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Book Reviews

Abstract

It was peculiarly fortunate for the cause of the American Revolution that the sympathies of the French people and the policies of the French foreign office which knew no diplomatic methods save those of secret diplomacy, were for once heartily in accord in support of the American revolutionists. Professor Corwin in this book deals entirely with the complicated and obscure political plots and counter-plots which eventually led France to espouse openly the cause of the revolting colonies. The whole question of the timely aid France gave to America has, of course, a very particular value at the present time when this country is preparing to repay the debt we have owed France for so long. That the.author does not deal with the social conditions and the sympathic temper of the French people, which in a real sense underlay the action of France, but confines himself wholly to hante politique does not in any sense take away from the value of his work. He reveals a new side to this very interesting phase in our contest for independence, at least one that will be new to those who are not deeply read in American history. The tendency heretofore has been to emphasize the popular and moral support of the French people and to overlook the political reasons which led to the action of the king and his ministers. The author has throughout relied upon the monumental researches of Doniol and has carefully fortified every point by copious references and quotations.

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