The unlikely alliance between France and the Americans caused the British government to rethink its strategy in dealing with the rebellion in America. American diplomats used the French rivalry with the British to form an alliance. British government officials needed to defend the West Indies from the French, and take the opportunity to capture the tobacco and rice growing colonies of the south. The British southern strategy ultimately failed due to many factors, The American militia, mistakes by British officers, and the lack of loyalist support the British thought they would have.
France and the American colonies had been enemies for years due to the brutal uprooting of the French population in Acadia; the French however were desperate to avenge their loss to the British during The Great War for Empire. During the Battle of Saratoga in October of 1777, the Americans won a great victory over General John Burgoyne. This victory caught the attention of the French foreign minister Comte de Vergennes, According to America: A Concise history, when news of the rebel victory at Saratoga reached Paris in December 1777, Vergennes sought a formal alliance (Henretta 170). The American diplomats including Benjamin Franklin quickly took advantage of the animosity between France and Great Britain; securing an alliance with the French in The Treaty of Alliance of February 1778, which specified neither partner would sign a separate peace without the "liberty, sovereignty, and independence"" of the United States (Henretta 170). Obligating France to help the Americans secure their independence from the British government.
King George III realized he could not allow the American colonies to gain independence or other territories of Great Britain would surely follow. Having been defeated at Saratoga, and trying to prevent an alliance between the French and the Americans, King George III authorized Lord North to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict.