Quiz: With a Little Help From Our Friends...

Vrylakas

The Verbose Lord
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Like all good national histories, the story of the American Revolution in the U.S. is taught nowadays almost exclusively in terms of how the rebels themselves fought and organized the war, with some deference to the French allies. However, as the historian Samuel Bemis observed,

"...once the American Insurrection broke out it precipitated a combination of factors and set in motion a train of events that engulfed the whole world in war."

Most Americans are not aware of the extent their little tift with the British spread around the world, and few outside of the U.S. are interested enough to bother studying it. This of course crosses paths with another thread in the History forum on the topic of what constitutres a world war, but I'll sidestep that now. Instead, here's a quiz on both how other countries became involved in a rebellion by obscure imperial colonies, and how the Revolution had a far wider impact than London, Philadelphia and Savannah. Multiple questions can have the same country as an answer:

1. Johannes de Graaff, Dutch Governor of St. Eustatius, was summoned home to explain his actions in the Andrew Doria incident of 16. November, 1776. What happened in that incident that nearly brought the United Provinces into the war in 1776?

2. True or False: In June, 1779 Spain joined Franco-American alliance against Britain?

3. In response to the actions of the belligerents in the American Revolution, Russia made a sweeping proposal on 29. February, 1780, and was soon joined by Sweden, Denmark, and the Hanseatic cities. When the United Provinces joined this Russian project, Britain declared war against the Dutch (20. December, 1780). What was this Russian project?

4. One of the signatories to this Russian project had also signed a secret treaty with the Americans and given them the first of a series of substantial loans that would be decisive for the Americans in their war effort. What country was this?

5. The future president John Adams was officially appointed as an American envoy to what two countries during the Revolution?

6. What country was a major supplier of naval stores to the Americans (though indirectly, on Dutch ships) because they wanted a foothold in cross-Atlantic trade?

7. Who was the only European state to comply with the British demand that all trade with the American colonists cease and their agents be arrested on sight?

8. In 1772, Russia, Prussia and Austria began the first of three partitions of Poland. What significance did this have for the American Revolution?

9. Who is modern Galveston, Texas named after?

10. After the Battle of Yorktown in September 1781, these two countries proposed a broad peace conference involving all the belligerents but George III refused to negotiate with the colonists. Eventually two years later these same two would facilitate the negotiations that would end the war. Who were they?

11. After the Peace of Teschen (modern Cieszyn, Poland) on 13. May, 1779, the Prussians vigorously supported France's pro-American policy. Why?

12. In 1780, Britain offered the island of Minorca to what country in exchange for its joining an anti-Bourbon (France and Spain) alliance?

13. In April 1782, the British established a separate parliament with its own sovereignty in Ireland; what significance was this to the American Revolution?

14. What the hell did Negapatam (eastern Indian coast) and Malaysia have to do with the American Revolution?

15. At the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, a large combined Franco-American force beseiged the British ramparts. The French Army under the Comte de Rochambeau actually let the American Continental Army take the lead, nominally assenting to George Washington's command. However, French participation in this crucial battle of the Revolution was indeed critical and decisive; how?

16. The Americans manufactured their own gunpowder during the Revolution but lacked a critical ingredient, saltpetre. From where did they get most of their saltpetre (along with a host of other important war supplies)?

17. The British were fighting to retain their American colonies in the American Revolution (obviously) but financially there was real estate within the British Empire that was far more valuable, so much so that London was willing to strip 5000 soldiers from occupation duty in Philadelphia in 1778 to protect these other possessions, despite Washington's threat with the re-occupation of New Jersey. What was this other real estate?

18. In 1776 the Sultan of Tripoli de facto recognized American independence, and what's even stranger is that London didn't do anything to stop them. Why?

19. Why did the Ottoman Empire soon regret the American Revolution?

20. In 1783, the British and the Americans, and the British and the French had all agreed to through both direct and mediated talks on the conditions for peace. So why couldn't the war stop?

21. How was this impasse resolved?

Good luck folks!
 
I looked very briefly into this, and I am not any expert on this subject. But for number 7, I could amost bet it was Portugal. We were doing everything the british wanted in those days.
 
It's been quite a while, hasn't it? :) Wild guesses coming now.....

2. True or False: In June, 1779 Spain joined Franco-American alliance against Britain?
Not sure about the date but the Spanish did eventually join the French in aiding the colonies. They had a historical score to pick with the Brits (even today). Yes?

3. In response to the actions of the belligerents in the American Revolution, Russia made a sweeping proposal on 29. February, 1780, and was soon joined by Sweden, Denmark, and the Hanseatic cities. When the United Provinces joined this Russian project, Britain declared war against the Dutch (20. December, 1780). What was this Russian project?
A trade embargo against Great Britain? Seriously, no idea though. :)

4. One of the signatories to this Russian project had also signed a secret treaty with the Americans and given them the first of a series of substantial loans that would be decisive for the Americans in their war effort. What country was this?
Holland I guess; Armsterdam being the financial center of Europe still at this time.

5. The future president John Adams was officially appointed as an American envoy to what two countries during the Revolution?
France. And Spain?

6. What country was a major supplier of naval stores to the Americans (though indirectly, on Dutch ships) because they wanted a foothold in cross-Atlantic trade?
Some of the German states? Cos their intl trade would flow out thru Holland IIRC.

7. Who was the only European state to comply with the British demand that all trade with the American colonists cease and their agents be arrested on sight?
Really wild guess - Portugal. :)

11. After the Peace of Teschen (modern Cieszyn, Poland) on 13. May, 1779, the Prussians vigorously supported France's pro-American policy. Why?
To divert the British fr meddling in Eastern Europe?

14. What the hell did Negapatam (eastern Indian coast) and Malaysia have to do with the American Revolution?
Huh, Malaysia? The Brits turned their attention here once they lost their American colonies?

15. At the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, a large combined Franco-American force beseiged the British ramparts. The French Army under the Comte de Rochambeau actually let the American Continental Army take the lead, nominally assenting to George Washington's command. However, French participation in this crucial battle of the Revolution was indeed critical and decisive; how?
Showed the Brits that the French were indeed serious in supporting the Americans militarily?

16. The Americans manufactured their own gunpowder during the Revolution but lacked a critical ingredient, saltpetre. From where did they get most of their saltpetre (along with a host of other important war supplies)?
The Spanish in the south?

17. The British were fighting to retain their American colonies in the American Revolution (obviously) but financially there was real estate within the British Empire that was far more valuable, so much so that London was willing to strip 5000 soldiers from occupation duty in Philadelphia in 1778 to protect these other possessions, despite Washington's threat with the re-occupation of New Jersey. What was this other real estate?
India?

19. Why did the Ottoman Empire soon regret the American Revolution?
Encouraged their vassals to break away?
 
Originally posted by Vrylakas

19. Why did the Ottoman Empire soon regret the American Revolution?

Weren't the Ottomans supporting the Barbary pirates? Just a guess. :)

/bruce
 
I apologize for the delay in getting back to this. I tried yesterday in the evening but found TF's message about problems with replies to threads, and tried again today during lunch but the site wasn't up.

MCdread wrote:

I looked very briefly into this, and I am not any expert on this subject. But for number 7, I could amost bet it was Portugal. We were doing everything the british wanted in those days.

Yes! Right on! And I thought it'd take people a while to get that one...
 
K-D, my Man in Asia! I knew I could count on you for an answer in the "What if...?" Soviet History thread....;)

Knight-Dragon wrote:

Re: Quiz: With a Little Help From Our Friends...
It's been quite a while, hasn't it? Wild guesses coming now.....


Most of my life has been wild guesses.

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2. True or False: In June, 1779 Spain joined Franco-American alliance against Britain?
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Not sure about the date but the Spanish did eventually join the French in aiding the colonies. They had a historical score to pick with the Brits (even today). Yes?

Very close. You are technically correct, though you've skirted around what is a trick question. The date is fine; it's that while the Spanish did join the French in their effort to aid the American colonies against the British (Convention of Aranjuez), they never joined any Franco-American alliance. The Spanish joined the war to extract some gains from the British, but equally hoped the American colonists would fail. At French insistence they provided some very valuable help to the colonists (which is a part of an answer to one of the questions below) but the Spanish Bourbons had no desire to see a colonial people set free - lest it inspire their own colonists to revolt (which they did a few decades after the success of the American Revolution with Simon Bolivar, etc). That technical detail was my point; that the Spanish joined the French but not the Americans, though the colonists still did benefit from Spain's help.

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3. In response to the actions of the belligerents in the American Revolution, Russia made a sweeping proposal on 29. February, 1780, and was soon joined by Sweden, Denmark, and the Hanseatic cities. When the United Provinces joined this Russian project, Britain declared war against the Dutch (20. December, 1780). What was this Russian project?
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A trade embargo against Great Britain? Seriously, no idea though.

Verrrrrryyy close, but no. Russia's proposal became an important first develop of an aspect of international law that still exists today. As a hint, questions 3, 4 & 6 are all tied to the fact that there was a growing trade in the Baltic Sea that was initially dominated by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, though that was changing.

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4. One of the signatories to this Russian project had also signed a secret treaty with the Americans and given them the first of a series of substantial loans that would be decisive for the Americans in their war effort. What country was this?
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Holland I guess; Armsterdam being the financial center of Europe still at this time.

Yes!

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5. The future president John Adams was officially appointed as an American envoy to what two countries during the Revolution?
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France. And Spain?

France yes, but Spain wouldn't see any American envoy. Who else was important for the Americans...?

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6. What country was a major supplier of naval stores to the Americans (though indirectly, on Dutch ships) because they wanted a foothold in cross-Atlantic trade?
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Some of the German states? Cos their intl trade would flow out thru Holland IIRC.

The 2nd part of your answer is correct about the Dutch, but this country is much farther east in the Baltic.

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7. Who was the only European state to comply with the British demand that all trade with the American colonists cease and their agents be arrested on sight?
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Really wild guess - Portugal.

Really wild answer - yes! MCdread has it right when he mentioned that the anti-Spanish Portuguese were very compliant with the British at that time.

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11. After the Peace of Teschen (modern Cieszyn, Poland) on 13. May, 1779, the Prussians vigorously supported France's pro-American policy. Why?
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To divert the British fr meddling in Eastern Europe?

Right idea, wrong country. The Peace of Teschen was brokered by the French and Russians to force the Habsburgs to give up any pretensions they had to ruling Bavaria (Bayern). At one point the Russians mobilized an army in Galicia to threaten the country in question to sign this treaty.

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14. What the hell did Negapatam (eastern Indian coast) and Malaysia have to do with the American Revolution?
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Huh, Malaysia? The Brits turned their attention here once they lost their American colonies?

Yes! In typical 18th century fashion peace treaties weren't just occasions to discuss the end of a war, but everything that bothered any particular state was on the table and included in the final treaty. In this way, the British received a compensation for losing the American colonies in the Treaty of Paris that ended the war in the form of the port of Negapatam in India and free passage through the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) for British ships - with an aim towards allowing British expansion into Malaysia. Nice, eh?

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15. At the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, a large combined Franco-American force beseiged the British ramparts. The French Army under the Comte de Rochambeau actually let the American Continental Army take the lead, nominally assenting to George Washington's command. However, French participation in this crucial battle of the Revolution was indeed critical and decisive; how?
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Showed the Brits that the French were indeed serious in supporting the Americans militarily?

Sorry, more substantial than that.

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16. The Americans manufactured their own gunpowder during the Revolution but lacked a critical ingredient, saltpetre. From where did they get most of their saltpetre (along with a host of other important war supplies)?
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The Spanish in the south?

No. Although you got the "south" part right.

quote:
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17. The British were fighting to retain their American colonies in the American Revolution (obviously) but financially there was real estate within the British Empire that was far more valuable, so much so that London was willing to strip 5000 soldiers from occupation duty in Philadelphia in 1778 to protect these other possessions, despite Washington's threat with the re-occupation of New Jersey. What was this other real estate?
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India?

No. Completely off.

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19. Why did the Ottoman Empire soon regret the American Revolution?
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Encouraged their vassals to break away?

All Europe's monarchies were concerned about that, but no, there was a much more immediate problem the American Revolution created for the Porte.

Great run K-D!
 
DingBat wrote:

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Originally posted by Vrylakas

19. Why did the Ottoman Empire soon regret the American Revolution?

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Weren't the Ottomans supporting the Barbary pirates? Just a guess.

/bruce


Sorry Bruce, although you've unwittingly supplied the answer for another question...
 
Originally posted by Vrylakas
K-D, my Man in Asia! I knew I could count on you for an answer in the "What if...?" Soviet History thread....;)
You quoted me by name. Can't leave you in the lurch then, can I? :lol:

3) Verrrrrryyy close, but no. Russia's proposal became an important first develop of an aspect of international law that still exists today. As a hint, questions 3, 4 & 6 are all tied to the fact that there was a growing trade in the Baltic Sea that was initially dominated by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, though that was changing.
The right of neutral states to trade freely with all parties/sides involved in a war?

5) France yes, but Spain wouldn't see any American envoy. Who else was important for the Americans...?
Holland then. :)

6) The 2nd part of your answer is correct about the Dutch, but this country is much farther east in the Baltic.
Sweden? Or maybe Russia?

16) No. Although you got the "south" part right.
The French colonies in the south? Spanish Florida?

17) No. Completely off.
Not India.... Canada?

19) All Europe's monarchies were concerned about that, but no, there was a much more immediate problem the American Revolution created for the Porte.
This must be the one to do with the Barbary pirates. The Americans participated in piracy in N Africa, joining up with the pirates to disrupt British shipping? :eek:
 
Knight-Dragon wrote:

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3) Verrrrrryyy close, but no. Russia's proposal became an important first develop of an aspect of international law that still exists today. As a hint, questions 3, 4 & 6 are all tied to the fact that there was a growing trade in the Baltic Sea that was initially dominated by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, though that was changing.
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The right of neutral states to trade freely with all parties/sides involved in a war?

Yes!!! Ekaterina of Russia created the League of Armed Neutrality (along with Denmark, Sweden, the Hanseatic cities and eventually the Dutch) that forced the legal concept of the rights of neutrals to trade with all sides of a conflict onto Britain. This same right has been tested and twisted since, but still remains. The Dutch had controlled almost all sea trade in the Baltic but the Danes, Swedes and hanseatic ports were just beginning to break it - when the British suddenly began to take things over. Also, the British were concerned about Silesian timber being used for French ships. This created the anti-British naval coalition of the Armed League.

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5) France yes, but Spain wouldn't see any American envoy. Who else was important for the Americans...?
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Holland then.

Yes! Adams traveled often between Paris and Amsterdam.

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6) The 2nd part of your answer is correct about the Dutch, but this country is much farther east in the Baltic.
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Sweden? Or maybe Russia?

Russia! The Russians (like all European royalists) didn't want to see the American colonists succeed but they thought the British were only going about things half-prepared and they thought the Americans might succeed. They thought this would be a good opportunity to begin to muscle into the cross-Atlantic trade Russia had so far missed, and so they supplied much in the way of naval supplies to the grateful Americans, though as I mentioned on third party (Dutch) ships. Hence the League of Armed Neutrality...

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16) No. Although you got the "south" part right.
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The French colonies in the south? Spanish Florida?

Farther south, farther south....

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17) No. Completely off.
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Not India.... Canada?

16 and 17 are actually the same answer. It also explains the British' behavior.

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19) All Europe's monarchies were concerned about that, but no, there was a much more immediate problem the American Revolution created for the Porte.
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This must be the one to do with the Barbary pirates. The Americans participated in piracy in N Africa, joining up with the pirates to disrupt British shipping?

Both you and Bruce have picked up what is the answer for another question. The answer for this one is a bit more obscure, one of those, "When the cat is away, the mouse will play..." type things.

K-D - when do you sleep? No matter what time I'm on these forums, you're here! :crazyeyes

Another good run!
 
#17 Wasn't this the British possesions in the Carribbean? I believe that the sugar they were getting from there was more valuable than what they were getting from the original 13. Not a very long term view, was it?

#16 if this is the same answer as #17, I'll use my answer there as my guess for this one.:)
 
Very interesting thread Vrylakas!

I never knew Russia had ever anything to do with US Revolution (or even cared about developments there at the time!
 
1) de Graaff stuffed the A.D. full of gunpowder and sent it home with a salute - the first official recognition of the US flag and sovereignity in a foreign port.

4) Amsterdam

5) Holland and France

7) Portugal

9) B. de Galvez, a mexican (or spanish?) commander

10) Holland? and France

12) (Edit: ) Austria-Hungary?

13) the Irish supported the colonies?

16) south america, tho I don't know which countries...

17) Jamaica and Guyana

18) He was the sultan of piracy in the mediterranean, n'est-ce pas? The Brits were not able to do anything about it, thus the inaction.

19) Within 30 years, the US set about stamping out Berber piracy. Did this have some effect on the empire?

20) communication with soldiers was too slow?
 
Knowltok [series 1,2,3] wrote:

#17 Wasn't this the British possesions in the Carribbean? I believe that the sugar they were getting from there was more valuable than what they were getting from the original 13. Not a very long term view, was it?

Yes! The West Indies supplied much of the saltpetre for the Americans throughout the war, from 1775 until the end. And there was more than just sugar - molasses, slaves, rum, and a whole host of goods from around the world that were available through the West Indies as contraband! Most of it was funneled through the West Indies from Europe and carried all the way, from Amsterdam or etc. to the small coastal inlets of the colonies via St. Kitt, St. Martinique, etc. by a flotilla of smugglers from all over the world (including often British). There was BIG $$$ in arms smuggling to the Americans, especially after French and Dutch loans began to flow into the colonists' coffers. (This is always a problem with insurrections, the smuggling that seems to automatically spring up with them - look at the modern diamond and tanzanite smuggling rings in west Africa and Central Asia, or the cocaine traffic in Colombia.) This smuggling ring touched off a whole new theater of war as the British attempted to seize French and Dutch islands in the West Indies, but as often found themselves desperately trying to protect their own possessions there - hence the next question...

#16 if this is the same answer as #17, I'll use my answer there as my guess for this one.

...which you got right. London stripped those sorely-needed troops for defense duty in their British Caribbean possessions, especially in the West Indies. London had already come to the realization that occupying Philadelphia did nothing to further the war effort aside from embarrassing the Continental Congress, but the British West Indies were too valuable to lose. Eventually the Brits came out on top with Sir Rodney's defeat of the French naval force and they put a serious dent in the smuggling, but that all came too late to save the colonies; Yorktown had been won.

Good shot Knowltok!
 
Sgrig wrote:

Very interesting thread Vrylakas!

I never knew Russia had ever anything to do with US Revolution (or even cared about developments there at the time!


Yup. Europe in the 18th century had begun to see the need for coordinated action on all critical international events (especially after the Seven Years' War) so anything significant that happened required the input of most of the Continent's Great Powers, and they of course used these events (like the American Revolution) to settle other matters important to their own interests. In this way, much of Europe - including Russia - found itself being the nursemaid for the birth of the American Republic.

This is an important hint for many of the questions in this thread, and it's important to remember that none of the European states initially really wanted the Americans to succeed. The French wanted the Americans to break away but remain weak and divided, while the Dutch feared commercial rivals if the Americans were cut loose. After Yorktown though, it became apparent that the British really didn't have the stomach to suppress the rebellion, and the various European states started jockeying among each other for ways to gain their own advatnages for whatever peace settlement came out of the Revolution - and this all worked to the Americans' advantage. When peace did come in 1783, the final treaty talked about things in Asia, Central America, the West Indies, and Europe itself that had nothing in the world to do with the Americans.

The Russians were helpful during another American conflict as well, BTW; during the 1861-65 American Civil War the Russians wintered their fleet in New York harbor to discourage any potential British intervention....
 
Sodak wrote:

1) de Graaff stuffed the A.D. full of gunpowder and sent it home with a salute - the first official recognition of the US flag and sovereignity in a foreign port.

Yes! This was the first time any foreign power had recognized the sovereignty of an American vessel. De Graaff was summoned home and put on a show trial to appease the VERY upset British but he was eventually acquitted, and the Brits cited his actions in their declaration of war in 1780 against the Dutch.

4) Amsterdam

Yes - the Dutch! The Dutch feared American commercial competition but the British did so much damage to Dutch trading through illegal searches and seizures that Amsterdam felt they had little to lose. When John Adams first showed up in Amsterdam, he couldn't get the time of day but by the time he left he had negotiated some of the largest inter-state loans in history by that time.

5) Holland and France

Yes!

7) Portugal

Si!

9) B. de Galvez, a mexican (or spanish?) commander

Yes! A Spanish general who led a campaign across the South into British Florida that threatened Cornwalis' southern lines - and if memory serves correct, Galvez also gave some materials to the Rebels fighting in the very nasty civil war raging in the British-occupied Carolina colonies. This was the most significant Spanish contribution to the Americans in the Revolution.

10) Holland? and France

No, sorry. It's not who you'd expect. Both of these countries had benefitted immensely from the distraction the American Revolution had caused in Europe but things were beginning to spin out of control so these two states started the long peace process (two years) that would eventually end the war.

12) (Edit: ) Austria-Hungary?

No, though very close. First, Austria-Hungary was created only in 1867 after the 1866 Austro-Prussian War when Vienna offered the Hungarians a power-sharing deal. The name Austria wasn't even formally used really until the Napoleonic Wars, so in the 18th century it officially refered to itself as the Habsburg Monarchy - though it was obviously an empire and some did already call it the Austrian Empire. But anyway, while you're wrong on this one you're heading in the right direction; just a little bit farther east.... I included this question specifically because it was a bizarre offer.

13) the Irish supported the colonies?

I actually don't know how the Irish felt about the American Revolution; I'm sure that anyone anti-British was OK in their book but on the other hand I also know many Irish served in the British Army in the Revolution and the large numbers of Irish immigrants in the American colonies at that point were almost all Northern, Protestant "Scotch" Irish, and strongly anti-Catholic. Not sure how the Catholic majority in Ireland proper viewed the Americans yet. Anyone who can help on this one?

As for my question though, the answer has little do with the Irish themselves (wasn't that always the way?) and more to do with British policy towards the American colonists.

16) south america, tho I don't know which countries...

Close - Knowltok got this one right when he said the Caribbean, specifically the West Indies.

17) Jamaica and Guyana

16 and 17 had the same answer...

18) He was the sultan of piracy in the mediterranean, n'est-ce pas? The Brits were not able to do anything about it, thus the inaction.

Half right! The Sultan of Tripoli was indeed the leader for the famous Barbary Coast Pirates that Knight-Dragon and DingBat mentioned, and his decision to almost immediately recognize American independence in 1776 was self-serving; it meant that the British ransom paid annually no longer covered American ships, and they therefore became fair game... The British didn't do anything about this because they were only too happy to see those damned American smuggling rebels get their ships seized and destroyed in the Mediterranean... For the Americans this issue wasn't resolved until they fought a 20 year war against the Pirates starting with the Adams and Jefferson presidencies, decades after the Revolution.

19) Within 30 years, the US set about stamping out Berber piracy. Did this have some effect on the empire?

No. The Ottomans didn't benefit from the Berbers' piracy. Hint: The Porte's traditional western allies were absorbed with the Revolution and too distracted to notice something...

20) communication with soldiers was too slow?

No, you're probably thinking about the Battle of New Orleans from the War of 1812. There was a critical diplomatic sticking point that held up the peace.

Sodak - excellent run! You've cleared up some of the toughest questions!
 
My original guess for 12 was the Ottomans. I changed it, thinking that they could have just taken Minorca if they'd wanted to. Were they the beneficiaries of the offer? Now that I think of it, that might be a good reason for the brits to offer it...
 
Sodak wrote:

My original guess for 12 was the Ottomans. I changed it, thinking that they could have just taken Minorca if they'd wanted to. Were they the beneficiaries of the offer? Now that I think of it, that might be a good reason for the brits to offer it...

No again, though yer on the right path. Think north of the Ottoman Empire... (...which also is an implication for Question # 19.) You are right that it would have made sense for the Brits to offer Minorca to the Porte, which is why the real answer is so bizarre.
 
19) Within 30 years, the US set about stamping out Berber piracy. Did this have some effect on the empire?

No. The Ottomans didn't benefit from the Berbers' piracy. Hint: The Porte's traditional western allies were absorbed with the Revolution and too distracted to notice something...
With all Europe so busy with the Americans, the Russians began moving south against the Ottomans, occupying more lands belonging to Ottoman vassals? I remember Crimea (and maybe Armenia) passed fr the Ottomans to the Russians around this time I think.
 
Knight-Dragon wrote:

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19) Within 30 years, the US set about stamping out Berber piracy. Did this have some effect on the empire?

No. The Ottomans didn't benefit from the Berbers' piracy. Hint: The Porte's traditional western allies were absorbed with the Revolution and too distracted to notice something...
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With all Europe so busy with the Americans, the Russians began moving south against the Ottomans, occupying more lands belonging to Ottoman vassals? I remember Crimea (and maybe Armenia) passed fr the Ottomans to the Russians around this time I think.

Yes! Exactly. Two predatory powers - Russia and another state I shall not mention because it's a part of another question - both took advantage of Europe's distraction with the American Revolution to covertly advance their own agendas, (in Russia's case, seizing more Turkish real estate).

Good one K-D!
 
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