France, though not at war with Britain, continued to harbor animosity towards its rival, particularly for the earlier loss of Canada at the end of the French and Indian War. They closely monitored the war in America and secretly extended aid in the form of a loan. American military setbacks, however, made the French cautious.
Nevertheless, America's diplomatic team of Silas Deane, Arthur Lee, and Benjamin Franklin found their bargaining position enhanced when news of the victory at Saratoga arrived in France. The French offered both military and commercial agreements, completing a formal alliance in 1778. France formally agreed to fight on America's side until victory was achieved, providing America with its first realistic hope of victory.