tv The Civil War International Aspects of the Civil War CSPAN July 13, 2019 6:00pm-7:16pm EDT
kind of lead to today's tragic events about sexual trafficking. we also had a young lady that went to our school that we knew. bass, andas taisha she went missing, and is now expected of having been kidnapped for sexual trafficking, so this story really hit home for us. >> you're are watching american history tv. every weekend, beginning saturday at 8:00 a.m. eastern, we bring you 48 hours of unique programming is going our nation's -- exploring our nation's past, only on c-span3. while the civil war was fought within the united states, the conflict had a global impact. theorians talk about international affairs of the federal government and the confederacy, as well as the role of immigrants on both sides of
the war. the discussion was part of a conference by gettysburg college's civil war institute. >> hello, and welcome to the second roundtable this afternoon. teachian shane, and i civil war and early republic at ohio university. the subject of this panel is sort of asking us to step up and think from what the civil war might have looked like from 5000 feet. we're going to be internationalizing this conflict that we like to selfishly think is america's domestic civil war. we will be thinking about how some broader international developments shaped the civil war, and hopefully get a sense of what's going on outside, in the rest of the world. in some ways, this is not a new thing. people have been writing diplomatic histories of the civil war really sends the -- since the years after the
conflict andy. but the combination of the sesquicentennial, a new rethinking of 19th-century globalization, and really the current context in which americans are sort of rethinking what it means to be part of a larger world, in a post-cold war richhas generated a lot of scholarship that situates the u.s. civil war in a broader context. we're fortunate to have three young, excellent scholars who will help guide us through this, and we have course look forward to your questions at the end. i'm going to start here to my left. dave thompson is assistant professor of history at sacred heart university, and is proud to acknowledge he was a high school scholarship student some time ago. [applause] his research focuses on finance
during the american civil war. his first book, "the evolution of global financial markets in the civil war era," slated for publication in 2020. to his left, a professor of history, his first book "the american civil war in the age of nationalist conflict," received the southern history association's james raleigh award in 2013. at the end, andre zimmerman, professor of history at george washington university and author of "alabama in africa, booker t. washington, the german empire and the globalization of the new south." also the editor of marx and eng els' writings on the civil war in the united states, and is currently working on a history of the civil war as an international working-class rebellion. it's my understanding this is the first time the institute
hosted a panel that looks at the global civil war, so we have a lot of exciting things i think we can share. to start, i'd like to ask our panelists. we know a lot about the civil war. you guys are aware of a lot of the dynamics of the civil war. what about people outside the united states, in 1860? what were some of the things competing for headlines in something like "the london times," probably the most widely circulated newspaper in the world at that time? what are other things happening to help us can text -- contextualize the conflict we are here to talk about? start. the short answer is "a lot." it obviously depends on particular times during the war itself. but if you put up a random "london times" for any other publication in europe, andre
might be able to speak about others in the western hemisphere. s,t the political machination the soap operas of europe, i like to call them at times, that seem to embroil these writings. the u.s. is competing in this sense, with the civil war, but there is a lot of ink spilled to discuss the war in its detailed intricacies, not only on the military front, but various political implications as well. so it is competing, but taking up a surprising amount of space when you look at these pages. >> i would emphasize two developments that were really important in the 1860's. first, the rise and development of nationalism in europe, which theome ways mirrored debates americans were having about the future and nature of nationalism in the united states.
secondly, a reinvigoration of colonialism around the world. at this time, european powers were pushing into southeast asia, the far east, and also the western hemisphere, the major are very europe interested in the civil war, because they view the united states as a competitor in the western hemisphere. when the war broke out, you had three major empires that still had a stake in the western hemisphere. great britain, the french empire and the spanish empire. and with the united states disintegrating, there was an opportunity there for european powers to take advantage. as you know, the united states had just come off a big win in war, addingmexican california and the southwest, which was by no means foreseen.
many european powers didn't think the u.s. would win that war and become a two-ocean power. that year, not coincidentally, the british shored up their claims to parts of what are now the ponderous-nick -- ponderous -- honduras-nicarague coast and belize, because they knew that passage would be key for europe and the united states. just as abraham lincoln is being inaugurated, the spanish empire, which had been receding in the new world, re-annexed the dominican republic, and there's no doubt they are taking advantage of the chaos in the united states to move back into the new world. moment fors the the french. napoleon iii in the 1850's had through a coup d'etat taken power in france. he was very committed to reestablishing a french empire,
not just in algeria, but in the western hemisphere. an admirer of the united states. he had visited the united states as a young man. he found americans to be greedy, materialistic, and uncultured, and he did not want to see them dominating the western hemisphere. so he developed his grand design, the invasion of mexico, which unfolded first with the cooperation of spain and great britain, in the first year of the civil war, then expanding throughout the first half of the 1860's. see italiane unification as the war is breaking out. so there's quite a bit on the
minds of european powers at this time. >> one angle not quite as often talked about, but really important in this question, is the european communist movement, in particular karl marx and frederick engels. they were both fascinated by the american civil war, for two reasons. as part of the european revolutions of 1848, 1849, the communist league, which they wrote the communist manifesto for, played an important role and hopes to turn that into a communist, socialist revolution. it failed, and they had to go into exile. a lot of them went into exile in the united states, and as many as you know -- and as many of you know, one in 10 of union soldiers had been born in one of the german states. only a tiny percentage of them were communists, but they included important officers, one missouri artillery officer, all members of the communist league. marx and engels were interested in what they're all comrades were doing in the war.
but even more substantially, they were interested in seeing, how is it, it didn't work in 1848. how can we overthrow the despotism of private property, and where other than slavery is private property more despotic, where is private property more despoitic in slavery. so they viewed it as a successful revolution against a despotic form of private aoperty, and there was series of revolutions at the same time, including 1848, the u.s. civil war, the paris commune, and future evolutions they were hoping for. >> we often think about, we used to talk about the 19th century as being this era of relative peace under the auspices of the british empire. the picture you painted is one filled with revolution, violence, anxiety, concern.
so now that's maybe a segwayp -- so that is now maybe a segue into thinking about how these processes unfolding in north america at this time played out to european and other audiences. you know, what'd they make of these processes and dynamics? what did they think the civil war was all about? >> sure. yeah. i inc. the civil war comes at a moment when the entire world is debating two important questions. first of all, what is the future of governance? this is the world of empires and monarchies for the most part, states,have the united which is claiming to represent this idea of republican government, which of course we don't mean the republican party, republicanism, the idea of representative government.
and is that really the future of the world, as the united states claimed? and the second big question, what is the future of labor? does slavery have a place in the modern economy? are we shifting to a capitalist economy based on wage labor? youainly in the americas, have some countries experimenting with contract labor, importing chinese laborers as more or less indentured servants. things havehese been worked out, so it's important to understand the degree to which people are watching and sorting through these issues, certainly for european liberals who wanted more representative government, the existence of the united states was a reaffirmation that representative government was possible. at the same time, european
conservatives, aristocrats, they would have been perfectly happy to see the united states split in two, which would make their position much stronger in the americas. and of course, the confederacy was bidding to become the most powerful, prosperous slave economy in the world. so i think these are some of the issues people were paying attention to, trying to work out, at this time. >> from another perspective, looking at radical opinion in both europe and in africa, one of the difficult things for radical intellectuals to understand was, they understood the war to be a war about slavery. certainly for the confederacy, that was quite explicit. but they were very confused, understandably, by the statements from lincoln and the union government that this was not a war to end slavery or
interfere with slavery where it already existed. one well-known story, the italian revolutionary garibaldi was asked to become a general in the union army, and he said he would if they declared antislavery a war aim, and they said we can't, so garibaldi didn't serve. in lagos, nigeria, someone named robert campbell, a jamaican who had gone to what is today founded a newspaper there and wrote about the civil war from lagos. both thea lot of, african-american press and the international black press, there was a sense of dismay. why isn't the union fighting slavery? promising tolellan return enslaved people? the third thing, the government
of liberia was looking at lincoln's well-known plans to deport free americans from the united states. most african-americans recognize this as rooted in racism, which it was, but the government of liberia was saying, please do that, send the african americans to liberia because we would like to have them. so that is the different range. >> i think it kind of mirrors both what andre and andrew are getting at. one example of this frustration syncinc war aims not up with working-class interests, particularly in england. march 26, 1863, 3000 working-class londoners who are uniting, rallying together in a city that has a lot of workers, has a lot of ties to the south because of money tied up in cotton. they are rallying in, essentially the whole function of the meeting is to say,
finally, emancipation proclamation, where has crossed the atlantic. we heard about workers rallying it's undeniable they side more with free labor identity, that's contrary to what's going on the south. it ties into the german states as well. >> maybe we can build on that. a lot of people outside the united states who are really interested, following the newspapers. the things marx and others are writing. one thing scholars have thought about that we know, a great question, what is going to get other powers involved, to actually do some thing with the war? to either recognize the confederacy -- how is it the different groups of people chose, if they chose, the side they were going to pull for in
this. does anyone want to take that thorny question? >> at least when it comes to europe, something i can speak to. money talks. for a lot of these wealthy financiers they wanted to hedge their bets. they're taking a look and seeing how the war is playing out. many folks in london are deeply tied into that cotton connection, as i already mentioned. so they aren't really necessarily excited about the prospect of certainly a unification, maintaining the union, but openly supporting on the part of the british government. it's telling, at the end of the war, all the stories coming out, southerners supporting british members of parliament, other kind of well-heeled folks, supporting the south. it kind of gets into, by similar token, you can talk about the financial connection in france. confederacy is
actually successful in floating a loan in europe, through a french bank. the united states doesn't do that. they sell loans abroad, but never have a loan directly through a bank in europe. it's looked at in a different light, when you realize the daug hter of the banker is marrying john slidell, the confederate ambassador. so i have to feel he's doing his daughter and future son-in-law perhaps a future favor. the same day he floats the loan, he buys the exact same amount in union debt. >> playing both sides. >> you have a lot of folks who are playing both sides. i pointed that as a classic example. there's a lot of hemming and h course, we don't have a transatlantic cable. it existed prior to the war, but
is out of commission at the time of the war. so best case scenario, looking at three weeks for news to come over. it becomes very problematic, wondering what is going on and how that is impacting prospects, governments may consider or not consider recognizing the confederacy, or providing full support to the united states government. >> it is such a great question. the way the question has traditionally been taught, to emphasize the importance of the slavery question. generally we teach that. because the union was anti-slavery, great britain, france, other european powers, were not going to get involved on behalf of the confederacy because their populations were opposed to slavery. emphasized,, david we have been asking, is that really true? did these governments respond to public opinion in that way? was the slavery issue coloring
their judgments? first and foremost, we have to say that great britain and france, the two powers most likely that could have made a military impact on the war, simply did not want to back a loser. they were not going to get involved and make a decision to recognize the confederacy or support the confederacy, unless they were convinced the confederacy would win. because if they back the confederacy, and the confederacy loses, they have an enraged united states on their hands with the capability to threaten canada, the caribbean. so that's a debate we are still having, the tension between self interest of nations and the humanitarian question of slavery. >> i can answer the question about the foreign powers at work in the civil war in a slightly different way. one thing many people living in
the united states recognized, or thought or believed at least, institutions, traditions and ideas of the united states were incapable of fighting or ending slavery where it already existed. that's in fact a debatable question, but that is certainly how every president had interpreted it up to that point, including president abraham lincoln. there are two populations that are very interesting who drew on foreign powers, although they were not necessarily engaged with governments. the first, enslaved people themselves. not necessarily black abolitionists, but people whose words are preserved for example in the interviews in the 1930's by the works progress administration. they had been fighting against slavery long before 1861, but they certainly continued and expanded their fight after 1861. no one of the ways the, the
-u.s. ways that people of africab descent could think about -- african descent could think about was via social change., was interpreted through many sources as a african political leader and user of magic who was able to emancipate his people and lead them out of bondage. there were a lot of african-american political traditions by enslaved people, inent african-american antislavery activists, who relied on a form of magic called tojure to fight slavery, inspire people to fight slavery, and more broadly having a concept of history that was not just endless generations of slavery in the united states, but african liberation.
the other group, european american, particularly german-american communists, who said what is not important is private property, but what is important is democracy. unlike the conception of the united states, democracy and private property are antithetical, so that's fight for democracy and not worry about constitutional niceties. let's worry about international democracy. thee were very rooted in united states, but not in the political institutions of the united states at the time. >> you guys want to jump in? >> ok. gain from do we studying the international contacts we are talking about? is this basically just adding on to the traditional story, the narrative account that we have of the civil war? is this, are we just broadening the scope, but basically the
same processes that are in play that determine the cause and the course and outcome of the war, they are still the same? or, does thinking about it from these different perspectives fundamentally change the narrative we typically have a what the civil war was about? , we might think disagree on this one, but it is important, crucial to shift that framework a little bit. if anything, when we talk about internationalizing the war in the past, it has been from that diplomatic angle, and very anglo-american focused, certainly very eurocentric. important,ery when you start to drill down into different communities throughout the world, really, and how they are interpreting this war. and they are very knowledgeable about this war. i don't say, ignore the diplomats and just talk about bankers.
they are still of the same old, if you will -- mold, if you will. but if you look at the role of ministers in parts of europe, for instance, talking about the war. sometimes these are americans going over to talk about the war, from various faith backgrounds. and sometimes you look at workers' meetings in the german states, and the fact that they are in the middle of the war actively talking about it, and talking about conceptions of what free labor really means, and how that might be applied in their own personal lives. i think it provides a greater sense of kind of the stakes of this war, and that folks literally all around the world are talking about this. you know, i have been reading accounts from parts of japan, china, australia, talking about the war. it's obviously delayed, the news they are getting, but something they are vitally interested in. because i think they recognize what is at stake, and because of
that i think they are deeply engaged. and if we talk about that in a areer sense, that we really providing a greater framework for understanding the war more broadly. >> i agree. i think we gain a more realistic the warnderstanding of looking at these international stories. americans at the time were very well-informed on foreign affairs. if you look at newspapers from the era, the front pages are dominated by foreign news. americans knew what was going on in their village, but not necessarily what was going on in europe, so they consumed news to find out about that. the 1850's was the decade with the highest percentage of foreign-born people in the history.ates in our so many of the soldiers who fought in the war, some of the politicians who debated the war,
were born elsewhere. they had their understandings about how the world worked, about politics, other contexts. since we're in gettysburg, i a manoint out a theory, from the german states found himself in charge of the 11th corps, which in civil war history has been maligned, a joke. unlucky enough to be right in jackson,of stonewall in chancellorsville, and routed again not far from the campus here on the first day at gettysburg. but he's a very interesting story. he was a german revolutionary in 1848, who joined revolutions because he wanted to create a representative government in germany. maybe not quite a communist, but some others were. he was interested in civil
liberties, workers rights, antislavery, which is why he backed lincoln and the union because. union cause. the reason lincoln appointed some of these generals, who were not successful on the battlefield but politically were very important. and a couple others to point out. uniony 6, a cuban born fernandezederico cabada, was captured in a peach orchard. he survived captivity, and died in the late 1860's, early 1870's when he went to cuba after serving in the civil war to join an insurrection against spain, hoping to bring representative government and freedom to the slaves in cuba. interesting global
story. there were also foreign-born on the confederate side. the 14th, 15th louisiana two, calledn day the polish brigade. not because they were mostly polish, but because they were recruited by a polish revolutionary who fought for the independence of poland and saw the confederate cause as analogous. so a lot of stories you could get into. >> thank you for bringing them up. they are interesting types. they tell us a lot about the role of german-american radicals in the civil war. we should say, there were german-americans who fought on the confederate side, too. german-american public opinion was broad. but they had particular political backgrounds. he really was a socialist, in the 1840's and afterwards, and
made a real political career in the united states, and afterwards is remembered because he was so successful as a republican politician and the socialist parts have dropped out a little, and he isn't as well remembered. has struck out a little bit and is not as well remembered. he is not as well remembered as the communist league, but he was anti-capitalist. anti-capital. he deliberately disobeyed the orders in missouri after fremont was deployed. radicals for prohibiting union , assistingenslaving with emancipation, add he refused to do that and was quite successful in the battlefield in missouri. one of the things that is interesting, and you can see this if you look at the official record of the battle of wilson's creek, he was actually quite successful, and after he takes
, he was not concerned about the configuration of the of united states. in terms of the broader, how does this change the united states, one way it is important not giver assess is to up the model of the u.s. and the world, because that gives up the idea of a discrete u.s.. what i'm finding in my research, and a lot of other scholars, not just the u.s., the u.s. is in the world as much as the world is in the u.s. and working on the history of the civil war, i am finding that it changes the way we understand the military history, because many historians have noticed the war, as is often
said, the war was won in the west, the mississippi valley, west of the appalachian mountains, and in the east, there was a strategic stalemate and also political stalemate. i think developing the revolutionary strategy against slavery was something that was hampered in the east by their adherence to u.s. institutions, including, i would say, benjamin butler's contraband drop, in which he really meant contraband. he was widely criticized in the radical press, german and american radical press, for calling people contraband, that is, seized property. you have enslaved people fighting inside union units, and union units working very closely with enslaved people that i think they did not do in the east, and i think that helps explain the way the union was fought in the way the union won.
prof. schoen: guys, another like toample that i come back to, looking at this immigrant population, the community is that come into here. one person i like to spend time on his august belmont. he works for the rothschild family, comes to the united states in 1837. he is supposed to be going to cuba to become the rothschild banking agent, and he shows up in new york in the middle of the panic of 1887 is as, "i am going to stay here, because your partner just went under, and i am now your new representative in new york city. you are welcome." they did not particularly care for that. tumultuousto muc relationship. but he becomes the first year of the democratic party, and he is the first chair of the dnc to
take it beyond an honorary title, and he plays a huge role in 1860, and even beyond. by the time we get into the war, he ultimately volunteers in service to the lincoln administration, serves as administrator, convinces them to essentially give money to the united states. it is at that point that he badmouth lincoln and gets ultimately unceremoniously canned. that is why it is called the belmont stakes. that is your fun fact. it is named after him. [laughter] >> by some estimates, just to value to this, one in four american soldiers was foreign-born. at least 18% was the son of an
american immigrant. you put those together, a shockingly amount was not what we would call blue blooded americans. and if you add to that the nearly 200,000 african-americans who fought, it does certainly change. it could suggest a way of rethinking how and why the union the in part, because confederacy did not recruit nearly the same number or percentages of immigrants, and certainly refused come on the very waning days of the war, to enlist african-americans in the battle. so i think it is right to focus on that. that does raise a question, though, which is -- does the civil war change americans' perspective on ethnicity and immigration? >> that is a great question.
certainly for the immigrants, they dearly hoped that it would. the foreign-born fought,, you perspectives were shaped around two goals. one was to assert their americanness, assert their citizenship in the united states. certainly that was a concern of irishish, and the famous brigade that, through service to the country, they would gain acceptance oas americans. the same could be said for the german-american population as well. and, you know, we would like to thank that there certainly was some positive movement in that favor of the way those populations are viewed, certainly in the press, the union press.
not of course on the confederate side. they like to point out the union army is made of foreign vandals. so i am not sure how far we can go on that. [laughter] >> to continue on that, the german-americans were, as andre reviled in thee american press and the confederacy, and again, it is a stereotype, that there was a view, and it was not entirely without empirical foundation, that whether they live in the north or the south, they were in the anti-slavery, so west come in the ways that a confederate might speak of yankees, often they talked about dutchmen in the west, and germann was a way to say -- but they have nothing to do with the netherlands. they complained and called them "the damne dutchmend"
oftentimes. there are stories of people lynching german-americans in the confederate south. there are stories of inveterate soldiers bragging that -- there are stories of confederate soldiers bragging that they were going to scalp germans. others also spoke very negatively about the german-americans. they had to admit, i mean, after as commander down ziegult was the only one preparing. so they were good soldiers, and they were also radical soldiers, and the radicalism, that really alienated people like mcclellan and halleck, and a lot of people
in the union who did not like the german-americans, either. one great place to look, if you want to see the perceptions, particularly german-americans, look at the congressional records when it comes to the debate over who gave support to the franco-prussian war. thes on one side saying french were the allies in the and the others were saying the germans were the ones who helped us win the war, and what would it look like if we were to turn our backs on them. it is interesting to see that fairly heated debate, and one of the largest supporters is charles sumner, who spent a lot of time recuperating after the caning. he goes to europe. germansane amount of connections after the war could be its own book.
prof. zimmerman: i remember when philip sheridan went and wrote interesting things. prof. schoen: as someone who is marriedprof. schoen: to an irish american, i feel like the irish might be getting the short shrift here. [laughter] prof. schoen: does anyone want to speak to other americans, german-americans? what tended to influence the immigrants that were in the united states? prof. fleche: it is important to remember that they believed in the cause, not only that it would say to the united states but to the world. a good percentage of virus-born soldiers would have had some
position totical great britain. the most radical would have been irish republicans, who were hoping to achieve independence from the british empire, and union,lieved that the the irishman of the union believe that a reunited united states would be the best way to achieve an independent ireland, because they assumed the united states would be a rival to britain and my support and irish rebellion. there was actually a brotherhood that was organized in the united states that wanted to liberate irelan. they did not have the means to attack ireland, so instead they decided to attack canada. it did not go very well. these are some of the ideological underpinnings of the immigrant experience in the war, and certainly the germans had
all kinds of ideas that they at least touched on. those are probably the two biggest groups, although the biggest immigrant group would have been people from the , and itisles themselves was their ideological position, depending on where they lived, you know, how they made a living, but certainly the irish and the germans had political, ideological motivations. prof. zimmerman: just to add to that, the irish also explicitly fought in the war in order to gain combat experience that they would then use against britain, and made it go back to britain and continue to fight. they talked about skirmishing, lose order infantry fighting, but it is something that is also good for streetfighting, for example, too. that is one of the tactical lessons they brought. it should also be a knowledge to, the, i mean, my perception
is that the common perception of irish immigrants in the civil war is they may have been prounion, they may not have been there areand just as many proslavery germans, there are many anti-slavery irish immigrants, but as a whole, irish immigrants were neutral to probe on the slavery question. and i think an excavation for that is completely ideological institutions from which they can come of that kind of political organization, ideological organization tended to be church i went focused. when italians came to new york, radicals, and be they demanded a separate, not as a separate language, but they did not like the proslavery, it isgical, and important to remember there were
a lot of stereotypes and people, then as now, projecting their feelings onto a poor immigrant group. and should not be exaggerated, but it should not be denied that if there were ways to fight for freedom and that freedom was entirely white and based on anti-black racism. theany irishman fought for confederacy as well. in their case, they were attracted to this idea of a war for independence, they head of right to secede from the united states, maybe also ireland would have a right to secede from britain. prof. schoen: that is great. immigration into the united states, david, you mentioned sort of financial flows that are interrupted by the civil war but also contributing to different opportunities for the confederacy. a lot of these external forces are pouring into the civil war interesting and complicatedi
ways that create these contested loyalties for some. what if we reverse that question and think about -- what impact does the civil war have on the rest of the world? how did it reshape -- or did it reshape -- the global period processes in a period in which borders were very porous? how did a union victory change the course of world history, or did it change the course of world history? i can start with that and speak from an area of great interest. to me, obviously the financial component and the war itself is transformational. the fact that we come out of the in the united states and
start to rapidly move up the ladder, if you will, so that by the end of the century, we are the world's largest economy. by world war i, we are a creditor nation. there is no denying the fact that the war plays a pivotal role. the u.s. comes out of the war. to open banks start their own branches overseas. that is the first time this has ever happened. they try to take on that international market. they are no longer bending the knee, if you will, to london, necessarily. they think they can try to compete with them. the fact that half of the united ebt is held inal d foreign hands by 1869 is also something. there is an incredible amount of brian. -- buy-in. billion, $23 trillion today. important way of
understanding that only the development of the united states, but i would argue, the development of the german economy. i think the war itself plays a very important role in all of that. prof. zimmerman: i would stress two things. first, the destruction of slavery in the united states, and secondly, the restoratio prn of the union. and these have global effects for a number of reasons. first come on the slavery issue, when the confederacy was defeated, the largest and most powerful slaveholding nation in the world, moved to free labor. at that time, there were only two hold out some of empire with cuba and puerto rico, and the brazil.f it is hard to measure the impact, but the brazilian
s did study the civil war, and the emperor began and listing black troops, and they actually studied the united states colored troops and their experiences when they were formulating their policy. so it plays some role there, and in cuba as well, the beginning of the end of slavery in cuba comes out of the 10 years war, the insurrection against spain at the beginning of 1868. the spanish empire did not abolish slavery completely until after the insurrection was defeated, but both the rebels and cuba began liberating slaves, and then the spanish government started to delayed modest and emancipation policies to try to
quell the insurgency's. the u.s. grant administration was very important in that process. diplomatically, they were constantly putting pressure on spain. if you do not want the u.s. to intervene on the side of the cuban rebels, emancipate your slaves. the grant administration wanted to see slavery destroyed in the hemisphere. quickly, the reunion of the unite states had important geopolitical considerations. it might be too much to say that it made the united states a superpower, but it certainly cemented its status as a power in the hemisphere. after the civil war, again. not coincidentally, the spanish withdrew from the dominican republic, the french withdrew from mexico, and this is not all have good effects. the united states then comes into power in the americas, but it certainly transforms the 19th century, and some scholars have
suggested, the global balance of power in the 20th century and beyond. >> you could argue that they create canada as a dominion. createds the civil war three nationstates on the north american continent. >> to look at it from another angle, to think of it from the perspective of the black freedom struggle in the nin united states, which started then and continues until this day, first with a fairly early reconstruction, when hopes for land reform or dashed, and then at the end of reconstruction of course, too. what they that scholars began to talk about is the idea of blue a forms not only as of music but also an embodiment of a way of politics, thinking about the world and society that is rooted not only in the struggle against slavery but to
flourish in and after slavery and looking at many of the great againstrevolutionaries slavery. helena, arkansas, being my favorite, early capitals of the blues. if we agree with these scholars, and i do, and think about the way the blues at this college or knowledge, you listen to willie dixon, there is certainly some evidence of that for sure. then we can see blues, which is arguably, as many of its offshoots, willie said, blues, rock 'n roll, and jazz and their national impacts. it is obviously not so cut and of thet that comes out black freedom struggle and particularly the question about slavery and proslavery. prof. schoen: i think it is point, it might be good to turn things over.
we touched on some of the brought an interesting ways which global trends and global individuals have shaped the end civil war, how the civil war shaped some of those. this is only the tip of the iceberg. we are really interested to see what questions you have, b maybe other topics you would like discussed. we will open the floor now for questions. we begin with this gentleman. notwithstanding lincoln's stewardship, how close did the transit fear merely bring us into conflict with great britain? well, neither side really wanted war. i think we can start there, but it is hard to say. when i would say is the british were very aggressive about asserting their rights.
if you are not familiar with the affair, the united states pulled two confederate envoys off a mail packet that was flying the british flag, was the british saw as an affront to honor. and the british gave seward basically an ultimatum that the united states was going to have to address this and come up with a position in a fairly short amount of time, and if not, that could imply breaking diplomatic relations, which of course leads to war. all that said, obviously, what does this is it caused lincoln and seward to back down. they released mason and slidell. i think certainly, as cooler heads prevailed, and the lincoln
administration did not want to deal with war with great britain at that time, and the british probably did not want war, either. it is hard to say the moment when the united states came closest with britain. prof. schoen: let me jump in here. i think one of the other important dynamics with the trent affair was the role of the european powers had. it was not just the united states who did not want a conflict. the french were not eager to have a conflict at that point. the russians were also trying to play go-betweens. there was a lot of interesting backdoor diplomacy to make sure that that did not escalate. one of the striking things to me, and it is the part of the book i'm working on now, people were worried about law of nations, international law, in sorting out these conflicts. that pertains to the rise of ships to be searched through the blockade and these things,.
and it applies to the trent affair. . an argument could be made that the peaceful resolution of the trent affair and the lincoln and administration to suggest that they would bow to the international law at that point actually served as a bit of a detente that was crucially important and how britain formed diplomacy in 1862, during the cotton famine, and the fall of 1862, when that played out. i would not the intervene. there is a lot of discussion of intervention. they might try to step in and create terms for peace, which is different than actually throwing the british navy into this conflict, which is what maybe some confederates would have wanted, but never was really in likelihood. somebody on the side. dan: dan, oak park, illinois. i would like to ask about how the civil war played out in a nation that i have not really
heard mentioned, but both in the system of government and its system of labor, it seems to be very interesting, russia. how did the russian aristocracy or intellectuals or anybody else -- >> a pertinent question in this current environment, huh? >> i was thinking as we were talking that russia is one of the nations that we neglected to mention, because if someone were to come to me and say who is our closest ally in the american civil war, i would say russia, without question, from the get-go. they are pledging allegiance at two different points during the war cured of the u.s. hosts huge naval flotillas from russia. we can look at the real meetings there. apparently the party was something else, 20,000 oysters,
bottles of champagne. it was wild. from what i've read from russian correspondents during that time period in st. petersburg, they are deeply interested and invested in the war. they also have huge economic problems in russia at the time. the ruble is crumbling. the united states is an interesting window, and a lot of folks play a lot of financial interests in the united states from a well-to-do russia, so they are very interested in this, but obviously abolishing serfdom is a big part of this. other interesthe that russia had is by siding with established governments, they were siding with the revolution. they did not want to create this president of blessing insurgency against what they saw as a legitimate government, because the russian upper class was worried about, you know, similar revolutions breaking out of
russia itself. prof. schoen: it is really interesting, looking from a russiative perspective, and pressure, serfdom, one of the ways they worked out a way you could theoretically abolish over theut keep power land, it is a complex idea of freedom that i think is also at work in the 19th century that is harder for us in the 21st century to see, where people legitimately claim they were paying people, yet they were still keeping them down to the land and forcing labor, as happened in russia and as happened in the united states also. dan: thank you. prof. schoen: here on the right. peter: peter barkley from peoria, illinois. he could not stand by and wait for cold men to come back. he looked for other sources.
and we know in the 1930's, 1940's, gandhi made a statement, spending his own cotton, because england made the material, and gandhi saw that as a bad thing. so it had an impact on the is indian revolution as well. what other things did other countries due to impact tobacco, cotton, and how -- what was the effect of that at the end of the war? i guess i will: take that as the resident so-called cotton expert. it is a great question and a great point. up much of their supplies, and it is not coincidental -- i mentioned earlier -- that in the midst of the war and immediately afterwards, european powers when hunting for other places to get their cotton, in there is a book
by deckard called "empire of cotton," that the imperialism was a direct byproduct of the american civil war which led directly into egypt, india, south africa, into australia and other places, so i think this shows really the ways in which all of these things are integrated. pennsylvania. i noticed in some of the readings of popular literature, dickens, they seem to make a comment and they use "the land of the free." how prevalent with that attitude in europe? i would say that it was probably among the intelligence, educatedainly at the
populace, especially on the reforming wing, and that was also the opinion of politically active workers. i say politically active, because there is a lot of debate in literature about this, but there were many workers that were not particularly o aware of worker issues, attended minstrel shows, only worried about their job when the cotton famine hit. but there were men and women supportive of workers groups. >> from connecticut. i was just wondering to what extent the emancipation proclamation changed the perspective of foreign nations about the civil war and whether they should join or not. >> it is crucial. it is a great question. i mean, it is very important. there is a lot of debate, and folks like james pearson have
discussed as to whether or not itself wasietam responsible for shutting the door, but it plays a huge role, you know, napoleon the third still has these vain hopes that maybe he can nudge the british to be supportive in some kind of intervention, but it is really hard to be on the side of the british, who abolished slavery in 1883, now that the war has slavery," hownd do you introduce that into the part of the south? >> there is some confusion about proclamatio,ion parkervisio because it is not free all slaves in the united states. as it progresses and it becomes clear that slavery is on the way out, it certainly has an impact on european public opinion, no doubt about that.
john keegan at the end of his book about the civil war said we have never had a revolution in the united states because of the intensity of the national civil war and the exhaustion. what do germans another radical stand socialists think about after supporting the union, and more power wound up in the hands of the capitalists, in the gilded age? prof. schoen: andrew, that is your question. [laughter] prof. zimmerman: i think it is a common perception that the civil war was a capitalist revolution. the south was not capitalist, it was feudal, and therefore ending slavery was making the united states more perfectly capitalist. that was not a contemporary view. i mean, certainly some southerners imagined slaveholders were like aristocrats or something, but really it was a radical
revolution. a lot of people are born radicals, not just communists, but also that. ben wade said this, one of the radical republicans, who said now that we have dealt with slavery, now it is time to deal with other kind of capital, too. i think the most powerful thing , when he said a revolution of enslaved workers, he says, they were free for a moment, and then there was a counterrevolution of property, and that gave us the destruction itself and the gilded age north. the 1880'sof seeing coming as an outcome of the civil war, it was a counter revolution to the civil war. a lot of people miss that because it was so quickly undone by counterrevolution. and keegan is not the only one who missed the real revolution.
>> americans had a variety of different motives to fight fo, and some were not pursuing radical ends, they may have been pursuing conservative ends. great. over here to the right. sandra: sandra from british columbia, canada. it is my understanding that 40,000 what were to become canadians enlisted in the war and fought. do you think their motivations may have had to do with worry about the war spilling over or changing something about the north, or do you think there is no knowing about why they would enlist in the civil war? >> well, certainly some canadians were motivated by anti-slavery. that was a concern. canada also had important trade ties with upstate new
york, the midwes, and there was some cultural overlap. backis time, people moved and forth across the border, so i think family ties probably played a role. prof. thomson: i do not know about these canadians in particular, but for african canadians, who had escaped slavery, there was one free state in the north, and that was canada. in the united states, you were still subjected to be hunted down and return it to slavery, and canada with the free state, so maybe that has something to do with it. i don't know. >> thank you so much for your scholarship on these topics, foreign-policy issues, labor history, for me, it has an interest of mine. my question is about the transitional period in the mid-19th century. this is a real transitional moment, the american civil war and other concepts going on as
well. i'm wondering if we are going through our own traditional moment right now on the international stage. do you see any parallels or lessons you can draw from this time period, the mid-19th century, to bring it forward to 2019? [laughter] prof. schoen: i am glad to be moderator at this. [laughter] feel freerman: to chime i, brian. [laughter] prof. thomson: power politics, the direction that our relationship with china is heading, this idea that big unions oppose each other nationally or have competing thinksts, you know, i there is certainly a component to that, and the republican party thinking in the civil war, that the united states must remain united to be powerful, and to compete with britain, france, other empires in the hemisphere, so i definitely
think there is an aspect there. prof. schoen: i will not totally punt on it. you could say that the 19th century, that we are talking about here, is a moment in which liberal nationalism, as we start to see it play out in the 20th century, is coming into existence. in some ways what we are talking about, the civil wars, the war with germany, and italian unification, is the way that francis lieber, a german immigrant, said it is the way it is informing people's lives. until recently, that is kind of what many people attuned, and then we had nationalism, globalization, and in the big question that we are not really clear about is whether this is the end of that liberal order, that in some ways -- i would not say in the only way, because of course world war ii is very important -- in some ways had its birth in the period that we are looking at, and it had a
violent birth. the question is -- is it diane? if it is not dying, then what is it doing? and is it going to be violent, or is it not? and that is a domestic one but also international. the. zimmerman: all nationalism, and german unification, italian unification, came out of a betrayal and defeat of a poor people's democracy, too. that is another thing to remember also, that it was not just a victory against absolutism but over workers, formerly in slave people here, and when lesson for the civil war for those fight,ts is when thieves honest people prosper. is a greatn: that question. looks like here on the left. john: john from charles town, west virginia.
you talk about kind of the big, broad questions of the 19th century about what is the future of government, what is the future of labor versus the civil war in the united states, but what was the reaction on the global stage, if any, to reconstruction in the united states as counterrevolution? prof. fleche: wedding i would wiselyeuropean powers look to the united states. i've written about that in west africa, but it was widely admired around the world. they looked to modern and advanced european colonial powers. this is how to establish white supremacy and advanced capitalism, again.
i mean, it was a horrible model. when i say model, i do not mean good. it was very influential on european people and their powers. prof. schoen: to the left. kent: i just have a quick question. my name is kent. example,trend lincoln said, yeah, we will play ball with you right now, because we are fighting a war, but don't forget we have the largest naval force in the world. you are going to send troops to canada? go right ahead. that is what this guy was writing about. but what i heard in lincoln's correspondence, he was a constant statesman, and he corresponded with the english government but also with benito juarez, i believe, in mexico, uarez, he really
went out on a limb, but he said lincoln did not only win the civil war, he established the trust between the two countries, keep theuarez said troops on that side, we will take care of napoleon. i do not think lincoln gets credit for solidifying the border issue with benito juarez. to i think also, if you talk a linda little bit, and the sense of, yet, you can talk all you want now, wait until the war is over. we are not your kid anymore. there is a very good book out, i do not know the author's name, about the correspondence of lincoln in foreign affairs. >> i do not think lincoln wanted to tangle with the royal navy, although it is true that the american navy was growing, lincoln subscribed to the one war at a time position. i think you are right that especially secretary of state threat, whether
it was realistic or not, to try to tamper british eagerness to get involved. juarez, the lincoln government is a very important factor of the juarez regime. juarez was a liberal reformer in mexico who was fighting the french invasion. the border issue is settled more under johnson and after lincoln's assassination, but seward and grant were very pro-juarez and anti-french. >> [indiscernible] >> there is a book called "lincoln and the world," and i forget the author's name. the other book i would recommend is "the cause of all nations," by don doyle. we have time for one
more question, and we had one man standing, so let's let him have it. john: john willing from washington, d.c. i recently came across a book, and i knew nothing about the topic previously, it is called " when the irish invaded canada." when they can here to join the union army, they do so so they could then go back and free ireland from britain. and in 1866, they invaded canada, with the idea that they canadaing to hold hostage for the freedom of ireland. is that true, or how common was that? >> it is true. it did not go very well, but it is true. >> they also took a ship and tried to attack our let itself. that it not go very well, either. orh that no, we will end,
headed over to our fearless leader, and he will tell us what to do next. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> learn more about the people and events that shaped the civil war and reconstruction every saturday only on american history tv, here on c-span3. penn state professor leeann reflects on the 100th anniversary of women suffrage and talked about the tactics women used to get the night at the moment passed and ratified. this took place at the historians meeting in philadelphia. szak, when wasa that women tried to get the vote, and what was it that triggered the movement? f. banaszak