Treaty of Amity and Commerce (USA-France)

Treaty of Amity and Commerce (USA-France)

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce (also known as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and France), along with its sister document the Treaty of Alliance, was one of two treaties signed on February 6, 1778 in Paris, France between the United States and France. The treaty established a commercial alliance between these two nations and was signed during the American Revolutionary War.


From the onset of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the Continental Congress, spurred on by Benjamin Franklin, realized that they needed to look for support from the European nations. However, at that point they did not actively seek support because they were hoping for a reconciliation with Great Britain, and support from a European nation would be an act equivalent to declaring independence. The turning point was in August 1775 when King George III declared that the American Colonies were in a state of rebellion. By May 1776 King Louis XVI of France was secretly sending support in the form of money and arms to the Americans.

Although money and arms were needed the hope was to draw France into the war against her traditional enemy. With this in mind Congress in the fall of 1776 sent a commission to Paris to negotiate an alliance, this commission was made up of Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee. France was hesitant to ally with the Americans because they were not sure if the Americans would be able to defeat the British. This changed when on December 4 1778 when word arrived in France of a British Army's surrender to the Americans at the Battle of Saratoga. Within a few days Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, the French Foreign Minister, invited the commission to renew their proposal for an Alliance with France. [Robert Middlekauff, "The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789" (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 402-411.]


United States

Benjamin Franklin

Silas Deane

Arthur Lee


Conrad Alexandre Gérard de Rayneval


*Peace and friendship between the U.S. and France
*Mutual Most Favored Nation status with regard to commerce and navigation
*Mutual protection of all vessels and cargo when in U.S. or French jurisdiction
*Ban on fishing in waters possessed by the other with exception of the Banks of Newfoundland
*Mutual right for citizens of one country to hold land in other's territory
*Mutual right to search a ship of the other's coming out of a enemy port for contraband
*Right to due process of law if contraband is found on an allied ship and only after being Officially declared contraband may it be seized
*Mutual protection of Men of War and privateers and their crews from harm from the other party and reparations to be paid if this provision is broken
*Restoration of stolen property taken by pirates
*Right of Ships of War and privateers to freely carry ships and goods taken for their enemy
*Mutual assistance, relief, and safe harbor to ships, both of War and Merchant, in crisis in the other's territory
*Neither side may commission privateers against the other nor allow foreign privateers that are enemies of either side to use their ports
*Mutual right to trade with enemy states of the other as long as those goods are not contraband
*If the two nations become enemies six months protection of merchant ships in enemy territory
*To prevent quarrels between allies all ships must carry passports and cargo manifests
*If two ships meet Ships of War and Privateers must stay out of cannon range but may board the merchant ship to inspect her passports and manifests
*Mutual Right to inspection of a ships cargo to only happen once
*Mutual right to have Counsuls, Vice Counsuls, Agents, and Commissaries of one nation in the other's ports
*France grants one or more ports under its control to be free ports to ships of the United States


The Treaty was received by Congress on May 2 1778 and ratified on May 4 1778 by unanimous vote, however, not all states were represented in the vote. It is certain that New Hampshire and North Carolina were not present for the vote. It is doubted whether Delaware was present and Massachusetts' presence is uncertain. Urgency overrode the necessity of having all thirteen states ratify the document. ["Treaty of Amity and Commerce: 1778 - Hunter Miller's Notes," "The Avalon Project at Yale Law School". [] ]

The Treaty was ratified by France on July 16 1778. [Mary A. Giunta, ed., "Documents of the Emerging Nation: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1775-1789" (Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1998), 59.]

Articles 11 and 12

The day after ratification Congress expressed a desire that Articles 11 and 12 "be revoked and utterly expunged." These two articles dealt with a duty on and exportation of molasses. On September 1 1778 they were formally suppressed and in France where the first printing of the treaty came in October, there was no reference to Articles 11 and 12. Thus, by omitting the original articles 11 and 12 all subsequent aricles had to be renumbered and the original article 13 became article 11. ["Hunter Miller's Notes."]



Giunta, Mary A., ed. "Documents of the Emerging Nation: U.S. Foreign Relations 1775-1789." Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1998.
Middlekauff, Robert. "The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789." New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

"Treaty of Amity and Commerce," "The Avalon Project at Yale Law School". Accessed 30 March 2008.

"Treaty of Amity and Commerce: 1778 - Hunter Miller's Notes,"The Avalon Project at Yale Law School". Accessed 30 March 2008.

ee also

*List of treaties

External links

* [ Avalon Project - Treaty of Amity and Commerce]
* [ Avalon Project - Treaty of Amity and Commerce:1778 - Hunter Miller's Notes]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Treaty of Amity and Commerce — There have been at least two treaties named the Treaty of Amity and Commerce: * Treaty of Amity and Commerce (USA France), signed 1778. * Treaty of Amity and Commerce (USA Japan), also known as the Harris Treaty, signed 1858. * Treaty of Amity… …   Wikipedia

  • Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan — Japan US Treaty of Mutual Security and Cooperation, 19 January 1960. United States Japan Security Treaty Type Military Alliance Signed 19 January …   Wikipedia

  • Treaty ports — This article refers to ports in East Asia. For the Anglo Irish Treaty ports, see Treaty Ports (Ireland). Treaty ports were port cities in China, Japan and Korea opened to foreign trade by the Unequal Treaties.The first five treaty ports in China… …   Wikipedia

  • Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact — Soviet Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 April 1941 …   Wikipedia

  • Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement — ▪ 2006 Introduction Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.… …   Universalium

  • Macau — Aomen redirects here. For the island in the Pacific Ocean, see Aomen (Bikini Atoll). For other uses, see Macau (disambiguation). Coordinates: 22°10′N 113°33′E / 22.167°N 113.55°E …   Wikipedia

  • Japan–United Kingdom relations — This page describes the history of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan. This began in 1600 with the arrival of William Adams (Adams the Pilot, Miura Anjin ) on the shores of Kyūshū at Usuki in Ōita Prefecture. During the Sakoku… …   Wikipedia

  • Peace of Paris (1783) — The Peace of Paris (1783) was the set of treaties which ended the American Revolutionary War. On 3 September 1783, representatives of King George III of Great Britain signed a treaty in Paris with representatives of the United States of America… …   Wikipedia

  • Imperial Japanese Navy — (IJN) 大日本帝國海軍 (Dai Nippon Teikoku Kaigun) …   Wikipedia

  • Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute — Timeline of de facto control February 1764 – April 1767  France January 1765 – July 1770 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”