Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/60

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40
DRAMATIC MOMENTS

United States had the most cordial, almost vehement support, based upon a sympathy with the struggling ideals of personal liberty and human emancipation which has been dear to the hearts of both peoples ever since and has become an international tradition of the most binding kind. The advertising of this attitude and its presentation to the citizens of France were largely due to the extraordinary perception and abilities of Franklin.

But as a plain matter of fact the French public had about as much to say concerning their foreign policy as had an Irishman with England's under Edward III. Not only had the public no say, but not even the vaguest idea of what it was. As an active force in the tremendous decision to be reached, they had no more influence than the rest of the populace of Continental Europe, whose prevailing conviction was that the inhabitants of North America were bright red and wore feathers.

Vergennes was at the helm for Louis XVI. His policy is now clear enough. He had en-