By Peter P.
Book Napoleon\'s Troublesome Americans: Franco American Relations, 1804 1815 2005
As the most recent French-American quarrel subsides, the books under review offer a wealth of material for revisiting the beginnings of the two nations' long-contentious relationship. Peter P. Hill's analysis of high-level diplomacy in the little-studied period between the Louisiana Purchase and the end of the Napoleonic Wars displays his profound knowledge of both American and French archival sources. Hill's former student Melanie Randolph Miller has mined Gouverneur Morris's remarkable diary and correspondence more thoroughly than anyone before to reconstruct his time in Paris from the first stirrings of the Revolution in to the height of the Terror in She is now the editor of the new Gouverneur Morris Papers project.
Both books are deeply researched, persuasively argued, and clearly written; yet both miss the opportunity to place their respective subjects in the larger contexts of either the longer history of French-American relations or the age of transatlantic revolutions. Like her doctoral dissertation, completed in , Miller's book straightforwardly declares her intention to rescue Morris from historical oblivion and reestablish his reputation as "a great American statesman" xiv.
Envoy to the Terror is particularly strong on Morris's tenure as American minister to France from to , when he patiently but determinedly struggled at great personal risk with French authorities for the release of imprisoned Americans and the restitution of seized property. Miller conclusively demonstrates that far from destroying the French-American alliance, as Alexander DeConde argued half a century ago, Morris in fact "prevented hostilities between the United States and France" by keeping open lines of communication during a time when all other foreign representatives fled Paris.
However, Miller's book appears in a historiographical context far different from the one in which she started her project. Be the first to ask a question about Napoleon's Troublesome Americans.
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Jul 12, Shelley rated it really liked it Shelves: american-history. This book fills in a huge gap in most early Republic scholarship--how the US and France got on or didn't after the Quasi-War, then leading up to the War of and the end of Napoleon's reign in Did you know we almost went to War with France again? Quasi-War II with France, perhaps.
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And it all starts with Florida It's a good hook, but overall, it's hard to keep the interest level up because like most diplomacy, it's a lot of talk and no action. If you are interested in the letter-b This book fills in a huge gap in most early Republic scholarship--how the US and France got on or didn't after the Quasi-War, then leading up to the War of and the end of Napoleon's reign in If you are interested in the letter-by-letter and consul-by-consul account of the diplomacy covering these years, this is the book for you.
Napoleon's Troublesome Americans : Franco-American Relations, 1804-1815
If you are interested in kinda-sorta reading a summary, you'd be fine reading the introduction and the conclusion, because the history goes like this: -France does something provoking seizes ships on high seas, impounds ships in port, makes a decree that affects American shipping. There are nuances here, but if you are not really, really fascinated by them, you'll probably find this a dry read. Really a 3. Maura rated it really liked it May 14, Maura rated it liked it Apr 04, Andrew Crouch rated it liked it Mar 31, Blake rated it liked it Jul 25, Thomas McConnell marked it as to-read Jan 01, Matthew Smith marked it as to-read Dec 21, Jerome marked it as to-read Jul 06, Lb marked it as to-read Dec 26, Nicole added it Jan 05, Pavel marked it as to-read Mar 17, Christian marked it as to-read Feb 08, Hany marked it as to-read Feb 19, Ryan marked it as to-read Mar 04, Isaac Lee marked it as to-read Aug 20, Alex marked it as to-read Dec 10, Nicholas Stark marked it as to-read Jan 28,