March 15, 1783 A Pair of Spectacles

Today in History

Eight years after the “shot heard round the world“, the American Revolution had slowed to a standoff.  The great rebellion effectively came to an end in October 1781 with Lord Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, though no one knew it at that time.

King George III remained personally in favor of prosecuting the war even after the Patriot victory at Yorktown, while opinion in Parliament, was split.  Across the water, some 26,000 British troops remained in occupation in Charleston, Savannah and New York, backed up be a mighty fleet.

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The Americans’ greatest ally departed in 1782, never to return.  With state finances already prostrate with debt, l’Ancien régime (French: “the old order”) would be overthrown by its own revolution inside the next ten years, the French King Louis XVI and Queen Consort Marie Antoinette executed, by guillotine.

Negotiations carried on for nearly three years in Paris while, an hour’s drive…

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