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The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict

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It was no coincidence that the Civil War occurred during an age of violent political upheaval in Europe and the Americas. Grounding the causes and philosophies of the Civil War in an international context, Andre M. Fleche examines how questions of national self-determination, race, class, and labor the world over influenced American interpretations of the strains on the Union and the growing differences between North and South. Setting familiar events in an international context, Fleche enlarges our understanding...
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The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict

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Overview

It was no coincidence that the Civil War occurred during an age of violent political upheaval in Europe and the Americas. Grounding the causes and philosophies of the Civil War in an international context, Andre M. Fleche examines how questions of national self-determination, race, class, and labor the world over influenced American interpretations of the strains on the Union and the growing differences between North and South. Setting familiar events in an international context, Fleche enlarges our understanding of nationalism in the nineteenth century, with startling implications for our understanding of the Civil War.

Confederates argued that European nationalist movements provided models for their efforts to establish a new nation-state, while Unionists stressed the role of the state in balancing order and liberty in a revolutionary age. Diplomats and politicians used such arguments to explain their causes to thinkers throughout the world. Fleche maintains that the fight over the future of republican government in America was also a battle over the meaning of revolution in the Atlantic world and, as such, can be fully understood only as a part of the world-historical context in which it was fought.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Revolution of 1861 has much to recommend; it combines clear writing with a successful argument for an international interpretation of the war.--West Virginia History

Essential reading for anyone interested in placing the American Civil War in broader international patterns of ideology and politics.--Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807835234
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Series: Civil War America Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andre M. Fleche is assistant professor of history at Castleton State College.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The American Civil War and the Age of Revolution 1

1 World Revolutions and the Coming of the American Civil War 11

2 The Revolution of 1861 38

3 The Problem of Northern Nationalism 60

4 The South and the Principle of Self-Determination 80

5 The Last Best Hope of Earth 107

6 The White Republic 132

Conclusion: American Nationalism and the Nineteenth-Century World 151

Notes 159

Bibliography 183

Index 199

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