The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 68
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68 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
cession of Louisiana to France was the only possible check to this
movement, he did not succeed in gaining the coveted province.1
The offer to conquer and divide Portugal or else to exchange
Louisiana for the papal legations were likewise without result.2
When in July, 1797, Tallyrand assumed the position of minister
of foreign affairs under the Directory, he ushered in a new and
more successful era in Louisiana diplomacy. The ex-bishop of
Autun believed that the commercial and political interests of the
United States and Great Britain were naturally allied, and that
in opposition to them France must build up a colonial system of
her own." The following year he was in a position to reveal some
of the details necessary to inaugurate this system. By this time
Godoy had been driven from power and Urquijo, a minister more
complaisant to the French Directory, now managed the foreign af-
fairs of Spain. Accordingly Tallyrand instructed Guillemardet'
at Madrid, to show to the Spanish government the evil effects fol-
lowing the delivery to the Americans of the posts on the Missis-
sippi. He was then to represent vividly the danger to Spanish in-
terests because of the ambition and cupidity of the Americans,
their determination to dominate the western continent and perhaps
Europe, and the possibility of their union with Great Britain in
order to realize this program. The only way to curb their ambi-
tion was to shut them up "within the limits which Nature seems
to have traced for them" (i. e. the Appalachians). Spain could
not do this, so she must hasten to appeal for aid to a "preponderat-
Ing Power," whose recompense should be "a small part of her im-
mense dominions" (Louisiana and the Floridas). As mistress
of these two provinces the French Republic would be "a wall of
brass forever impenetrable to the combined efforts of England and
Certain mistakes of domestic and of foreign policy interfered
with the immediate success of Tallyrand's plans and forced his
retirement from office until after the coup d'tat of the 18th Bru-
"American Histortcal Review, X 268, 269.
3IHenry Adams, History of the United States, I 352.
I4bid., 355ff. One French traveler of the period, however, emphasizes
the fact that his nation would make Louisiana something more than an
unproductive barrier colony. Perrin Du Lac, Voyages dans les Deuc
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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/m1/76/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.