The reversal of international alliances pursuant to the Treaty of Basel of 1795 returned Spain to her former position as an ally of France. By the terms of this document, however, Spain found herself in a position considerably more subserviant than that assigned her by the alliances of 1761 and 1762. 1 Her Caribbean colonies, heretofore the prey of France, were now opened to possible English attack. East Florida lying close to Cuba and the Bahama Channel, thus in a strategic position, was one of the points most exposed to enemy attack. Constant troop withdrawals rendered the defense of this outlying area most difficult. Fearful of an easy enemy victory in the Florida region, the French government ordered its representatives in the United States to render all possible assistance to the Spanish in uncovering and frustrating hostile English projects.
Murdoch, Richard K.
"France to the Rescue: An Episode of the Florida Border, 1797,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 30:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol30/iss2/5