"L'Amérique comme une mode". Constructing an Image in the 18th Century Atlantic. A New Look at French Perceptions of the New World and America
Department of History, Stanford University
Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint Denis
This collaborative project seeks to explore Franco-American relations in the eighteenth century, particularly from 1763 to 1789, from two angles. First we will look at prizewinning contests offered by French Académies in the 1780s on the perceived impact of the discovery and colonization of the New World and on the predicted impact of the American Revolution. These contests offer a unique view on mainstream opinion in Enlightenment France as dozens of memoirs were submitted to the Académies throughout the kingdom. Second we will look at the French published opinions on the Anglo-American crisis and the birth of the United States particularly the French perceptions and analyses of the States constitutions via their translation into French. Much has been written on French views of the 1787 Federal constitution but little on the States constitutions, what the French called « les républiques américaines ».