The United States and Europe, 1815-1823: A Study in the Background of the Monroe Doctrine

By Edward Howland Tatum Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
The American Attitude Toward the Great Powers

IF ATTENTION is now directed to the opinion of Americans toward France, Russia, and England, light will be cast upon some very interesting aspects of the topic, particularly as it applies to England. Dr. Elizabeth White has presented the results of an investigation into the American attitude toward France in a most satisfactory manner,1 and it is unnecessary to traverse the field again, except to point out certain of its more pertinent features.

In common with the other restored rulers in Europe, the Bourbons were hated by Americans, and their downfall was desired. The institutions which they attempted to reëstablish aroused the ridicule of the American press,2 and the "legitimacy" of the royal court and the priesthood were condemned without reservation. The remnants of pro-Napoleonic sentiment in America heightened this feeling and caused considerable friction between the two governments.3

____________________
1
See her American Opinion of France from LaFayette to Poincaré, Chaps. II and III.
2
Niles' Weekly Register, IX, 283, December 16, 1815, and XIII, 28, September 6, 1817.
3
The best example of this is the toast of the postmaster of Baltimore to "the generals of France in exile,"ibid., XI, 169, November 9, 1816; and a complete account in White, American Opinion of France, 42-44. Gallatin told the Duke of Richelieu that even this spirit was only a result of the "hatred of Great Britain or apprehension of her enormous power." Gallatin to Monroe, July 12, 1816. Gallatin, Writings, II, 2. Albert Gallatin was minister to France, 1816-1823. The Duke of Richelieu was prime minister of France, 1816-1820.

-53-

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