Funny how things change.
The people of America had been bred up in the same prejudices against France, which at that time characterized the people of England; but experience and an acquaintance with the French Nation have most effectually shown to the Americans the falsehood of those prejudices; and I do not believe that a more cordial and confidential intercourse exists between any two countries than between America and France. Thomas Paine, Preface to the English Edition of Rights of Man, in Rights of Man; Common Sense; and Other Political Writings 83, 85 (Mark Philp, ed., 1995).
Without the French, the United States would possibly never have existed. Like us, they championed liberty — and gave us the Statue of Liberty:
[R]eflecting on the centennial of American independence only 11 years in the future, Laboulaye commented, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people in France gave the United States a great monument as a lasting memorial to independence and thereby showed that the French government was also dedicated to the idea of human liberty?” History: Statue of Liberty, American Park Network, ¶ 4 (2001), last visited 23 September 2004.
Some things, though, never change.
That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of Nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between Nations, it becomes more unpardonable. Thomas Paine, supra, at pp. 87-88.
Something to think about.