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The cause of all nations : an international history of the American Civil War

by Doyle, Don Harrison, 1946- (Author)

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"The Civil War is most often understood as an internal conflict, one fought by American soldiers over issues uniquely American in origin and consequence. But in The Cause of All Nations, distinguished historian Don H. Doyle reframes our understanding of the Civil War, describing it as a conflict tha... Full description

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Summary: "The Civil War is most often understood as an internal conflict, one fought by American soldiers over issues uniquely American in origin and consequence. But in The Cause of All Nations, distinguished historian Don H. Doyle reframes our understanding of the Civil War, describing it as a conflict that was shaped by international forces--and which had major international repercussions. Doyle shows that, rather than being an internal struggle, the Civil War hinged on the support of nations across the seas, especially in Europe. Both the North and the South looked to Europe for backing, and the Confederacy in particular depended on Britain and France recognizing it as a legitimate nation, which would allow for commercial treaties, loans, and even military aid. Indeed, representatives of the North and the South went so far as to adapt their ideologies to the expectations of European leaders, in the hopes of garnering much-needed support; at a certain point late in the war, the Confederacy even considered abolishing slavery in an attempt to win over French and British rulers. Lincoln quickly learned to reframe the Union's argument in order to win over potential allies. Instead of framing the debate around the unconstitutionality of the South's secession, his speeches began to highlight the importance of preserving the Union and freeing the slaves, an approach with allowed Lincoln to win the support of the European public. The United States became the 'Great Republic, ' an embattled defender of liberty, equality, and self-government and, in Lincoln's poignant words, the 'last best hope of earth.' A bold account of the international dimensions of one of America's most defining conflicts, The Cause of All Nations offers an important new way of understanding the Civil War"--Provided by publisher.
Physical Description: xviii, 382 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN: 9780465029679
0465029671
Author Notes: Don H. Doyle is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. The author of several books, including Faulkner's County and Nations Divided, he lives in Columbia, South Carolina.
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