Roundtable: The American Revolution in France – Kevin Butterfield and Bertrand Van Ruymbeke

The histories of France and the United States are closely intertwined, to say the least. Since 1778, the very existence of the two nations has more than once hinged on the willingness of one nation to come to the aid of the other. But the histories of the two nations have been more interconnected than the historiographies – the way historians have written about those histories. Scholars in both countries…

Call for Submissions: Reconceptualizing Religion in Early African American Literature

For a special guested-edited issue on early African American literature and religion, Early American Studies seeks article-length contributions on how 18th and 19th century Black writers reconceptualized religion beyond the telos of the nation-state. The roles of religion and religious thought in early Black culture have often been understood within the dualistic frame of resistance whereby Christianity, the dominant religion of colonial and antebellum American society, is both employed by…

Contemporaneous and Contemporary French Perspectives on the American Revolution: Revisiting the French-American Connection? – Carine Lounissi

The American Revolution was a world event. All of Europe and its colonies were interested in what happened in the North American colonies. French authors and journalists published extensively on the conflict. Consequently, there is a huge corpus of printed materials and archives in continental Europe that scholars are currently exploring to better understand the intellectual, political, economic, and diplomatic aspects of American Independence. In addition, the presence in France…

French Scholars on the American Revolution: Bridging Horizons? – Emilie Mitran

Prior to commencing my journey to a Ph.D., I spent a semester in 2013 studying history at MIT with the remarkable Pauline Maier. While discussing my doctoral project centered on Gouverneur Morris, her audible gasp punctuated our conversation, “Ah! The Gouv!” She then quipped: “Well, it will be a good thing to have a French perspective on Morris’s affairs in France.” It marked the first time I was pleasantly reminded…

Reading French Sources for a Better Understanding of the American Revolution – Leïla Tnaïnchi

Seeing the American Revolution through French eyes allows historians to have a more global understanding of this major event. The French correspondence of Benjamin Franklin and the archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs offer us many details about launching the United States as a sovereign state. These sources help us to understand the difficulties American commissioners Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, John Adams, and John Jay faced, their strategies,…

Our Shared Legacy – Hugo Toudic & Céline Spector

Self-knowledge sometimes requires complete distance from the familiar. Such is the famous method used in the Persian Letters, the epistolary novel that was a landmark of the Enlightenment and brought fame to the young Montesquieu. In this tale, two young Persians travel to Paris and observe, half amused, half dismayed, the delights of life in an already decadent capital. Their outsider’s view enables the European reader to take a lucid…

The French-American Alliance through the Eyes of Chastellux and Vioménil – Iris de Rode

As the author of a doctoral dissertation and two books exploring French participation in the American Revolution, my examination of this historical epoch unfolds from a unique vantage point – the French perspective. A pivotal aspect of my research involves delving into untapped source material from private French collections. Foremost among these are the private papers of French Major General François-Jean de Chastellux (1734-1788), who served directly under General Rochambeau.…

Teaching EAS: An Introduction – Carina Seagrave

EAS Miscellany’s series “Teaching EAS” highlights the many ways we can teach early American studies in our classes. Whether this consists of using an EAS article or how we discuss a particular topic in our classrooms, Teaching EAS aims to provide guidance to high school, college, and university educators in their lesson planning. We invite you to use our lesson plan template to demonstrate how you approach different topics in…

A Walking Tour of Thomas Prince’s London – Christopher Trigg

Harvard graduate Thomas Prince (1687-1758) visited London twice between 1709 and 1711. In his travel journal (now in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society) the future minister of Boston’s Old South Church wrote of his excitement at arriving in “the Greatest and most Flourishing City of the Universe.”1 My article in the Fall 2023 issue of Early American Studies discusses the numerous poetic transcriptions that Prince made in that…