Class Notes

While Washington’s cabinet was battling each other on whether we should assist France during their revolution, an interesting incident occurred. In 1793, a French diplomat arrived by the name Citizen Edmond Charles Edouard Genet. The Republicans who favored assisting France treated him like a celebrity and wined and dined him all over the new states. Genet, feeling as if all Americans felt this way, began to encourage Americans to break neutrality and begin attacking British ships, basically becoming pirates.  He also encouraged an attack on New Orleans to guarantee its future use. When Washington politely asked him to cease and desist, Genet feeling emboldened went so far as suggesting removing Washington. Now Republicans may not have been Washington’s biggest fan at the moment, but he was still basically a God in this nation and when Genet suggested Washington’s removal even the Republicans turned on him. Now mud, the French recalled Genet back to France which could possibly mean he would get in the next line for the guillotine. Instead, he asked Washington for asylum, which Washington granted, but this episode further put a wedge between the French and the U.S. 

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