Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/54

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34
DRAMATIC MOMENTS

rad Alexander Gerard, Royal Syndic of the City of Strassburg and Secretary of His Majesty's Council of State, arrived on the 17th of December, 1777, to announce that "His Majesty is fixed in his determination not only to acknowledge, but to support your independence by every means in his power."

This was the first great diplomatic triumph in our history. It was put into formal shape by treaty duly made the 6th of February following our only formal alliance. Its principal provisions were "to maintain effectually the liberty, sovereignty, and independence absolute and unlimited of the said United States" and that "neither of the two parties shall conclude either truce or peace with Great Britain without the formal consent of the other first obtained."

It is sufficient evidence of the impotency of old dogmas that the legend of "no entangling alliances" should have been disregarded to the saving of our very existence in the first treaty ever made—and now 140 years later again dis-