognition of their situation and their interests. At the same time as they had recourse to arms, they declared themselves free, and they drafted one of the best devised and most generally approved plans of the Republic. Such people have made their decision. In effect, they want to be free; they want to exist alone, and their plan of commerce is to open their ports to all nations. Consequently, everything must lead England back to the first plan that her real interest dictates to her and that she should have undertaken last year—that of attacking the House of Bourbon and recuperating from this the immense loss that is caused by the defection of her colonies.

By making this decision, peace with her colonies—which we have demonstrated as so burdensome and so difficult to negotiate—becomes easier and smoother; the English nation can thus without humiliation recognize the independence, her pride is sheltered behind the necessity of the circumstances; she renounces separating herself from her children, her brothers, her compatriots in order to unite and turn against her natural enemies who profited from her distress and against whom she will not fail to avenge her grievances.

So will the consul of St. James speak to parliament, and whether the ministry subsists such as it is or whether it will undergo a revolution that may create new members, the day that it will make this great decision will be applauded with great enthusiasm. If it is the current ministry, one will forgive it for everything; if it is a new one, one will say that it saved everything. By recognizing the independence, by evacuating all that the English troops occupy in the United States of America, by not insisting upon any treaty of privileged commerce that is consequently contrary to the interests of the new republic, there are still some conditions that would make the peace very advantageous to England.

If she was able to secure it, such would be the promise of congress: Feeling how dangerous it is for public liberty to keep a large army in a state of preparedness for too long a period, the enlightened minds and good spirits that set the foundation of this nascent state must especially fear those individuals who grow accustomed to the easy regularity of military allowances and the insupportable license of war later, who have trouble returning into peaceful or laboring classes of the other orders of citizens.

They must particularly fear those heads of the army who have grown accustomed to the honors and the rights of command and who are likely to be 32 Chapter IV always tempted because of this to dominate the congress or to become the first subjects of a master that would shower them with dignity and riches. To this general interest that must cause the congress to lean toward an accommodation, it is necessary to add that other interest born of the bonds of blood, language, nation, correspondence, and habit that the war did not generally break and that could regain their influence as soon as England will offer both liberty and peace.

One even believes that this is assured. We will return to it while dealing in the second part of this memoir with the situation and the interests of France, but while supposing that this treaty exists, it cannot be long before it is discovered, and England will only have more motives still to go to war against us; she will attack us out of a desire for vengeance, and her passion will thus be brought to an extreme; she must do this because of selfinterest and common sense in order not to allow this alliance the time to solidify and unite its forces.

England20 has an interest in attacking France as soon as she is able to do so. Apart from the crisis in which she finds herself in relation to her colonies, there is a reason that must suffice alone to influence her. This is the progress of our navy; today we have fifty vessels of the line; in one year we will have sixty; in two years a replacement navy will fill our arsenals and our warehouses.

She must fear the same progress on the part of Spain; the same policies can engage her [Spain] to undertake the same efforts.

For a century, this is the first and the most essential object of the jealousy and the just worries of England; this is what made her go to war in and what in effect determines her because her role as a great power in Europe can only exist through her maritime superiority.

Could she suddenly see herself deprived of it? One must admit that this must not be presumed. It remains to examine what England can hope to accomplish in attacking the House of Bourbon and what resources she has to do it. This conquest—which would have just been an easy invasion for her last year if she had suddenly employed all the forces that she had in America without a declaration of war—would be without doubt more difficult today, but it is still quite necessary that this should be impossible for her.

In effect what do we have to oppose her with in the Antilles? Deciding to go to war against France, England can cover her plans until the moment that she will put them into action; she can send only seven to eight thousand men of reinforcement to this part of the world under the pretext of continuing [the war] in America, and can thus employ with these forces— which would be reunited or combined with the remainder of those of Howe— approximately 23, men in the invasion of our islands.

This attack— certainly more to fear several months ago—could be still undertaken with sufficient secrecy and quickness that the news might not reach us in France until the moment of its execution; let us remember what they did in Havana and in Martinique with 14, landing troops and seventeen or eighteen vessels.

Our islands were garrisoned with an equal number of troops as of today; St. Dominique was even more so garrisoned. Spain had a flotilla of twelve vessels in the port of Havana, and we had a squadron of eight vessels in Santa Domingo. Pondicherry is open and without defense; our warehouses on all the coasts of India only exist as a result of their permission, and we buy their scraps at the price of gold and humiliation. The Isles de France and de Bourbon are without troops, position, artillery, or munitions.

Four English vessels on the high seas with a landing party of two thousand European soldiers and three or four thousand Cipayes foot soldiers whom they will pick up at Madras and the other possessions can take from us our weak establishments in these regions and irreparably close to us the seas of Asia, and a simple summons will suffice to steal from us that which we retain in this part of the world. With much probability and success, this is what England can undertake against us.

With the exception of Havana, with which the court of Madrid seems to be greatly occupied, the Spanish colonies offer them perhaps still more of a prize; they are almost all without resources, and the example of the Philippines will be repeated everywhere without doubt. Here is such a plan that cannot only hinder the English and prevent them from thinking about these conquests but that even cause them to tremble. They still have a considerable navy to use against us, and their use of it is assuredly dictated to them by our situation; the objective must be to contain us in our ports and to prevent the conjunction of our reinforcements.

It is established and according to reports worthy of faith that they have forty vessels prepared or on the verge of so being and perhaps even more; they only have to send a portion of them before Brest and the remainder to Cabo de Finisterre; they will occupy all at once our navy at Brest and that of Spain; they will prevent the junction of our squadron at Toulon if one delays any longer to send it to sea. Thus will they have—with two large flotillas stationed as one just described—the advantage of two skillful armies that have taken the offensive and have maneuvered in order to assist one another over forces that are perhaps superior but broken in five or six places and reduced to assembling under the hazards of combination and events.

It is necessary to add that the English navy is surely superior to us in the art of grasping the wind and the sea and of having in abundance the means of replacement. She maintains herself [in such a state] in all varieties of weather and seasons. Finally, provided that—by starting the war—they succeed through this offensive approach in holding us in our ports for only three months—they have theirs [vessels?

One emphasizes that the English are without sailors, that they have never been able to form the crews of their observation flotillas, and that the forced enlistment of recruits has been attempted for eighteen months in their country without much success. It is necessary to keep on guard against creating extensive illusions on this supposed scarcity.

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It will be the same for the infantry as for the sailors; whether England comes to an agreement with her colonies or whether she only renounces the continental war with them, her infantry will thus suffice; what exhausts her and is beyond her means is this army of conquest that no other power would be capable of feeding and maintaining at the distance at which it operates; with the same subsidies that she consumes in buying twenty-five thousand Germans to employ them in America, she would hire double that in Europe.

Without doubt, she is not in a position to renew the efforts that she made on the continent, and the pompous show that public papers make on this account is only a ridiculous ostentation, but she will find resources as soon as it will no longer be a question of forming an army for the defense of England. Whether she assembles her militia, whether she calls up ten to twenty thousand Hanoverians who are still at her disposition, whether she places at the head of this army a general whose reputation inspires some confidence, she will find herself in a state of defense.

One does not conclude from this however that England is shielded from an invasion on the part of France, but this invasion will require on our part greater preparations than in the current state, in which she [England] would have to fear not being able to resist mediocre efforts. As long as things remain in this state, one will not be able to fool oneself in seeing the English succumb to the efforts of their enemies as a result of pecuniary measures; even with France able to see that her credit and her resources in this area do not give her a real and marked advantage over England. All that one has said in this regard is summarized in the following arguments.

It is impossible to continue the type of war that England maintains in America today; it consumes her interest and her funds and can never procure for her a proportionate and durable compensation; that which England would substitute by attacking the House of Bourbon will hardly be more expensive, and if fortune is favorable to her—especially if we fail to prevent or stop its progress—it will provide her with the resources of repairing all her losses.