Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 202–212 | Cite as

An Atlantic triangle in the 1900s: Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘special relationships’ with France and Britain

  • Serge RicardEmail author


This article aims at highlighting two ‘special’ transatlantic relationships whose cultivation resulted from Theodore Roosevelt’s personal diplomacy. One of them was between America and Britain - the celebrated ‘special relationship’ par excellence - and the other - the lesser-known one - was between America and France. The latter bilateral rapport was by far the most satisfying one for Roosevelt as the outcome of personal ties; it rested on a fascinating character, France’s ambassador to Washington, Jean Jules Jusserand, who assisted America’s 26th president on both sides of the Atlantic through his contacts in France and Britain. Transatlantica, which would owe a lot to Roosevelt’s cosmopolitanism, was then in the making, paradoxically marked in its incipient stage by Anglo-American bickering over the Alaska boundary and US honeymooning with the French. The Gallic factor, thanks to Jusserand, would bring about diplomatic cooperation and harmony between America and France throughout Roosevelt’s major foreign policy initiatives, three of which are singled out in this essay: the second Venezuelan crisis, the Russo-Japanese war, and the Moroccan crisis.


special relationship France Britain Jean Jules Jusserand Theodore Roosevelt’s diplomacy Alaskan boundary Venezuela Portsmouth Morocco 


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  1. 1.
    See Serge Ricard, ‘Un Français à Washington: Jean Jules Jusserand, témoin de l’Amérique et acteur des relations transatlantiques (1903-1924)’, in Mythes et réalités transatlantiques: dynamique des systèmes de representation dans la littérature, ed. Christian Lerat (Bordeaux: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine, 1997), 97–109. The present essay partly draws on that article.Google Scholar
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  39. 37.
    For the whole episode (1904-1906), see Douglas Eden, ‘The First US Intervention in Europe: Theodore Roosevelt’s Diplomacy to Prevent War in 1905-1906: Why Was an Important Centenary Disregarded?’, a paper presented to the 8th annual conference of the Transatlantic Studies Association, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, England, July 2009. See also Ricard, Roosevelt, 371-89, and Ricard, ‘Foreign Policy Making in the White House’, 17–22.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Sorbonne NouvelleParisFrance

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