A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!
Oct. 21, 2018

2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair

2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798

The three commissioners sent by Adams arrive in France to begin negotiations but find themselves beset with new characters and new circumstances following French victories in the field and a coup in the government. One figure in particular stands between the envoys and peace, and he’ll gladly get out of the way…if, of course, the Americans are willing to pay.


Special thanks to Noah Tetzner of the History of Vikings Podcast for providing this episode’s intro quote!

  • Adams, John. “To Heads of Department, 13 March 1798,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 13, 2018, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-2375. [Last Accessed: 30 Sep 2018]
  • DeConde, Alexander. The Quasi-War: The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War with France, 1797-1801. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1966.
  • Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989.
  • Landry, Jerry. “The Presidencies of the United States.” 2018. http://presidencies.blubrry.com
  • Robbins, Karen E. James McHenry: Forgotten Federalist. Athens, GA and London: University of Georgia Press, 2013.
  • Schom, Alan. Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: HarperCollins, 1998 [1997].
  • Smith, Jean Edward. John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. New York: Henry Holt & Co, 1996.
  • Zahniser, Marvin R. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Founding Father. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1967.

Featured Image: “Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord” by François Gérard [c. 1808], courtesy of Wikipedia