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Exporting American Revolutions: Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and the National Struggle for Universal Rights in Revolutionary France

Exporting American Revolutions: Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and the National Struggle... Exporting American Revolutions Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and the National Struggle for Universal Rights in Revolutionary France PHILIPP ZIESCHE On December 7, 1791, Gouverneur Morris sat down at his ^ desk at the Hotel Richelieu in Paris to spend some time on a personal project. As he later noted in his diary, ``This Morning employ myself in preparing a Form of Government for this Country.'' The following day Morris received a visit from a French gentleman who informed him that he knew America ``perfectly well tho he has never seen it'' and was convinced that the ``American Constitution is good for Nothing.'' The visitor who had studied the subject of constitutions for fifty years had been kind enough to write a letter to President Washington, enclosing a new constitution. As a central figure in both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, Morris was himself an old hand at constitution making, and the encounter left him with the disconcerting feeling of having met his French double: ``I get Rid of him as soon as I can,'' Morris wrote, ``but yet I cannot help being struck with the Similitude of a Frenchman who makes Constitutions for America and an http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Exporting American Revolutions: Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and the National Struggle for Universal Rights in Revolutionary France

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 26 (3)

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

Exporting American Revolutions Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and the National Struggle for Universal Rights in Revolutionary France PHILIPP ZIESCHE On December 7, 1791, Gouverneur Morris sat down at his ^ desk at the Hotel Richelieu in Paris to spend some time on a personal project. As he later noted in his diary, ``This Morning employ myself in preparing a Form of Government for this Country.'' The following day Morris received a visit from a French gentleman who informed him that he knew America ``perfectly well tho he has never seen it'' and was convinced that the ``American Constitution is good for Nothing.'' The visitor who had studied the subject of constitutions for fifty years had been kind enough to write a letter to President Washington, enclosing a new constitution. As a central figure in both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, Morris was himself an old hand at constitution making, and the encounter left him with the disconcerting feeling of having met his French double: ``I get Rid of him as soon as I can,'' Morris wrote, ``but yet I cannot help being struck with the Similitude of a Frenchman who makes Constitutions for America and an

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

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