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Cosmopolitan Patriots

Americans in Paris in the Age of Revolution

Philipp. Ziesche

Publication Year: 2010

Adopting the unique perspectives of Americans in Paris--including Jefferson, Paine, and Gouverneur Morris--during the French Revolution, Ziesche challenges the conventional view of the American and French Revolutions as polar opposites, finding many points of similarity between the French and American nation-building projects.

Published by: University of Virginia Press


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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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Note on Translation and Dates

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p. xi

... In 1793 the French Revolutionary Government introduced a new Republican calendar, designed to symbolize and embed in everyday life the idea of a new age. The calendar began at Year I in September 1792, with the proclamation of the French Republic, and each new calendar year also began in September. The twelve thirty-day months ...

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pp. xiii-xv

The acknowledgments of first-time authors are often distinguished by their interminable length and naked emotionalism, which has earned them the apt, if unflattering, comparison with Academy Award acceptance speeches. However, given that authors tend to spend more time on their first books than on any other (if indeed there are any others) and need more help to write them, perhaps these faults can be excused. ...

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pp. 1-13

When Thomas Paine entered his prison cell in the basement of the Palais de Luxembourg in the afternoon of 8 Niv

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Chapter 1. Exporting American Revolutions: Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and the Debate about the French Constitution, 1789

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pp. 15-37

On 7 December 1791, Gouverneur Morris sat down at his desk at the Hôtel Richelieu in Paris to spend some time on a personal project. As he later noted in his diary, “This Morning employ myself in preparing a Form of Government for this Country.” The following day, Morris received a visit from a French gentleman who informed him that he knew America “perfectly well tho he has never seen it,” and was convinced ...

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Chapter 2. “Was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood?”: Political Violence and the Global Stakes of the French Revolution, 1790–1792

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pp. 39-63

On 26 April 1791, William Short, the American chargé d’affaires in Paris, shared with Thomas Jefferson his reaction to Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, Part I, published in London the previous February. Short professed his surprise that Paine had not already been indicted in England, for his book was “libelous in many parts and treasonable in still more.” Overall, Short found the work to be ...

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Chapter 3. Cosmopolitan Sensibilities and National Regeneration: The Work of Joel Barlow, 1792–1794

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pp. 64-87

On 28 November 1792 sobs resounded in the Salle de Man

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Chapter 4. “Strange, that Monroe should warn us against Jacobins!”: The Problem of Popular Sovereignty in Thermidorian Parisand Federalist America, 1794–1796

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pp. 88-110

When the new American minister, James Monroe, appeared before the National Convention on 14 August 1794, it seemed as if no time had passed since Barlow’s speech two years earlier. Outside the meeting hall of the Convention, Monroe found gathered a large crowd of friendly spectators. According to the merchant captain Joshua Barney, on whose ship Monroe had crossed the Atlantic, upon Monroe’s entrance the Convention erupted ...

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Chapter 5. The End of a Beautiful Friendship: Anti-Cosmopolitanism, Anti-Americanism, and Public Diplomacy, 1796–1799

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pp. 111-135

In “Political Reflections,” an essay published anonymously at the height of the Quasi-War between the United States and France in February 1799, James Madison wrote that recent events in the French Republic could not “be too much pondered and contemplated by Americans who love their country.”1 Of course, there were those who sought “to caricature the scene as to cast an odium on all Republican government.” But even among ...

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Chapter 6. From Sister Republics to Republican Empires: The Jeffersonian Divorce from France and the Louisiana Purchase, 1800–1805

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pp. 136-164

The turn of the century coincided with significant regime changes in both the American and the French republics. In France, the coup of 18 Brumaire VIII (9 November 1799) toppled the Directory and established an executive Consulate under the overriding authority of the First Consul, General Napoleon Bonaparte. In the United States, following an acrimonious and turbulent election, Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as the third ...

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pp. 165-170

Historians have often told the story of the United States and France in the late eighteenth century as one of inevitable disenchantment, in which exclusionary yet realistic nationalisms supplanted a well-meaning yet utopian cosmopolitanism. But looking at the age of revolution from the vantage point of Americans in Paris suggests that nation-building and universalism were complementary rather than competing forces during this ...


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pp. 171-201


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pp. 203-225


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pp. 227-239

E-ISBN-13: 9780813928982
E-ISBN-10: 0813928982
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813928913
Print-ISBN-10: 0813928915

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 1 b&w illus
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 759159953
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Cosmopolitan Patriots

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Cosmopolitanism -- France -- Paris -- History -- 18th century.
  • Cosmopolitanism -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • France -- Relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Relations -- France.
  • Americans -- France -- Paris -- Intellectual life -- 18th century.
  • Americans -- France -- Paris -- History -- 18th century.
  • France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799.
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