FRANCE AND AMERICA
Some Experiences in Coöperation

BY

ANDRÉ TARDIEU

BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
The Riverside Press Cambridge

1927

 

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
CONTRASTS

I

THE FUNDAMENTAL ERROR

Traditional friendship --- Brevity of combined efforts --A century without contact --- Dangers of official optimism ---To know is to foresee.

II

TWO PEOPLES

France a sedentary nation --- American freedom of movement --- Specialization and change --- Rôle of the West --- Frontiers in France and in the United States --- Two ideas of nationality --- Liberty and union --American particularism --- Civil War --- Work of Abraham Lincoln --- Races in France and United States---Immigration and its consequences --- Americanism --- Differences in proportion --- United States as seen by Europe.

III

TWO DEMOCRACIES

France's long struggle for political liberty --- A saving of eighteen centuries --- Frenchmen sovereign by right of conquest, Americans by right of birth --- Individuals protected against the tyranny of numbers by the Constitution of 1787--- American laws and the Supreme Court --- The rôle of the Executive in France and in the United States --- Provincial Life --- American conservatism and French revolutions --- The religious question --- Political and economic factors ---The enduring quality of American parties.

IV

TWO TEMPERAMENTS

American individualism and French individualism ---The spirit of compromise and the intransigeant spirit --- For and against social conventions --- American optimism and American pride --- The antagonism of the two civilizations --- The Bible and antiquity --- The social tendencies of American culture --- National mission of the colleges --- An impression of 1805 --- Discourse on method.

 

CHAPTER II
TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF FRENCH LIFE

I

ENDURE AND SUFFER

A theater of Franco-American coöperation ---From Oise and Aisne --- Cradle of the French plough --- Antiquity of local communities ---Before and after ---The Church and the Commune --- Continuity of wars --- Foreign invasion and civil wars --- An abyss of suffering.

II

FAITH

Beginnings of the churches of Soissons and Laon --1000 A.D. and the clergy --- Convents and parishes --Religious art---Ecclesiastical culture in the Middle Ages --- The Church and the Reformations --- The Church and the Revolution --- From Saint Remi to Calvin.

III

FORCE

The nobles and the king---The keep of Coucy ---Feudal times---The days of chivalry---Uneasy beginnings of royalty --- Keystone of the French structure --- France built by her kings --- From serfdom to the Third Estate --- Communal charters --- Triumph of the crown --- Decline of the aristocracy --- The court --- The nation.

IV

NUMBERS

Rural slaves and free colonists --- The Church and the people --- Struggle for local liberties --- Rural districts and the communal movement --- The people against the nobles --- The king on the people's side --- Clerics --- Misery of the poor --- Rumblings of revolution --Napoleon and modern times --- Character of Picardy --- Ideas of property --- Political divisions --- Rural dynasties --- Communal particularism --- Virtues of individualism.

 

CHAPTER III
AMERICA AND THE WAR

I

VOLUNTEERS

What Americans in Paris did --- War relief bodies in the United States --- Pro-Ally minority --- Enlistments in the French army ---Effect on American public opinion --- The American Field Service --- The American Fund for French Wounded --- First organization in aid of the civilian population.

II

NEUTRALITY

American traditions --- Love of isolation --- Forbears of the policy of aloofness --- Its application in the nineteenth century --- The foreign vote and the neutrality --- Unanimously neutral in August, 1914---Woodrow Wilson's speeches --- Theodore Roosevelt's article --- Attitude of Congress --- Indifference of the people --- Presidential election of 1916---Both parties in agreement --- Eighteen million votes for neutrality ---- Europe's mistake.

III

AT WAR

Neutrality impossible --- Choice between two wars --- Failure of the policy of mediation --- Influence of economic interests --- America's markets and the Allies --- Evolution of President Wilson --- Final qualms of conscience --- From Madison to Wilson ---Declaration of war --- Popular support and its causes --- Rôle of the pro-Ally minority --- Popularity of France --- Civil Section of the American Fund for French Wounded appears behind the French front ---The enthusiasm of coöperation.

 

CHAPTER IV
RECONSTRUCTION

I

THE WRATH OF ATTILA.

German occupation --- Committee for Relief in Belgium and the civilian population --- The drama of March, 1917--- Strategic retreat of the Germans and destruction of French villages --- Martyrdom of the victims of invasion --- Wiping out the home --- The dead soil --- Rôle of the Civil Section of the American Fund for French Wounded --- First barracks --- Agricultural syndicates --- Two defeats in 1918--- Withdrawal on Paris --- The American Committee for Devastated France --- Moving canteens --- Regrouping the refugees --- Dawn of victory --- Liberation of the Aisne.

II

THE SORES OF RECONSTRUCTION

Protectionist character of French reconstruction --- An unprecedented undertaking --- Immensity of ruin ---Rôle of the Government --- The four sores of reconstruction --- Rise in prices --- Variations in cost of reconstruction --- Germany's failure to pay --- Policy of borrowing --- Irregularity of credits--- Importance of the work done --- Its shortcomings --- Individuals sacrificed --- Calvary of the cultivators --- Moral conditions --- Tragedy of the unfinished task.

III

THE VOLUNTEERS OF PEACE

Programme of the American Committee --- Social reconstitution--- First social workers in England and America --- Difficulties of adaptation --- Social hygiene in the United States and in France --- Boy Scout movement --- Public libraries --- Two aspects of individualism --- The agricultural achievement --- The public health work --- Education of youth --- American libraries in the Aisne and in Paris --- Endowments--- Training schools for nurses and librarians --- Transfer of American activities to French organizations ---Story of a friendship.

 

CHAPTER V
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS

I

THE PROBLEM OF WAR COÖPERATION

Immensity of the results obtained --- Their difficulties --- Military coöperation ---Amalgamation or autonomy --- Effectives --- Instruction and transport --- The American army in France --- The material and moral problems --- Allotment of shipping --- American advances to the Allies --- Growth of misunderstanding --- The panic of March, 1918--- Concentration of authority in the United States --- Inter-Allied organizations --- French consortiums --- The French High Commission in the United States--- Intellectual and moral influence --- Triumph of combined effort.

II

DRIFTING

Crisis of the Peace Conference --- Rôle of Woodrow Wilson--- Rupture of economic ties --- Dissatisfaction of the soldiers --- Legend of the trench-renting --- Effect of political struggles in France and the United States --- Democratic Party against France- --Republican Party arrayed against the Treaty of Versailles ---Political contradiction and electoral necessities ---The separate peace with Germany --- Concatenation of French and American mistakes --- Clemenceau's downfall and the American people --- Washington Conference of 1921 --- Near-Eastern affairs --- Occupation of the Ruhr --- Debt question--- Errors of French 'propaganda' ---A complete misunderstanding.

III

UPSTREAM

Private organizations in the United States --- Their pro-French work during the war --- Difficulties encountered --- American Committee for Devastated France in America --- Its use of publicity methods---Their success --- Its use of party methods --- Good-Will campaign --- A feminine Embassy --- Rôle of the press and of business men --- Elections of 1929. --- France discovered --- Reawakened affection --- A consolation or a lesson.

 

CHAPTER VI
AND AFTER?

1
Pre-war contrasts intensified by war---Weakening of Europe---American prosperity ---Bitterness and pride---Two world ideals ---Inescapable ties ---Problem of American exports---Debts and credits--- European deception and American indictment---Franco-American conflict.

2
French faults --- Decline of national faith --- Political indifference and slothful sentimentalism --- Economic factors underweighed --- From servility to aggressiveness --- Unfaithful interpreters --- Possibilities of remedy.

3
American faults --- Arrogance and ignorance --- Dangers of the constructive spirit --- Professors of prosperity --- Tactlessness and provocation --- Europe's fears --- Lack of continuity in America's foreign policy --- Moral superiority complex --- Political inferiority complex --- Ground lost by United States.

4
Methods of the future --- Enlightenment of two democracies --- What France can teach the United States ---What the United States can teach France---- Contact of the rising generation --- Rôle of the universities ---Lessons of contrasts --- Bringing together the élites ---Fruitful coöperation --- Perils of political coöperation --- A generation sacrificed --- The ideal and the attainable --- A critical essay and an act of faith.


Chapter One