The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania, 1790-1801: A Study in National Stimulus and Local Response

By Harry Marlin Tinkcom | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER V
EVENTS AND OPINIONS

GENÊT AFFAIR

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION met with the immediate approval of a great many people in the United States. This enthusiasm was shared by both the Federalists and their opponents. Such a reaction was hardly unnatural. Americans remembered with gratitude the assistance extended to the patriots during their own revolution. They gloried in doctrines that proclaimed the rights of man and the freedom of the individual. This political affinity was practically enhanced by French willingness to permit American traders to enter her island possessions, a privilege accorded by no other nation. And most important of all, Franco-American ties had been cemented by a treaty of formal alliance.1

In 1792 France's admirers in America rejoiced in her brilliant military victories as she courageously met the foes who had determined to encircle her and quench the new fires of democracy. She had indeed become the crusading champion of all those who embraced the stirring concepts of freedom and equality. The Philadelphia press recorded every shock of her clashing armies and reported fully on the latest ideas that emanated from Paris to shake the European continent. Public zeal made the month-old news vital and timely. And if newspaper content is any criterion, the Philadelphia citizenry was more interested in world affairs than in tavern brawls, vital statistics or the latest armed robbery on Market Street.

Three events caused a division in American opinion regarding France: the September massacres, the execution of Louis XVI, and the entrance of England into the war on the side of the monarchies. The first two combined to alienate many, principally Federalists, because of the implied threat to law and order. The last posed a very delicate and practical commercial problem. It was expected that the war would become a struggle for naval supremacy, which could vitally affect America's international position and commerce.

The French government, naturally anxious to maintain profitable and friendly relations with a country as commercially important as the United States, appointed Edmond Genêt as minister to Philadel.

-75-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania, 1790-1801: A Study in National Stimulus and Local Response
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 354

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?