By Cecil Chesterton
Writer: George H. Doran corporation booklet date: 1919 matters: usa historical past usa Fiction / Classics historical past / basic background / usa / common historical past / usa / kingdom
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The West was merely to make legitimate preparations for the invasion of Mexico and Florida in the event of certain disputes then pending with Spain resulting in war. It was apparently in this form that the design was half disclosed to the most influential citizen and commander of the militia in the newly created State of Tennessee, Andrew Jackson, the same that we saw as a mere school-boy riding and fighting at Hanging Rock. Jackson had met Burr during the brief period when he was in Congress as representative of his State.
But as the drama unrolled itself a sharp, though very unequal, division of opinion appeared. In New England, especially, there were many who were shocked at the proceedings of the French, at their violence, at their Latin cruelty in anger, and, above all perhaps, at that touch of levity which comes upon the Latin when he is face to face with death. Massacres and carmagnoles did not strike the typical Massachusetts merchant as the methods by which God-fearing men should protest against oppression.
Moreover, the sympathy for France, of which he had at one time made no disguise, was somewhat damped by the latest change which had taken place in the French Government. Large as was his vision compared with most of his contemporaries, he was too much soaked in the Republican tradition of antiquity, which was so living a thing in that age, to see in the decision of a nation of soldiers to have a soldier for their ruler and representative the fulfilment of democracy and not its denial. But his desire for peace was not made easier of fulfilment by either of the belligerent governments.