This is a comprehensive look at how France influenced the American Revolutionary War in a variety of ways; intellectually, financially, and militarily. It raises the crucial question of whether America could have won its independence without the aid of France. The book begins with an overview of the intellectual and ideological contributions of the French Enlightenment thinkers, called the philosophes, to the American and French revolutions. It then moves to cover the many forms of aid provided by France to support America during the Revolutionary War. This ranged from the covert aid France supplied America before her official entry into the war, to the French outfitters and merchants who provided much-needed military supplies to the Americans. When the war began, the colonists thought the French would welcome an opportunity to retaliate and regain their country. France also provided naval assistance, particularly to the American privateers who harassed British shipping and contributed to the increased shipping rates which added to Great Britain's economic hardships. France's military involvement in the war was equally as important.