American reaction to the French Revolution



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Purpose: It was the purpose of this study to record information concerning the public reaction of the American people to the French Revolution. Special consideration was been given to (1) the pre-revolutionary period of Franco-American relations; (2) the attitudes of prominent contemporary Americans; (3) the influence of the French Revolution upon the political and social aspects of American life; (4) the effects of the Revolution upon the formation of American foreign policy; and (5) the later reactions of the American people toward the French Revolution. Methods: The principal method used to obtain data for this study consisted of an examination of books, diaries and writing, and periodicals. Some of the authors whose books were used were John Bach McMaster, Howard Mumford Jones, Louis Martin Sears, Lewis Rosenthal, John C. Miller, Alexander DeConde, Esther E. Brown, Joseph I. Shulim, and Charles Downer Hazen. Some diaries and writings that were used were those of John Jay, Rufus King, Gouverneur Morris, William Sullivan, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Several articles from the American Historical Review were used in this study. Findings: 1. The pre-revolutionary relations of America and France played a significant role in determining the policies followed by both countries in regard to each other in later years. 2. Prominent American leaders aided in the development of American public reaction to the French Revolution. 3. The French Revolution was possibly the greatest single factor responsible for the formation of political parties. 4. The French Revolution acted as a vital issue in determining the course of United States foreign policy. 5. The French Revolution, for a time, completely altered the daily lived of Americans, causing them to imitate French fashion, manner or speaking, and social habits. 6. During the early years of the French Revolution the influence of France could be clearly evinced from the literature read, the plays attended and the topics of conversation most frequently discussed. 7. The opinions of Americans in regard to the French Revolution were constantly changing due to the event in France, Europe, and America. 8. The newly established republic of the United States was able to cope successfully with the complication presented by the French Revolution.



French Revolution, public reaction, Americans reaction, social accepts of American life, inflence of France on Amercian life, American Foreign Policy, development of political parties