Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/58

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and always-vanquished enemy—an uninformed public has held the belief that the victory of Yorktown ended the horrid British rule in America and set this country free fully equipped to sail a new and better sea. The exact facts of the matter are not quite so flattering to our pride, although they do in fact augur much better for our future and our civilization than does the popular version.

Yorktown fell before a combined American and French army in October, 1781. For the moment the military effort of the Hanoverian King in the thirteen Colonies had completely broken down. But even the most cursory view of the European situation at that date will show how far this event came short of settling the future of this country as a great independent liberal force in the world.

We were recognized at the time by two countries—France and Holland. The rest of the world under the rule of what we now consider despots, had not only no sympathy with us, but viewed this upstart republican government