Cover image for One war at a time : the international dimensions of the American Civil War
One war at a time : the international dimensions of the American Civil War
Mahin, Dean B., 1925-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 343 pages, 14 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
E469 .M28 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Mahin takes a look at Lincoln's role in foreign relations, and argues that he used the threat of war to prevent European nations from recognizing Confederate independence. Specific attention is given to the British relations with the Union and Confederacy, and to the reactions of both the U.S.A. and

Author Notes

Dean B. Mahin has degrees in history and international affairs and is a veteran of forty years of service in and for American international agencies, including the Department of State, the U.S. Information Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Despite the vast historiography dealing with both the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln's presidency, historians have produced comparatively few diplomatic studies of this era; even fewer evaluate Lincoln's role in shaping foreign policy. Mahin, who has broad international experience in a variety of government agencies, has met a major need with this well-written and well-conceived study. Using an impressive amount of primary material augmented by pertinent secondary sources, he presents a comprehensive study of the war's "international dimensions" by concentrating largely on the key nations involved in these events: the US, the Confederacy, France, Britain, and Mexico. Mahin also assesses Lincoln's goals and working relationship with Secretary of State William H. Seward, and he emphasizes Lincoln's centrality in forming his administration's foreign policy. Mahin concludes this valuable work with two short epilogues concerning US efforts to oust France from Mexico and settle the Alabama claims. Recommended for all Civil War collections. J. Mushkat University of Akron

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
Chapter 1 Holding Watch Against Foreign Intrusion: Abraham Lincoln and Foreign Affairsp. 1
Chapter 2 To Be Treated as Other Independent Nations: Confederate Foreign Policyp. 15
Chapter 3 A Powerlessness to Comprehend: British Reactions to the American Civil Warp. 23
Chapter 4 Recognition Would Be Intervention: Union and Confederate Relations with Britain, April-November 1861p. 44
Chapter 5 A Gross Outrage: The Trent Crisis, November-December 1861p. 58
Chapter 6 Cotton Is King: Cotton in Confederate Diplomacy, Trade, and Financep. 83
Chapter 7 A War with America Would Hamper My Operations: Union and Confederate Relations with France, 1861-1862p. 95
Chapter 8 Maintaining the Independence of Mexico: Union Relations with the Mexican Republicp. 106
Chapter 9 We May Wait a While: Britain Considers Intervention, 1862p. 122
Chapter 10 The Wolf from Liverpool: British Roles in the Construction, Escape, and Operations of the Confederate Raider Alabamap. 142
Chapter 11 No Obligation to Stop a Contraband Trade: British Arms and Supplies for the Confederacyp. 161
Chapter 12 A Thing to be Deprecated: Britain Detains the Ironclad Rams, 1863p. 174
Chapter 13 Questions of Great Intricacy and Importance: Lincoln Conciliates Britain, 1863p. 185
Chapter 14 To Make Europeans Understand: Other European Reactions to the American Civil Warp. 197
Chapter 15 Alone on the Earth: The Twilight of Confederate Diplomacy, 1863-1865p. 208
Chapter 16 This Government Avoids Intervention: Union and Confederate Reactions to the French Invasion and Imperial Government in Mexico, 1862-1865p. 218
Chapter 17 A War with America as Soon as She Makes Peace: Union Relations with Britain and Canada, 1864-1865p. 239
Chapter 18 Government by the People Shall Not Perish: The International Lincolnp. 257
Epilogue I A Source of Apprehension and Danger: U.S. Pressures for French Withdrawal from Mexico, 1865-1867p. 269
Epilogue II The Massive Grievance: The "Alabama Claims" Against Britain, 1865-1872p. 286
Notesp. 301
Indexp. 333