France and the American Civil War: A Diplomatic History

France and the American Civil War: A Diplomatic History

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France's involvement in the American Civil War was critical to its unfolding, but the details of the European power's role remain little understood. Here, Steve Sainlaude offers the first comprehensive history of French diplomatic engagement with the Union and the Confederate States of America during the conflict. Drawing on archival sources that have been neglected by scholars up to this point, Sainlaude overturns many commonly held assumptions about French relations with the Union and the Confederacy. As Sainlaude demonstrates, no major European power had a deeper stake in the outcome of the conflict than France.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469649955
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Steve Sainlaude is associate professor of history at the University of Paris IV Sorbonne.
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

From the Publisher

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

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