Reaching beyond the standard narratives of this history, Sainlaude delves deeply into questions of geopolitical strategy and diplomacy during this critical period in world affairs. The resulting study will help shift the way Americans look at the Civil War and extend their understanding of the conflict in global context.
About the Author
Jessica Edwards is an independent translator.
Don H. Doyle is McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina.
What People are Saying About This
Most studies of Civil War diplomacy focus on British relations with the Union and Confederacy, but Sainlaude makes a strong case that French policy deserves more attention than it has received, especially given the consequences of France's intervention in the simultaneous civil war in Mexico. And the insights derived from wartime reports by French consuls in both Northern and Southern cities give this book a fresh perspective on the American war.--James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
Through assiduous work in French archival sources, Sainlaude upends our understanding of France's relationship to the United States and the Confederacy during the Civil War. By reversing the gaze and seeing the Civil War westward from Europe, rather than seeing Europe eastward from the Civil War, Sainlaude rethinks the timing, nature, and potential outcomes of the French response to the Civil War. An important and welcome contribution to the diplomatic history of the Civil War era and of U.S.-French relations more broadly.--Gregory P. Downs, author of After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War
A masterful analysis, well-written and thoroughly researched in the rich and unused French Consular Reports and other collections, this impressive work by Sainlaude shows why France did not recognize the Confederacy during the American Civil War and eventually retreated from Napoleon III's 'grand design' to restructure Mexico and the Americas as the first step in his global plan.--Howard Jones, author of Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations