Cover

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Title page, Copyright page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This project was supported with a generous grant from the Collaborative Research Grants division of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Their funds allowed me to bring in more than a dozen scholars from all parts of the United States, Europe, Mexico, and South America for three days of paper presentations, discussion, and collegial exchange that transcended the often forbidding frontiers of academic specialization. I am very grateful to Lydia Medici, program officer at the NEH, for her very helpful assistance in preparing the grant proposal....

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Introduction: The Atlantic World and the Crisis of the 1860s

Don H. Doyle

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pp. 13-26

For more than a century and a half, historians have told the story of America’s Civil War within a familiar nation-bound narrative. Most accounts center on the growing tensions between North and South over slavery, the clash of arms, the generals and political leaders on each side, the civilians at the home front, and the ordeal of Reconstruction. It is a quintessential American story about the nation’s defining crisis.
This book takes readers away from the battlefields and political debates in the United States to view the conflict as part of a larger global crisis that seized the Atlantic world in the 1860s. Our book joins the international turn...

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Chapter One. The Civil War and U.S. World Power

Jay Sexton

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pp. 27-45

Why study the U.S. Civil War? I annually pose this question to the British undergraduates enrolled in the Civil War special subject that I convene.1 Surprisingly few say they signed up to learn about the birth of the modern U.S. nation, or the abolition of slavery, or even the great battles and generals. Instead, the most common response is that they want to learn how a vulnerable union of states became a great world power, one that rapidly caught up with and then surpassed the empire of their homeland upon which the sun never set....

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Chapter Two. Wrapping the World in Fire: The Interventionist Crisis in the Civil War

Howard Jones

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pp. 46-69

The British and French were among others in Europe and elsewhere closely watching the events in America that in April 1861 culminated in the Civil War. Many observers seemed curious or captivated; others calculated the strategic and economic benefits to their own countries resulting from a republic now vulnerable to outside intervention. What might they gain from a divided and perhaps disabled nation? Still others wondered what civilized peoples should do to preserve a republic endangered by a rebellion that might threaten the rapidly growing Atlantic economy and hence their own livelihoods. Some contemporaries suggested mediation; others urged arbitration; still others considered a forceful intervention in the name of peace...

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Chapter Three. The Cat’s-Paw: Confederate Ambitions in Latin America

Patrick J. Kelly

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pp. 70-93

In the decade before the U.S. Civil War, slaveholders in the American South dreamed of creating a vast slave-based empire that would encompass Spanish Cuba, portions of northern Mexico, and Central America.1 They also envisioned an alliance with the Empire of Brazil to create what Richard K. Meade, a Southern nationalist acting as U.S. minister to Brazil, called “a grand Pro-Slavery alliance.”2 As they considered secession, Southern slaveholders believed that the creation of a tropical empire for slavery in the Americas was inevitable once their region separated from the antislavery forces of the U.S. North. “As Americans in the 1850s,” one historian concludes, “and as Confederates in the 1860s, the masters of the slave South aimed not to escape the...

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Chapter Four. Manifest Dominion: The British Empire and the Crises of the Americas in the 1860s

Richard Huzzey

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pp. 94-118

The crises of the 1860s tested the reality of Britain’s presumed and assumed power across the Americas. Debates over the continents’ future turned on how American peoples and nations might form part of a global system of British preeminence. Besides the fates of formal colonies in Canada and the Caribbean, the tumult of this decade tested a broader presumption of political, economic, and military power around the globe. British writers and politicians generally agreed on the desirability of their country’s influence beyond the Atlantic. Beyond this broad goal, they differed on how far particular causes or countries might prove to be vehicles for British interests,...

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Chapter Five. France’s Grand Design and the Confederacy

Stève Sainlaude

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pp. 119-136

The early 1860s opened for France a series of distant ventures abroad. Having focused on the European theater earlier, Napoleon III now turned the ambitions of the Second Empire outside the continent. First Africa captured the emperor’s attention, beginning with the campaigns of Faidherbe in Senegal. Then his gaze turned toward the Middle East, when France became involved in the construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt and intervened in Syria. Finally, his attention was drawn to the Far East where France established an imperial foothold in Cochinchina and Cambodia....

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Chapter Six. From Aggression to Crisis: The Spanish Empire in the 1860s

Christopher Schmidt-Nowara

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pp. 137-158

The U.S. Civil War transformed the geopolitics and the domestic politics of the Spanish colonial empire. With the United States divided, Spanish leaders carried out a series of adventures in the Americas, the most central of which was the annexation of Santo Domingo between 1861 and 1865, the subject of Anne Eller’s contribution to this volume. Intended to solidify slavery and sovereignty in Spain’s last American territories, Cuba and Puerto Rico, war and occupation in Santo Domingo had the inverse efect, playing a role in the protracted crisis of Antillean slavery and Spanish dominion that would break out in 1868 when anticolonial revolts in the two islands...

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Chapter Seven. Dominican Civil War, Slavery, and Spanish Annexation, 1844–1865

Anne Eller

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pp. 159-178

On March 18, 1861, a small group of Spanish officials observed as Dominican authorities lowered the flag of the Dominican Republic and announced the territory’s reintegration as a colony of Spain. Spain promised to maintain Santo Domingo as a free colony, even though it was flanked by the Spanish plantation regimes of Cuba and Puerto Rico. In fact, the annexation had been a voluntary act. Dominican president, Pedro Santana, worked with the Cuban governor to bring about reincorporation. Like the Conservative authors of Maximilian’s arrival in Mexico, the Dominican leader hoped to silence partisan struggles and forestall the United States with the aid of a European...

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Chapter Eight. Juárez vs. Maximiliano: Mexico’s Experiment with Monarchy

Erika Pani

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pp. 179-196

In 1863 Ignacio Aguilar y Marocho, a Mexican intellectual and political leader, observed that “in politics, as in morality,... nothing happens which is not related to the revolutions of the wondrous whole.... A moment of reflection is enough to convince us that Mexico’s fate has been intimately linked to the fall of Louis Philippe, to the establishment of the French Republic of 1848,... to the creation of the French Empire,... to the division of the United States, who now devour each other without mercy, victims of their own resentments and vindictiveness, and finally, to the abuses and mistakes of all kinds that Mexican demagogy surrendered to.”1...

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Chapter Nine. Arms and Republican Politics in Spanish America: The Critical 1860s

Hilda Sabato

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pp. 197-215

By the 1860s America was basically a republican hemisphere. While European nineteenth-century experiments with republics had been short-lived, across the Atlantic the postcolonial polities in the making, with the sole exception of Brazil, had followed the initial example of the United States: in the 1810s and ’20s, after severing their links with the Spanish empire, they had adopted republican forms of government. After four to five decades of sustained experimentation with self-government, internal and external pressures grew to challenge the results of these experiences. This move reached its peak with the “restoration” of monarchy in Mexico and the...

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Chapter Ten. Cuba, the Atlantic Crisis of the 1860s, and the Road to Abolition

Matt D. Childs

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pp. 216-233

By the time the U.S. Civil War erupted in 1861, emancipation of enslaved Africans had been taking place in the Western Hemisphere for nearly eighty years. Abolitionists throughout the Atlantic World hoped the Civil War would not only end slavery in the United States, but also catalyze emancipation processes elsewhere in places such as Brazil and Cuba. Past experiences in the Americas during the Age of Revolutions had demonstrated that military conflicts could ignite actions to weaken and destroy slavery. The intellectual, political, and economic changes that broke the chains of colonial rule could simultaneously corrode and reinforce the manacles of slavery....

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Chapter Eleven. The Civil War in the United States and the Crisis of Slavery in Brazil

Rafael Marquese

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pp. 234-258

Despite all their economic, social, political, and cultural differences, the U.S. republic and the Brazilian Empire shared a few characteristics. Both emerged from the crisis of European colonialism and, consequently, represented the rise of new in dependent political units in the global arena. The two countries also had continental dimensions, resisting indigenous populations, and agricultural economies based on slave labor. Moreover, there was an increasing political and economic convergence between their slave systems starting in the 1830s. On the one hand, the dramatic growth of coffee production in Brazil was accompanied by the emergence...

Contributors

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pp. 259-260

Index

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pp. 261-272