Over the winter of 1775-76, the Ministry in Britain decides to use overwhelming force to put an end to colonial resistance. The King refuses to receive the Olive Branch Petition makes clear that he supports Parliament in this fight and calls for the use of force to suppress colonial treason. He also starts recruiting German speaking mercenaries to supplement the British Army. The ministry also dumps General Gage and Secretary Dartmouth, replacing them with General Howe and Secretary Germain. The ministry also implements a blockade of North America.
Meanwhile France begins to pay attention to the rebellion. It sends its first unofficial envoy to Philadelphia to see if it makes sense to provide some covert assistance.
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