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Blue and Gray Diplomacy

A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations

Howard Jones

Publication Year: 2010

In an examination of Union and Confederate foreign relations during the Civil War from both European and American perspectives, Jones explores a number of themes, including the international economic and political dimensions of the war, the North’s attempts to block the South from winning foreign recognition as a nation, Napoleon III's meddling in the war and his attempt to restore French power in the New World, and the inability of Europeans to understand the interrelated nature of slavery and union. Most of all, Jones explores the horrible nature of a war that attracted outside involvement as much as it repelled it.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. xiii-xvi

I want to thank the many good people at the University of North Carolina Press for making this work possible. David Perry as editor-in-chief remained a paragon of patience, always providing warm, encouraging, and gracious support throughout the publication process. Ron Maner headed the editorial project with his usual friendly and accommodating...

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pp. 1-8

This horrible war, this terrible war, this wholly unnecessary war—these words were not mere rhetoric to contemporary Europeans who avidly followed the American Civil War and roundly denounced what they perceived as a blind rage propelling the vicious conflict. The sectional struggle had spun out of control, ultimately leading...

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CHAPTER 1. Republic in Peril

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pp. 9-46

Supporters of the Confederate States of America regarded themselves as the true progenitors of the republic and their secession from the Union as a return to the world of limited national government envisioned by the Founding Fathers. In his Inaugural Address of February 1861 delivered in Montgomery, Alabama, President Jefferson Davis...

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CHAPTER 2. British Neutrality on Trial

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pp. 47-82

News of British neutrality drew venomous attacks from the Union and wild exultation from the Confederacy. From the British perspective, the policy provided the best means for averting involvement in the war, but it recognized the existence of two belligerents and thereby infuriated the Union by awarding the Confederacy a stature higher than rebel...

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CHAPTER 3. The Trent and Confederate Independence

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pp. 83-112

In early November 1861 the commander of the USS San Jacinto, Captain Charles Wilkes, forcefully removed two southern emissaries, James M. Mason and John Slidell, from the British mail packet HMS Trent and threatened an Anglo-American war that would all but assure...

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CHAPTER 4. Road to Recognition

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pp. 113-144

The Trent crisis had caused war talk on both sides of the Atlantic, further driving British interest in ending the American conflict before another problem developed that could lead to a third Anglo-American war. The two Atlantic nations had narrowly escaped conflict over a question...

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CHAPTER 5. Union and Confederacy at Bay

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pp. 145-180

The threat of European intervention intensified in the summer of 1862, highlighted by the first pitched debate on the issue in Parliament. The Union’s victory at New Orleans had not quieted the advocates of British and French involvement in the war. Indeed, Russell rejected Adams’s appeals...

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CHAPTER 6. The Paradox of Intervention

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pp. 181-214

Immediately after Lindsay’s motion failed, rumors swirled around London that Baltimore had fallen to Confederate forces, edging England and France closer to a joint mediation that implied southern independence. Russell felt relieved about recent events on the battlefield...

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CHAPTER 7. Antietam and Emancipation

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pp. 215-252

British intervention appeared certain after the Union’s second defeat at Bull Run in the autumn of 1862. Its attempt to defeat the Confederacy had again proved impossible, a truth that seemed obvious to contemporaries three thousand miles across the Atlantic. Surely the Lincoln administration would recognize the futility of continuing a war...

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CHAPTER 8. Union-Confederate Crisis over Intervention

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pp. 253-284

European interest in intervention remained very much alive by the autumn of 1862. From their vantage point thousands of miles away, the British, French, Russians, Belgians, and others on the Continent had become increasingly concerned about the American struggle, hoping to see an end to the fighting...

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CHAPTER 9. Requiem for Napoleon—and Intervention

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pp. 285-320

French interest in intervention continued after the British rebuff and, like their counterpart, for reasons unrelated to slavery. Napoleon had long favored the Confederacy though restrained by his people’s distaste for slavery, which partly explained his reluctance to act without a British...

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pp. 321-324

The Civil War was America’s greatest crisis, for it imperiled the republic both from within—the struggle between North and South—and from without— the threat of intervention by England and France...


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pp. 325-374

Historiographical Note

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pp. 375-376


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pp. 377-400


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pp. 401-416

E-ISBN-13: 9781469604497
E-ISBN-10: 1469604493
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807833490
Print-ISBN-10: 0807833495

Page Count: 432
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 647880359
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Blue and Gray Diplomacy

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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1861-1865.
  • Confederate States of America -- Foreign relations.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain.
  • Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- France.
  • France -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • Confederate States of America -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain.
  • Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- Confederate States of America.
  • Confederate States of America -- Foreign relations -- France.
  • France -- Foreign relations -- Confederate States of America.
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