with the gravest possible distrust and concern. As far as they were concerned, they wished us ill, except in so far as a revolt in her colonies embarrassed Great Britain, of whose power they were jealous. And they left us strictly alone, turning our ambassadors from their doors with the utmost incivility and contempt.
In establishing peace and commerce, our standing in the world community, and our national boundaries—upon the last of which our entire future power depended—we were at the mercy of five foreign forces:
- The infinitesimal part of the French public that had any knowledge of or influence in Foreign affairs.
- King Louis XVI and his circle of advisors.
- The Spanish Court.
- The English throne.
- The voice of the English people.
To begin with, it is abundantly clear that in so far as the French people were concerned the