The Rise of American Empire
The conquest of Europe has advanced and the little outposts of the American invasion have already been installed at the gates of France, Italy, Germany, and all the nations of the Old World. Another few years of European anarchy and we will become an enslaved continent. Perhaps we will have the consolation of repeating along with the poet that captive Greece conquered its conqueror, and our last artists will depart to teach the Beaux-Arts to the children of Babbitt as the Greeks' off-spring taught grammar to the children of the heroes of Pydna and Cynoscephalae.
-- Charles Pomaret, 1931
The perception of a European crisis was inseparable from the recognition of the rise of extra-European powers. The United States, in particular, had demonstrated her strength by intervening in the war and the postwar settlement. However, in the early postwar period, the attention of Frenchmen was diverted from America by the development of Japanese, Russian, and Turkish power which was, in certain ways, a more immediate threat. By 1927, in the wake of the debt agreements of the previous year, the rise of American empire in the world seemed beyond dispute. J. L. Chastanet maintained that "Uncle Shylock and American imperialism look so strangely alike as to appear to be one and the same person."1 For the next five years, or until the depression had clearly undermined American economic power, French observers reacted vigorously against American domination.