Old World, New World
America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Virginia Press
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This volume contains a selection of contributions from a conference entitled “The Old World and the New: Exchanges Between America and Europe in the Age of Jeﬀerson,” held at the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, on October 12–16, 2005. The setting for this conference was very symbolic, since the Salzburg Seminar was established by an idealistic group of Har-...
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Throughout his career Thomas Jeﬀerson imagined an impassable boundary between Europe and America, Old World and New. To avoid the “broils of the European nations,” he wrote to Elbridge Gerry in 1797, he wished “there were an ocean of fire between us and the old world.” 1 As the new nation teetered on the brink of war with Britain in 1812, he again hoped to insulate it ...
Chapter 1: Environmental Hazards, Eighteenth-Century Style
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We today think we have problems with our environment. Our worries seem endless. We are anxious about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions; the eﬀect of aerosol sprays on the ozone layer; hazardous wastes in our water supplies; and toxic substances in our foods. But compared with the environmental problems faced by our nation at the very beginning of ...
Chapter 2: Decadents Abroad: Reconstructing the Typical Colonial American in London in the Late Colonial Period
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The figure of the alienated American colonist in London on the eve of independence has become a historian’s stereotype. Whether the subject is political radicals immersed in the unreal hothouse of City politics, southern planters who felt socially discounted, or pretty much any colonist scandalized by the swirling cauldron of political and cultural corruption that was ...
Chapter 3: “Citizens of the World”: Men, Women, and Country in the Age of Revolution
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“From experience,” declaimed Betsey Galloway with all the world- weariness of youth in a 1779 letter to her mother, “I have formed such an opinion of Mankind that I wish for little society. Where ever I could get the most to live on with you, there I would go whether at Nova Zembla or Otaheite. . . . I shall never feel myself at home without you.”1 Invoking two places meant to ...
Chapter 4: Reimagining the British Empire and America in an Age of Revolution: The Case of William Eden
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The early weeks of September 1778 found Frederick Howard, Earl of Carlisle, safely within the City of New York—one of the few North American cities that still professed loyalty to his king and country—contemplating the causes and implications of months of failed diplomacy. The head of a commission sanctioned by King George III, Carlisle, along with his fellow ...
Chapter 5: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the Dutch Patriots
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In September 1787 King Frederick William II of Prussia ordered twenty thousand troops to march upon the Netherlands. He justified the invasion as an attempt to avenge an insult allegedly committed against his sister, Princess Wilhelmina, wife of Prince William V of the House of Orange. William V was stadtholder of the Netherlands, a hereditary oﬃce that tradi-...
Chapter 6: John Adams in Europe: A Provincial Cosmopolitan Confronts the Metropolitan World, 1778–1788
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To take a Walk in the Gardens of the Palace of the Tuilleries, and describe the Statues there, . . . would be a very pleasant Amusement, and instructive Entertainment, improving in History, Mythology, Poetry. . . . But I could not do this without neglecting my duty.—The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the...
Chapter 7: “Behold me at length on the vaunted scene of Europe”: Thomas Jefferson and the Creation of an American Image Abroad
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After a year in Paris Thomas Jeﬀerson wrote to a friend in his native Virginia, “Behold me at length on the vaunted scene of Europe!” “But you are perhaps curious to know,” he continued,” how this new scene has struck a savage of the mountains of America.” This letter of September 30, 1785, to Charles Bellini, which Jeﬀerson listed in his epistolary journal as “My view ...
Chapter 8: Negotiating Gifts: Jefferson’s Diplomatic Presents
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In 1791 Thomas Jeﬀerson accepted a gift from Louis XVI, a miniature portrait of the king set in “brilliants,” marking the end of his tenure as the U.S. minister to France. What might seem a banal, even innocuous ceremonial gesture preoccupied Jeﬀerson, who at first refused to accept the gift. His own distaste for this aspect of diplomatic culture was in step with a clause...
Chapter 9: Better Tools for a New and Better World: Jefferson Perfects the Plow
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In the spring of 1788 an elegant carriage bounced along the post roads of eastern France. The American minister to the court of Louis XVI, returning from a tour up the Rhine River, gazed from its window at a group of peasants working in a field. Traveling always stimulated Thomas Jeﬀerson to engage in comparisons, and this sight of oxen, plows, and working women ...
Chapter 10: The End of a Beautiful Friendship: Americans in Paris and Public Diplomacy during the War Scare of 1798–1799
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Even by the standards of the early twenty-first century the year 1798 marked a low point in Franco-American relations. Diplomatic negotiations between the two republics broke down completely amidst mutual recriminations and were replaced by undeclared warfare on the high seas. Since the ratification of Jay’s Treaty and the recall of American minister to France James Monroe ...
Chapter 11: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: A Woman between Two Worlds
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The decades after 1800 were a period of uncertainty and anxiety. “Four memorable evils” still threatened the “unexampled freedom” of the republic, warned Thomas Ritchie, the editor of the Richmond Enquirer, in 1806: “war,” “party spirit,” disunion, and “luxury.”1 Each of these “evils” appeared at one time or another in the first two decades of the nineteenth century. ...
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 10 b&w photos (10 redacted), 3 line drawings (3 redacted)
Publication Year: 2010