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Shaping a new republic


“In my opinion it would be both just and proper to declare the treaty with France to be void--but I think it would be more advisable to direct reprisals than to declare war at present, for the public mind does not appear to me to be quite prepared for it. . . . Whenever the mass of our people are convinced that the war would be just, necessary, and unavoidable, they will be content that it should be declared, and will support it vigorously, but I doubt whether that conviction however well founded, is as yet so prevailing and general as it ought to be. . . .”
-Source: John Jay, letter to William North, 1798
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