France, Dean, Benjamin Benjamin Franklin discussed on American Revolution Podcast
Today's episode focused on France in the second half of seventeen seventy six silas deane was pretty much on his own in France with no diplomatic cla matic experience nor few other skills to succeed in his goals. Dean is one of those people you don't hear much about of course Benjamin Benjamin Franklin gets all the credit for involving France in the American 'cause when he arrives six months after Dean as we will hear in a future episode Franklin's owns fame preceded him and gave him many opportunities that Dean did not have dean also gets criticized later in the war for allegedly trying to profit it fraudulently from the arms trade that he began. I'll admit that I have not found as much detail on this topic as they would like some writers say there is some justification to these allegations but my impression so far is that these allegations were false or at the very least greatly exaggerated to move move him out of the way and allow Arthur Lee to take over the contracts. The Continental Army did hold hearings on the allegations something I'll probably address in a future sure episode but they found nothing. Unfortunately they could not completely exonerate him either since France seized most of the records of his dealings and refused to release them for fear that British would get them so no complete exoneration from Congress where we heard that before dean also drew some controversy near the end of the war after your Coun- when some of his personal letters were made public he had expressed rest concerns about whether an independent U._S. could really make it on its own and made some other rather pessimistic thoughts about the war effort he then died rather suddenly and suspiciously as he attempted to return to America again something I really want to cover in a future episode I mentioning all this now because it means that Dean never really did get the praise and adulation that many other founding fathers did his he's working. You're was always covered by a cloud of ethics accusation and much of it was kept secret. Ben Franklin got all the credit for the success of France and and Dean died before he could have any postwar political career to rehabilitate his reputation so when I went looking for a good biography on Dean there just wasn't much out there however while looking for that elusive biography I did come across this week's book recommendation. It's called called unlikely allies how a merchant a playwright and a spy save the Revolution by Joel Richard Paul. The book looks at the lives of three people the Merchant Silas team the playwright Bomar Shea and the spy the Chevalier de a young they all had stories that interacted and played a role in bringing France into the war on the side of the Patriots too young is the transgender spy that I mentioned in today's episode. The book goes into much more detail than I did about this person's life while the impact on on the revolution by this person was only indirect. The story is an interesting one and definitely worth reading the book was first published in two thousand nine nine and has over four hundred pages. The author Paul is a law professor specializing in international law a thankfully the book is not as dry hi as you might think from a law professor in fact I found it to be an easy and enjoyable read. Paul has also more recently written a book about Chief Justice Justice. John Marshall His book. Unlikely allies does a great job covering the early American diplomatic efforts in France so since S. today is all about France my online recommendation. This week is going to be the French history podcast which you can find at W._W._w.. Do the French history podcast dot com this podcast covers the very long history of France beginning actually in prehistory Gary Gerard does a great job with what looks to be a very long project at present he still going through the Roman era so it may be years before it reaches the era of the American revolution but if you're interested in French history you may want to check.