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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.

The young United States also faced criticism on political and ideological grounds.

The widely used "anti-American sentiment", meanwhile, less explicitly implies an ideology or belief system.

Globally, increases in perceived anti-American attitudes appear to correlate with particular policies or actions, In the mid- to late-eighteenth century, a theory emerged among some European intellectuals that the New World landmasses were inherently inferior to Europe.

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.

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