France and Latin-American Independence

France and Latin-American Independence

France and Latin-American Independence

France and Latin-American Independence

Excerpt

The thoughts of publicists and scholars in both the Old World and the New are turning more and more to the vast domain known as Latin America. Indeed it seems that a critical issue in the not distant future may be concerned with the policies of certain European powers toward the southern neighbors of the United States. Though the labors of American scholars have placed in relief salient features of the relations of the United States with Latin America, the foundations for the study of intercourse between powers of continental Europe and Latin nations of the Western Hemisphere have not been laid.

My interest in diplomatic history began while I was studying history under Professor Frederick J. Turner at the University of Wisconsin. Many years ago, while gathering materials in European libraries and archives for a biography of that knight-errant of Spanish-American independence, Francisco de Miranda, I became interested in the attitude of French leaders toward Latin America. Accordingly on two occasions, while on sabbatical leave of absence from the University of Illinois, I carried on a search in European archives and libraries for materials concerning the relations of France with Spanish and Portuguese America. During my sabbatical sojourn in Europe in 1932-33, my work was greatly facilitated by a generous Grant-in-Aid from the Social Science Research Council. After a preliminary survey, I decided that I would lay aside temporarily the alluring topic of the influence of French culture in Latin America and confine my investigations to a fundamental . . .

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