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Dixie Looks Abroad: The South and U. S. Foreign Relations, 1789-1973

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As America's most self-conscious section, the South has exercised an important and often decisive influence on U.S. foreign relations, but the extent of this influence has been largely unexplored by historians. In this groundbreaking study, Joseph A. Fry provides a comprehensive overview of the South's role in U.S. international involvement from 1789 to 1973, revealing the enormous impact of southern pressure on broader national interests.

In a gracefully written and engaging narrative, Fry chronicles the South's numerous foreign policy opinions over time, including its opposition to closer relations with Great Britain and war with France in the 1790s, its leadership in the War of 1812, its flawed diplomatic attempts during the years of the Confederacy, and its fifty-year protest against the increasingly assertive Republican-dominated political agenda following the Civil War. With the election of Woodrow Wilson, Fry shows, the South reversed its tendency toward isolationism and consistently supported Wilson's activist foreign policies. The South sustained this interventionist mind-set into the 1970s, ardently supporting cold war containment policy.

Fry is careful to note that southerners seldom presented a completely united front on foreign affairs. Yet even while disagreeing among themselves, he argues, they consistently viewed the world through a distinctly southern lens and acted on a variety of perceived common interests, including a dedication to honor and patriotism, a determination to protect slavery, a proclivity for personal violence, a commitment to partisan politics, a concern for economics, and a preoccupation with race.

Though the South's foreign policy opinions varied widely through the years, Fry's extraordinary work affirms that Dixie has always held considerable clout on the world stage.

LSU Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807127452
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph A. Fry, professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the author of two other books, John Tyler Morgan and the Search for Southern Autonomy and Henry S. Sanford: Diplomacy and Business in Nineteenth-Century America.

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Resisting Dependence, 1789-1815 8
Ch. 2 Lurching toward the Abyss, 1815-1861 40
Ch. 3 Forging an Independent Foreign Policy, 1861-1865 75
Ch. 4 Confronting the Reality of Dependence, 1865-1912 106
Ch. 5 Returning to the House of their Fathers, 1913-1920 139
Ch. 6 Defending the Nation and Enacting the Wilsonian Vision, 1920-1945 188
Ch. 7 Containing Communism and Rejecting Internationalism, 1945-1973 222
Ch. 8 Taking Center Stage: Southerners and Vietnam, 1954-1973 261
Bibliographic Essay 299
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