The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 38
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
diplomacy hardly affected the final result. Louisiana and Texas
were destined to belong to the population that could best cope with
the primitive conditions of the Mississippi Valley, and that popula-
tjon was composed of Anglo-American pioneers. It is true that,
for certain purposes, individuals of this class temporarily acknowl-
edged foreign allegiance, but ultimately they found themselves
under the flag of the United States. This was the history of the
successive waves of American migration to the Southwest, and was
as' true of the decade preceding the nineteenth century as of that
approaching its middle course.
The intriguing period of Louisiana diplomacy was ushered in by
a proposal usually attributed to the Comte de Vergennes looking to
a retrocession of Louisiana to France. The French minister is
credited with a memoir written sometime before the American al-
liance outlining the course which France should pursue in the event
of American independence. Vergennes believed that if the Amer-
icans were successful in the conflict they would covet Florida,
Louisiana, and Mexico - countries that were useless to them as
colonials, but which as an independent people would render them
masters of all the important straits of the Gulf. By entering into
the conflict he believed that France could compel her hated rival
England to cede the territory west of the Appalaohians, together
with a portion of Canada. To complete her possessions on the
American continent, Spain should yield Louisiana to its former
possessor. Thus the liberated colonies, hemmed in by the moun-
tains, would remain in perpetual dependence upon the mistress of
the-Mississippi Valley, now restored to a position far stronger than
that preceding the Seven Years' War. Whether or not Vergennes
was the author of this memoir, it is in keeping with his later
policy in favoring Spain at the expense of the United States. This
policy was dictated not so mudh by a desire to please Spain as to
advance France in her aspirations to regain control -of the Missis-
sippi Valley. An additional motive may be found in the secret
1Cf. American Historical Review, X 250-252. The significant pages of
the printed memoir are 27-30; 100-114. I have used the copy in the King
collection of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio. In em-
phasizing the usefulness of Louisiana to Spain and the necessity of a
union of that power with France in order to check the spread of the Eng-
lish or Americans, Vergennes seems to revert to many of the ideas ex-
pressed in the early memoirs of Iberville (cf. Margry, IV 30).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907, periodical, 1907; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/m1/46/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.