5:30 pm to 7 pm
“Agents of the American Revolutions: South American Rebels in the United States, 1810-1830”
Caitlin Fitz, Northwestern University
During the South American independence movements from 1810 to 1825, over 200 revolutionaries came to the United States. Working to transform their host cities into international revolutionary hubs, these agents enlisted privateers, bought weapons, and contacted federal policymakers. But most of all, they talked to editors, convinced as they were that U.S. foreign policy emerged in the messy world of democratic politics rather than in isolated chambers of Washington. By swaying the people through the press, agents hoped for nothing less than to sway the government itself. Such tactics turned out to be only partly effective in shaping policy. But the impact on public opinion was profound, reinforcing popular notions of republican mission and national greatness.
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