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25 November 2007


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Ray is quite right. I think we often forget now just how fragile the young republic was (and how fragile it in fact was!) - and its fate appeared to contemporaries to rest in part on what was happening in the international arena. France in particular, having been such an essential ally during the Revolution, was seen by many as linked to the U.S., and during the early republican period, pro-France sentiment and radically democratic politics generally went hand-in-hand. Differences in attitudes towards France were thus very much a part of domestic struggles over the still undetermined issues of what a republican government and nation would actually look like in practice, what it needed to be successful, and how much democracy was compatible with republican freedom. Washington certainly would have had domestic partisans of France as well as the French revolutionaries themselves in mind.

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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