The warfare in the Middle Atlantic region settled almost to stagnation, but foreign aid was finally arriving. Agents of the new nation—notably Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, Silas Deane, and later John Adams—were striving to get help, and in 1777 Pierre de Beaumarchais had succeeded in getting arms and supplies sent to the colonials in time to help win the battle of Saratoga. That victory made it easier for France to enter upon an alliance with the United States, for which Franklin and the comte de Vergennes (the French foreign minister) signed (1778) a treaty. Spain entered the war against Great Britain in 1779, but Spanish help did little for the United States, while French soldiers and sailors and especially French supplies and money were of crucial importance.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.