chevalier de Chastellux

Portrait by Charles Willson Peale, c. 1782

QUICK FACTS
BORN:
1734 in Paris, France
  DIED:
28 October 1788 in Paris, France

AUTHOR OF
  • Voyages de M. le Marquis de Chastellux dans l'Amérique septentrionale, dans les années 1780, 1781 et 1782, (Travels in North America; 2 volumes), 1788
LINKS
CONTENTS

     

Francois-Jean Beauvoir. Portrait to come. See entry in Wikipedia.

 

What ultimately convinced Americans that they must revolt in 1776 was not that they were naturally and inevitably republican, for if that were truly the case evolution, not revolution, would have been the eventual solution. Rather it was the pervasive fear that they were not predestined to be a virtuous and egalitarian people that in the last analysis drove them into revolution in 1776. It was this fear and not their confidence in the peculiarity of their character that made them so readily and so remarkably responsive to Thomas Paine’s warning that the time for independence was at hand and that delay would be disastrous. By 1776 it had become increasingly evident that if they were to remain the kind of people they wanted to be they must become free of Britain.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)