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Treaties, Franco-American In September, 1776, the Continental Congress, after weeks of deliberation, adopted an elaborate plan of a treaty to be proposed to France. They wanted France to engage in a separate war with Great Britain, and so give the Americans an opportunity for establishing their independence. They renounced in favor of France all eventual conquests in the. West Indies, but claimed the sole right of acquiring British Continental America, and all adjacent islands, including the Bermudas, Cape Breton and Newfoundland. They proposed arrangements concerning the fisheries; avowed the principle of Frederick the Great that free ships made free goods, and that a neutral power may lawfully trade with a belligerent. Privateering was to be restricted, not abolished; and while the Americans were not willing to make common cause with the French, they were willing to agree not to assist Great Britain in the war on France, nor trade with that power in goods contraband of war