How did French officers and soldiers learn about the freedoms gained by American citizens?
When the American Revolution started in 1776, France immediately saw it as an opportunity to weaken the British Empire. They secretly began sending supplies to the colonies, especially gunpowder. During this time, Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the American ambassador to France. During his time as ambassador, Franklin earned the respect and admiration of the French and he served as a shining example of American democracy. In 1777, after the Americans had beaten the British at the Battle of Saratoga, the French realized that the Americans had a real chance at winning the war. They continued to send supplies, but they also began to send soldiers and ships to aid the Americans in the war effort. The soldiers and officers that France sent to America worked closely with American soldiers, spent their money on American goods, and endeared themselves to the local populace. Meanwhile, France was being ruled by an absolute monarch, and the upper classes of French society lived in luxury while the majority of people starved and suffered. Many French soldiers and officers were tired of the monarchy and they were inspired by the American Revolution and the idea of a democracy built on equality for all.