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The theory made it easy to argue that the natural environment of the United States would prevent it from ever producing true culture.
Echoing de Pauw, the French Encyclopedist Abbé Raynal wrote in 1770, "America has not yet produced a good poet, an able mathematician, one man of genius in a single art or a single science".
Others, like Jean-François Revel, have examined what lay hidden behind this 'fashionable' ideology.
James Ceaser has noted that the denouncement of America as inferior to Europe was in part motivated by the German government's fear of mass emigration; de Pauw was called on to convince the Germans that the new world was inferior.
The nature of American democracy was also questioned.Political scientist Brendon O'Connor of the United States Studies Centre suggests that anti-Americanism cannot be isolated as a consistent phenomenon and that the term originated as a rough composite of stereotypes, prejudices and criticisms evolving to more politically based criticism.French scholar Marie-France Toinet says use of the term anti-Americanism "is only fully justified if it implies systematic opposition – a sort of allergic reaction – to America as a whole".De Pauw is also known to have influenced the philosopher Immanuel Kant in a similar direction.De Pauw said that the New World was unfit for human habitation because it was, "so ill-favored by nature that all it contains is either degenerate or monstrous".
The theory was debated and rejected by early American thinkers such as Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson; Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1781), provided a detailed rebuttal of de Buffon from a scientific point of view.