Diplomatic Subtleties and Frank Overtures: Publicity, Diplomacy, and Neutrality in the Early American Republic, 1793-1801
|Immerman, Richard H.
|Wong, Wendy Helen
|Americans view neutrality in the 1790s as the far-seeing wisdom of the Founders and a weak power's common-sense approach to a transatlantic war in which it could not afford to get involved. Far from this benign image of prudence, however, neutrality in the Early Republic was controversial: it was a style and paradigm of foreign policy that grappled with the consequences of a democratic politics exacerbated by diplomatic crises. Far from promoting tranquility, neutrality provoked uproar from the very beginning. Intense print battles erupted over sensational exposés of foreign influence and conspiracy, reverberating through the international, national, and local levels simultaneously. Print exposés of foreign intrigue provoked partisan warfare that raised the larger, unsettled (and unsettling) issues of the national interest, the exercise of federal power, and the relationship between the people and their government. This dynamic reflected and exacerbated preexisting sectional fissures in the union, triggering recourse to the politics of slavery. As a result, the politics of slavery calibrated the competing national visions of the emerging Federalists and Republicans, defining the limits of American independence while challenging the ability of the United States to remain neutral. Drawing on the efforts of diplomatic historians, political historians and literary scholars, this work illustrates the mutually constitutive relationship between print politics, foreign relations, and the politics of slavery in the Early Republic. It argues that neutrality was a style of foreign policy that both political parties used to contain sectionalism and faction, and that print politics and the politics of slavery combined to create a dynamic that made that style malleable.
|Temple University. Libraries
|Theses and Dissertations
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|U.S. Foreign Relations
|Diplomatic Subtleties and Frank Overtures: Publicity, Diplomacy, and Neutrality in the Early American Republic, 1793-1801
|Klepp, Susan E.
|Onuf, Peter S.
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