Citizen Warriors: French Perception of the American Military, 1777-1779 Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Osman, Julia
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • From examining reports of the American Revolution in French newspapers, this thesis evaluates the French perception of the American military from the beginning of the war until the French-American alliance in 1778. During the 1770s, French officers and savants were referring to ancient sources to reform the military’s practical problems and flagging patriotism. One officer, the Comte de Guibert, proposed the French adopt a “citizen army” as the ultimate solution. In this context of reform, the American military appeared to epitomize the patriotism and success of the ancient militaries. The hearty support of the American military that appeared in a government propaganda paper reveals the significance of the American image to the French government and European elite. During these early years of the American Revolution, the press coverage constructed an archetypal image of the American army and militia that informed French officers and enlightenment writers’ understanding of military operations and patriotism.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Smith, Jay
  • Open access

This work has no parents.