In an attempt to counter the insular narratives of much of the sesquicentennial commemorations of the Civil War in the United States, editors David T. Gleeson and Simon Lewis present this collection of essays that examine the war as more than a North American conflict, one with transnational concerns. The book, while addressing the origins of the Civil War, places the struggle over slavery and sovereignty in the United States in the context of other conflicts in the Western hemisphere. Additionally Gleeson and Lewis offer an analysis of the impact of the war and its results overseas.
Although the Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history and arguably its single most defining event, this work underscores the reality that the war was by no means the only conflict that ensnared the global imperial powers in the mid-nineteenth century. In some ways the Civil War was just another part of contemporary conflicts over the definitions of liberty, democracy, and nationhood.
The editors have successfully linked numerous provocative themes and convergences of time and space to make the work both coherent and cogent. Subjects include such disparate topics as Florence Nightingale, Gone with the Wind, war crimes and racial violence, and choices of allegiance made by immigrants to the United States. While we now take for granted the nation's values of freedom and democracy, we cannot understand the impact of the Civil War and the victorious "new birth of freedom" without thinking globally.
The contributors to The Civil War as Global Conflict reveal that Civil War-era attitudes toward citizenship and democracy were far from fixed or stable. Race, ethnicity, nationhood, and slavery were subjects of fierce controversy. Examining the Civil War in a global context requires us to see the conflict as a seminal event in the continuous struggles of people to achieve liberty and fulfill the potential of human freedom. The book concludes with a coda that reconnects the global with the local and provides ways for Americans to discuss the war and its legacy more productively.
O. Vernon Burton
Edmund L. Drago
W. Eric Emerson
David T. Gleeson
Aaron W. Marrs
James M. McPherson
Theodore N. Rosengarten
Edward B. Rugemer
Jane E. Schultz
About the Author
A native of Ireland, David T. Gleeson is a reader in history at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne and a former director of the College of Charleston's Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World program. He is the editor of The Irish in the Atlantic World and coeditor of Ambiguous Anniversary: The Bicentennial of the International Slave Trade Bans and the author of The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America.
Simon Lewis is a professor of world literature at the College of Charleston, where he is also an associate director of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World program. Lewis is the author of White Women Writers and Their African Invention and British and African Literature in Transnational Context and coeditor of Ambiguous Anniversary: The Bicentennial of the International Slave Trade Bans.
Table of Contents
Introduction David T. Gleeson Simon Lewis 1
Why Civil War? The Politics of Slavery in Comparative Perspective: The United States, Cuba, and Brazil Edward B. Rugemer 14
King Cotton, Emperor Slavery: Antebellum Slaveholders and the World Economy Matthew Karp 36
"If it is still impossible… to advocate slavery… it has… become a habit persistently to write down freedom": Britain, the Civil War, and Race Hugh Dubrulle 56
"Two irreconcilable peoples"? Ethnic Nationalism in the Confederacy James M. McPherson 85
Proving Their Loyalty to the Republic: English Immigrants and the American Civil War David T. Gleeson 98
"A new expression of that entente cordiale?" Russian-American Relations and the "Fleet Episode" of 1863 Alexander Noonan 116
The Rhine River: The Impact of the German States on Transatlantic Diplomacy Niels Eichhorn 146
Lex Talionis in the U.S. Civil War: Retaliation and the Limits of Atrocity Aaron Sheehan-Dean 172
Fulfilling "The president's duty to communicate": The Civil War and the Creation of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series Aaron W. Marrs 190
"They had heard of emancipation and the enfranchisement of their race": The African American Colonists of Samaná, Reconstruction, and the State of Santo Domingo Christopher Wilkins 211
Nurse as Icon: Florence Nightingales Impact on Women in the American Civil War Jane E. Schultz 235
Race, Romance, and "The spectacle of unknowing" in Gone with the Wind: A South African Response Lesley Marx 253
Coda: Roundtable on Memory O. Vernon Burton Edmund L. Drago W. Eric Emerson Joseph McGill Theodore Rosengarten Amanda Foreman 275