‘War for independence’ explains the strategies of the British under Generals John Burgoyne and Charles Cornwallis and of Washington's American army. In February 1778, King Louis XVI of France recognized the independence of the United States and pledged to fight against the British. France sent men and arms to America; more ominously for Britain, it could also attack the West Indies and even England. Spain declared war on England in April 1779, not to help Americans but to retake Gibraltar and weaken Britain in the West Indies and North America. Independence was finally achieved in 1783, but could the new nation create a government that would sustain independence, preserve individual liberty, and repay its debts?