The Franco-American Alliance

On this date in 1778, the United States and France signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. France recognized America as an independent nation and offered trade concessions. The two nations also signed a Treaty of Alliance, which stipulated that if France entered the war, neither country would lay down its arms until America won its independence, that neither would conclude peace with Britain without the consent of the other, and that each guaranteed the other’s possessions in America. This was the only bilateral defense treaty signed by the United States until 1949 (NATO).