Timeline Of U.S.–France Relations

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France recently recalled its ambassador to the United States over the cancellation of a submarine deal by the Australian government, the latest controversy in what has been a sometimes fraught relationship between two old allies. The Onion looks at key events in the timeline of U.S.–France relations.

1778: France becomes America’s first ally during the Revolutionary War, cementing a friendship that will last as long as is convenient for the U.S.


1803: U.S. purchases Louisiana Territory from France after realizing it would be a great topic for fourth-grade presentations for centuries to come.

1815-1835: Nations peacefully coexist following years of failed warmongering.

1835: French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville visits the fledgling U.S., famously observing that you don’t have to be crazy to live here, but it helps!


1884: France presents Statue of Liberty as gift to U.S. after Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Portugal say they don’t want it.

1944: Someone liberates someone, but who keeps track among friends?

1951: An American In Paris came out this year. So, you know, that’s something.

1954: U.S. graciously volunteers to pick up where France left off in Vietnam.

2012: U.S.–France relations peak during standing ovation of Kennedy High School’s production of Les Miserables.


2021: Emmanuel Macron furious after Australia leaves its submarine deal with France for a younger country.