Creating the Young Republic

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

From 1775 to 1781, the Continental Congress exercised control over American foreign relations through committees of Congress. The diplomacy of those years proved essential to the colonies’ success in the Revolutionary War. For instance, the Congress sent Benjamin Franklin to France in 1776 as part of a three-man commission with detailed instructions to negotiate a treaty and encourage French support in the war against Great Britain. As a result, French forces played a major role in the Revolutionary War, which was part of a greater Anglo-French conflict.

Benjamin Franklin, newly appointed commissioner carrying orders to negotiate a treaty with France, is received in Paris.

Benjamin Franklin, newly appointed commissioner carrying orders to negotiate a treaty with France, is received in Paris

 

Specific domestic duties assigned to the newly named Department of State included publication and preservation of laws, recording of commissions given to presidential appointees, and custody of the Great Seal of the United States.

Specific domestic duties assigned to the newly named Department of State included publication and preservation of laws, recording of commissions given to presidential appointees, and custody of the Great Seal of the United States.

 

The English Army, commanded by Lord Cornwallis, surrenders to the combined armies of the United States of America and France, under the orders of General Washington and General de Rochambeau, in Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781.

The English Army, commanded by Lord Cornwallis, surrenders to the combined armies of the United States of America and France, under the orders of General Washington and General de Rochambeau, in Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781.

 

Timothy Pickering, 1795-1800

Timothy Pickering
Secretary of State
1795-1800

John Marshall, 1800-1801

John Marshall
Secretary of State
1800-1801

James Madison, 1801-1809

James Madison
Secretary of State
1801-1809

Robert Smith, 1809-1811

Robert Smith
Secretary of State
1809-1811

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