About the Book
In the of spring of 1798, relations between the United
States and France still troubled John Dickinson, despite the publication
of his second set of "Fabius Letters" the previous year. Thinking
that the reception of these letters was not powerful enough, he sought
to amplify them with another short pamphlet he titled A Caution;
or Reflections on the Present Contest Between France and Great Britain
(Philadelphia, 1798). In it, he first complained that current American
foreign policy was provoking France and steering her away from her vital
friendship; this, Dickinson felt, was a serious mistake for the young
United States. He then took up the argument he had made as "Fabius"
the year before - that France would eventually invade and defeat Great
Britain - and he outlined ways in which that could be done. Events within
France were moving quickly, however, as the century turned. There were
clear acts of aggression against Spain, Germany, and northern Italy.
Meanwhile, the steady rise of Napoleon Bonaparte towards an Imperial
throne began the evaporation of any last support the French Revolution
had in America. At last, John Dickinson was forced to recant his long
held views in support of France. This he did in a pamphlet he called
An Address on the Past, Present, and Eventual Relations of the United
States to France (New York, 1803) over the signature "Anticipation."
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