The essay considers the two concepts of “Empire of Liberty” in the political thought of Jefferson and Paine usually considered as a common project. “Empire of Liberty” is an expression to define the United States foreign policy in the age of Jefferson. Less famous than “Manifest Destiny,” another definition close to the idea of American expansionism, “Empire of Liberty” defined the ambitious project in Jefferson’s mind to link territorial expansion from one side, and commercial expansion on the other in the first decade of Nineteenth century. As many writers stated, the conflict between Jefferson’s ideas of expansion and the rejection of military and financial system of the Old Empires in Europe was the core of Jefferson’s dilemma in foreign policy. At the end he resolved this dilemma being a “conqueror without war,” even it was not entirely true if we consider the episode of the war with Tripoli in 1805, securing his objectives with economic and peaceful means. This aim was shared by Paine who, in different occasions, dreamed to be the interpreter of the American foreign policy, starting when he defined himself “Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Congress in the American War” in the first pages of his pamphlet Rights of Man published in 1791: until the very end of his life with an open request to be an envoy to France to start negotiation with Napoleon and Jefferson’s decline of his offer. Both democratic-republican in their souls the two men differ in many ways, and one clear example was the idea of “Empire of Liberty”: for Paine “Empire of Liberty” means more liberty than empire; for Jefferson it means the opposite. In a provocative tone we can start affirming that for Paine the keywords of the American expansionism should be commerce, law and liberty; for Jefferson instead land, expansion and slavery.
|Titolo:||American empire of liberty in the vision of Jefferson and Paine|
SIOLI, MARCO MARIO (Primo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||13-set-2009|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/05 - Storia e Istituzioni delle Americhe|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||International Center for Jefferson Studies|
|Citazione:||American empire of liberty in the vision of Jefferson and Paine / M.M. Sioli. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Transatlantic revolutionaries : Jefferson and Paine in America, Britain and France tenutosi a London nel 2009.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|