Keylor Presents on Post-WWI U.S.-France Relations

Programme_CLQ USA 1917-1

William Keylor, Professor of International Relations and History at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, recently presented at a conference in the French port city of Saint Nazaire in Brittany on the dissolution of the bonds of friendship between the United States and France from the armistice of November 11, 1918 to the end of the Woodrow Wilson administration on March 4, 1921.

In addition to chairing a session, Keylor was on the organizing committee of the conference, entitled “Voila les Americains: Les Etats-Unis en France et en Europe, 1917: Circulations et Diffusion Des Idees et des Savoirs,” which was held from June 22-24, 2017. 

Keylor’s presentation, entitled “From ‘Lafayette, We Are Here’ to ‘Lafayette, We Have Quit: The campaign by American Francophile individuals and organizations to combat the rise of Francophobia in the United States, 1918-1923,” focused on the emerging francophobia in the United States during this period and the efforts of pro-French groups and individuals in that country to counteract this trend, with the active support of the French embassy in Washington and the French consulate in New York City.

Keylor explored how and why the image of France in the United States underwent this fundamental transformation in the years after the end of the Great War when the two countries celebrated their joint military victory, the principal issues in dispute between the two governments that led to this deterioration of bi-lateral relations, and how the major defenders of France in the United States—individual people as well as non-governmental organizations–attempted to combat this disenchantment and promote the French cause.

Keylor served four consecutive terms as Chairman of the Department of History at Boston University (1988-2000) and has been Director of the International History Institute since 1999. At Boston University, he has received the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Methodist Scholar-Teacher Award.