American colonists were all alone when they began their rebellion against Great Britain in 1775. But they did not stay alone for long.
France joined the war against Britain in 1778 and Spain in 1779. Soon the Netherlands and the ruler of Mysore in India were also firing on English troops.
France was the most generous ally. But Spain also helped, granting loans and financial guarantees to the rebels and opening Spanish ports as havens for American privateers. The Spanish navy fought at sea with the British, while Bernardo de Galvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, waged war against the British in America.
The foreign allies of the United States grappled with Britain for their own reasons. Spain cared less about helping the American rebels than about winning back Florida.
Spain had lost this colony to Britain in 1763 but got it back by war’s end, along with West Florida: a strip of land on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico that included parts of what are now Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Regardless of Spain’s motives, the fighting on many fronts tied down British forces, indirectly aiding the American cause.