This book was published in June 1994 by a French publisher and became the winner of the Organization of American Historians foreign language book prize.
The Nationalist Ferment contributes significantly to the renewal of early U.S. diplomatic history. Since the 1980s, a number of diplomatic historians have turned aside from traditional diplomatic issues and sources. They have instead focused on gender, ethnic relationships, culture, and the connections between foreign and domestic policy.
Rossignol argues that in the years 1789–1812 the new nation needed to assert its independence and autonomous character in the face of an unconvinced world. After overcoming initial divisions caused by foreign policy, Americans met this challenge by defining common foreign policy objectives and attitudes, which both legitimized the United States abroad and reinforced national unity at home. This book establishes the constant connections between domestic and international issues during the early national period.