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List of ambassadors of the United States to France

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ambassador of the United States to France
Ambassadeur des États-Unis en France
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Jamie McCourt

since December 18, 2017
ResidenceHôtel de Pontalba
NominatorThe President of the United States
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Inaugural holderBenjamin Franklin
as Envoy
WebsiteU.S. Embassy – Paris

The United States Ambassador to France is the official representative of the President of the United States to the President of France. The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with France since the American Revolution. Relations were upgraded to the higher rank of Ambassador in 1893. The diplomatic relationship has continued through France's five republics, two empires, and three monarchies. Since 2006 the ambassador to France has also served as the ambassador to Monaco

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Is the European Union a Country?
  • ✪ SPECIAL PLAN by EU Ambassador and EU Member States Ambassadors...


This is a Wendover Productions video in collaboration with Real Life Lore and made possible by Lootcrate. Is the European Union a country? It’s a bit of strange question, with an easy answer but a difficult explanation. The answer is no. The European Union is not a country, but… you can move between countries without passing through border control, work between countries without a Visa, and they use the same currency, and there are elections to a single parliament, and there’s a single government, and there are official languages, and a single economic market, a single aviation market, and… this is beginning to sound awfully like… a country. Let’s do a 90 second recap of how the EU works. This is the European Union. There are 28 member states including the UK which has voted to leave the EU, but just hasn’t yet gone through the process to leave. Of those, these are in the Schengen Zone meaning that there are no border controls between them. That means that a typical border crossing in the EU looks like this. These four are legally obliged to be in the Schengen Zone but just aren’t, and these two have opt-outs in their treaties that exempt them from being in the Schengen Zone. These countries are part of the Eurozone meaning the euro is their sole legal currency. These guys are obliged to join the Eurozone once they reach a certain economic target, which they haven’t, and these two have opt-outs exempting them from the Eurozone. Each member country of the European Union elects its own Members of the European Parliament, known as MEPs, but the Parliament can’t make laws by itself. Laws are proposed by the European Commission, who kinda work like an executive branch. They then go to the Parliament who, if they approve it, send it to the council of the European Union. While the Parliament represents the people of the European Union since the MEPs are elected by direct election, the Council represents the Governments since its made up of a rotating roster of national ministers. If a proposed piece of legislation makes it through both the Parliament and Council of Europe, it becomes law. So that’s how the European Union works, at least a massively simplified version, but how do countries work… or rather, what makes a country a country. Well calling a country a country is a bit misleading because the word “country” can mean a lot of things. What you’re probably thinking of when I say country is sovereign states—France, Japan, the US, etc—but there are non-sovereign states that are countries. Scotland is a country, indisputably, but it’s not a sovereign state. It’s a part of the Sovereign State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So, once again, what makes a country a country? Well, there’s something called the Declaratory Theory of Statehood that sets out four criteria for statehood. The first is “a permanent population”—a country is not a country without people so it needs people in its territory permanently. The EU easily has this. More than half a billion people live within its borders. If it were a country, it would be the third most populous on earth and have one of the second highest gdps in the world. The second requirement is a defined territory. It’s a common misconception that a new country can only form on unclaimed territory—according to the declaratory theory a sovereign state can be created in an area where another sovereign state already exists. Just look at North and South Korea—both claim the territory of each other and yet they’re both sovereign states. The European Union has a territory, but its a bit fuzzy. Any territory that you can call EU territory is also territory of other entities, the countries that make up the EU. But that doesn’t necessarily stop the EU from having a territory. Going back to the example of the UK, the official sovereign state—the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland—really doesn’t have any of its own territory. Any territory of the UK is part of England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland—each countries by themselves. The US is in a similar situation. States act kinda-like mini-countries and there really is no federal territory that is not part of a state’s territory. Especially given its open border policy, the EU’s territory is in function indistinguishable from that of any sovereign state. The third requirement is a government and the government can’t just be a puppet of another sovereign state. The government needs to have whats called “an essential core of independence.” As I’ve mentioned, the EU has a government but for a few reasons the EU government is different from that a sovereign state. Here’s the problem, the EU’s government is not independent. The power comes from below, as in the power comes from the member states. The power of most sovereign states also comes from below, but in that case its the people that give a state power. In the case of the EU, since power is granted by sovereign states, those states are really above the EU in power and therefore the EU government is a subservient government. That violates the criteria for a truly independent government. Although, what’s the difference between this and UK government then—the country of countries? The United Kingdom is also made up of countries so isn’t their government subservient? Well, in the EU, there is a system and structure to leaving, whereas in the United Kingdom or really any other country, the entities within the sovereign states cannot leave without a change in government structure and procedure. When parts of sovereign states leave sovereign states, they do so typically without a legal right but rather a moral right. It’s called “the Right to Revolution” according to the philosopher John Locke. When a government no longer serves the people, as in it fails to protect the rights of the people or becomes the entity that people need protection from, there is a near universal moral understanding that the people can either overthrow or leave that government. Members of the EU can choose whether or not to continue membership on a legal basis rather than a moral one. The whole structure and system was set up by the member states, so even though it is overseeing the states, the power originates from the states it oversees. The continued existence of the EU relies on the will of its members to continue the system. That is never the case with an independent government. That being said, while the origin of power may be different, the EU government functions in most ways like any other government. It has different branches, agencies, economic systems, leaders, and more, so while its different, the EU does partially fulfill the government requirement for statehood. The last criteria for statehood outlined in the Declaratory Theory is “the capacity to enter into relations with other states” and the EU absolutely has this. There are ambassadors to the EU, ambassadors of the EU, embassies of the EU, embassies to the EU, intergovernmental organizations between the EU and non-EU countries, treaties between the EU and non-EU countries, and more. While most foreign relations are handled by individual member countries, there are absolutely foreign relations of the EU as a whole. So, the European Union has fulfilled each criteria for sovereign statehood on out list, but it still isn’t a state. Here’s the problem: statehood, as in being a sovereign country, is not a natural phenomenon. No part of nature creates countries. You can call salt salt if it’s made of Sodium Chloride. That’s the requirement for salt being salt and we can’t change that. That how nature makes salt. We created the idea of countries. They’re a social construct, so society decides what is a sovereign country and what is not. While we can lay down a number of requisites for statehood, they are just guidelines to achieve the final goal—society’s acceptance of a country. We can’t just say these criteria make a country a country unless individuals believe in those criteria since countries, like all social constructs, only work if there’s a collective belief and following of that system. It’s similar to money. Money only works if everyone believes that pieces of paper equal value. Countries only work if everyone believes that certain imaginary lines separate who and what leads people. In the case of statehood, you can’t just ask every person in society whether or not they think a country is a sovereign country. There are socially accepted countries already and therefore those act as a proxy for society to decide whether a country is sovereign or not. A countries sovereignty is judged off of how many other sovereign countries recognize its sovereignty. The European Union is not a sovereign state because nobody accepts it as one. While it may function in many ways like a sovereign country, it is not one because sovereignty is neither its goal or desire. This shows you just how difficult it is to define what a country is. Supranational organizations like the EU act like countries, but at the same time… so do some subnational entities—as in parts of countries. Most specifically in the US. (Joseph’s part) States have a level of sovereignty that blur the line between what is part of a sovereign country and a county itself. What is the difference between a state in the United States and a country. They fulfill almost all the criteria that you just heard about so that’s why I asked the question in collaboration with Wendover Productions “Is the United States a Country” over on my channel Real Life Lore. Please do be sure to check that out, it’s a great video from a great channel. A lot of you ask how you can support the channel and I have a great, fun way courtesy of Lootcrate. Lootcrate is a monthly mystery crate that brings collectibles, apparel, tech gadgets, art, and other gear right to your door. They have a bunch of different themes to suit what you like, and if you sign up using the link you’ll support the channel so I can keep doing better and better videos. On top of that, if you use that link, you can take 10% off by using the coupon code bridge10. These boxes are a fantastic deal. Each has more than $45 worth of gear for as low as $11.95 a month plus shipping. Thats the cost of about four cups of coffee. It’s a great gift for Christmas, or a great way to reward yourself. Once again, if you sign up using the link and the code bridge10, you’ll get 10% and help support Wendover Productions. Other than that, you can also help this channel by contributing on Patreon where 100% of the funds go right back into the channel. I even release expense reports at the end of each month. You can also get great rewards over there like early access to videos, stickers, hand-written letters, and most recently, t-shirts. You can also order a t-shirt by itself for only $20 through DFTBA. The link is here and also in the description. Other than that, please make sure to follow me on Twitter @WendoverPro, watch my last video on Every Country in the World here, check out my fan-moderated subreddit here, and most of all, subscribe to this channel to receive all my future videos right when they come out. Lastly, this is the final Wendover Productions video of 2016 and I want to sincerely than every one of you for your amazing support. I started this year with about 3,000 subscribers and now I’m almost at 300,000. It’s been an awesome year all thanks to you guys. Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you in 2017 for the best year of videos you’ve ever seen.


List of United States Chiefs of Mission in France

Ministers to the Court of Versailles (1778–1792)

Relations between the United States and the French Court of Versailles were established in 1778 with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. As a republic, the United States was not entitled to send an ambassador. Instead, relations were maintained at the lower diplomatic rank of Minister. The position was formally known as the Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin September 14, 1778 March 23, 1779 May 17, 1785
Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale 1805 cropped.jpg
Thomas Jefferson March 10, 1785 May 17, 1785 September 26, 1789
Portrait of William Short.jpg
William Short April 20, 1790 June 14, 1790 May 15, 1792
Gouverneur Morris.jpg
Gouverneur Morris January 12, 1792 June 3, 1792 April 9, 1794 Remained as Minister after the First Republic was proclaimed. Mission terminated when the French government requested his recall.

Ministers to the First Republic (1792–1804)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
James Monroe
James Monroe May 28, 1794 August 15, 1794 December 9, 1796
CharlesCPinckney crop.jpg
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney September 9, 1796 Not presented February 5, 1797

Diplomatic relations were broken in 1796 due to French anger at U.S. neutrality in the War of the First Coalition. After the Directory refused to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney's credentials, a commission was appointed to negotiate with the French Republic. The members of the commission — Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry — were all accredited with the rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.[1] French officials demanded a bribe before they would commence negotiations, scuttling the mission in the XYZ Affair. Hostilities culminated in the outbreak of the Quasi-War between the U.S. and France. Diplomatic relations were restored with the Convention of 1800.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Robert R Livingston, attributed to Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828).jpg
Robert R. Livingston October 2, 1801 December 6, 1801 November 18, 1804 Remained as Minister after Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed emperor.

James Monroe was accredited Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Republic in 1803 to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.[2] However, Robert Livingston remained chief of mission.

Ministers to the First Empire (1804–1814)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
John Armstrong Jr Rembrandt Peale.jpg
John Armstrong June 30, 1804 November 18, 1804 September 14, 1810
Joel Barlow - Project Gutenberg eText 13220.png
Joel Barlow February 27, 1811 November 17, 1811 December 26, 1812 Died in Żarnowiec during the French retreat from Moscow.
William H. Crawford April 9, 1813 December 14, 1813
August 16, 1814
April 26, 1815 to April 30, 1815 Reaccredited to the Court of Versailles.

Ministers to the Court of Versailles (1814–1830)

The Congress of Vienna standardized the system of diplomatic ranks. The United States continued to send a Minister, who was officially credentialed as an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Albert Gallatin February 28, 1815 July 16, 1816 May 16, 1823
Senator James Brown of Louisiana (1766-1835).jpg
James Brown December 9, 1823 April 13, 1824 June 28, 1829
William Cabell Rives April 18, 1829 October 25, 1829
January 14, 1831
September 27, 1832 Reaccredited to the Kingdom of France.

Ministers to the Kingdom of France (1830–1848)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Edward Livingston, U.S. Secretary of State.jpg
Edward Livingston May 29, 1833 September 30, 1833 April 29, 1835
Lewis Cass October 4, 1836 December 1, 1836 November 12, 1842
William Rufus DeVane King 1839 portrait.jpg
William R. King April 9, 1844 July 1, 1844 September 15, 1846
Richard Rush engraving.png
Richard Rush March 3, 1847 July 31, 1847
April 26, 1848
October 8, 1849 Reaccredited to the Second Republic.

Ministers to the Second Republic (1848–1852)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
William Cabell Rives July 20, 1849 November 8, 1849
January 10, 1853
May 12, 1853 Reaccredited to the Second Empire.

Ministers to the Second Empire (1852–1870)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
John Y. Mason October 10, 1853 January 22, 1854 October 3, 1859 Died at post.
Charles J. Faulkner 1806-1884 - Brady-Handy.jpg
Charles J. Faulkner January 16, 1860 March 4, 1860 May 12, 1861 Sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War.
William L. Dayton.jpg
William L. Dayton March 18, 1861 May 19, 1861 December 1, 1864 Died at post.
John Bigelow - Brady-Handy.jpg
John Bigelow March 15, 1865 April 23, 1865 December 23, 1866
John Adams Dix September 24, 1866 December 23, 1866 May 23, 1869
Elihu B. Washburne seated - Brady-Handy.png
Elihu B. Washburne March 17, 1869 March 23, 1869
May 8, 1871
September 5, 1877 Reaccredited to the Third Republic.

Ministers to the Third Republic

Ambassadors to the Third Republic

Ambassadors to the Fourth Republic

Ambassadors to the Fifth Republic

R. Sargent Shriver
R. Sargent Shriver

See also


  1. ^ Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth; Gerry, Elbridge; Marshall, John (1798). Authentic Copies of the Correspondence of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry, Esqrs. Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the Republic of France: As Presented to Both Houses of Congress, April 3, 1798, by His Excellency John Adams. J. Derrett. p. 62. The undersigned Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the French Republic, had the honour of announcing to you officially, on the 6th of October, their arrival at Paris, and of presenting to you on the 8th, a copy of their letters of credence.
  2. ^ "Image 906 of James Monroe Papers: Series 1, General Correspondence, 1758-1839; 1796 Mar. 22-1803 Oct. 8 (Reel 2)". The Library of Congress.
  3. ^ "Ambassadors and Chiefs of Mission – FAQs – About Us – Office of the Historian".
  4. ^ Knowlton, Brian (August 16, 2009). "New U.S. Envoy Takes Up Post". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  5. ^ "Ambassador Charles Rivkin permanently departed post on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 following his nomination by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs". Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "Our Charge D'Affairs Ad Interim". US Embassy to France. Retrieved May 2, 2014.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website (U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets).

Further reading

  • Willson, Beckles. America's Ambassadors to France (1777-1927): A Narrative of Franco-American Diplomatic Relations (1928).

External links

This page was last edited on 23 May 2019, at 15:25
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