With a vengeance
Dear polprof: If you discover that your students do not have a foundation, then it is your opportunity and duty to teach them. They could have ended up in another class where the prof didn’t care, but somehow they ended up in yours. Go for it! The huge debates of the founding of the American Nation plus the Barbary Wars provide outstanding comparisons between Liberty and self-governing and libertine and slavery. Be positive. You can make a difference. Even the French school textbooks do a pretty good job of describing the progression of the English Revolution, which set the foundation for the American Revolution, and then what when wrong to make the catastrophe of the French Revolution. So, bonne chance!