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American Civil WarsThe United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s$
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Don H. Doyle

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631097

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631097.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Wrapping the World in Fire

Wrapping the World in Fire

The Interventionist Crisis in the Civil War

Chapter:
(p.34) Chapter Two Wrapping the World in Fire
Source:
American Civil Wars
Author(s):

Howard Jones

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631097.003.0003

Too often overlooked in the American Civil War was the crisis over foreign intervention and possible diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy as a sovereign nation. Outside observers watched events in America with great interest, some noting how the South’s struggle for independence could provide an example for their own aspirations for liberty. The controversy involved the central characters on the international scene: Abraham Lincoln and William Seward in Washington, Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell in London, Napoleon III in Paris, and, perhaps a lesser known figure, the British secretary for war, George Cornewall Lewis. The actions considered in Britain and France included mediation, arbitration, and even a forceful intervention in the name of peace, but always based on self-interest. The chief opponent of intervention was Lewis, who warned that such action might lead to war with the United States. Had Britain recognized the South, France and other nations would probably have followed, perhaps permanently dividing the United States and crippling the republic for decades.

Keywords:   Davis, Jefferson, intervention, Lewis, George Cornewall, Lincoln, Abraham, Napoleon III, Palmerston, Lord, Russell, Lord John, Seward, William

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