The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim

The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim

The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim

The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim


"Inescapably, the Civil War was an international problem and those who ignore the foreign element miss the wider significance of the conflict.... Valuable for its breadth of vision and its differing perspectives on the international context of the war. It is important reading."-- Journal of Southern History

"A thought-provoking collection whose international perspective is much to be welcomed."-- Indiana Magazine of History

"The brevity and varied interpretations in the book will keep the reader''s attention throughout.... Reiterates older interpretations and offers fresh insights."-- Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Argues that there was no realistic basis for the widespread Southern expectation that King Cotton would prove indispensable to British textile mills and would produce diplomatic recognition for the Confederate States of America.... A stimulating examination of a neglected but important Civil War topic."-- Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Successful in raising larger issues of concern for Civil War historians."-- Illinois Historical Journal

"Provides a wonderful opportunity for scholars of the Civil War and U.S. diplomatic history alike to reconsider old topics in new ways....There are no weak reeds among these essays. All are fine contributions to the literature that scholars as well as students should read with profit."-- Civil War History


The ghost of a distinguished historian haunts this collection of lectures about the diplomacy of the American Civil War. Certainly Louis Martin Sears (1885–1960), whose bequest to Purdue University provided for a lecture series and visiting professorships in U.S. diplomatic history, would have appreciated the 1994 lecture series theme, “The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim.”

Sears, a professor at Purdue from 1920 to 1956, had amazingly eclectic research interests. Modern scholars tend to be products, and perhaps victims, of academia’s inclinations toward specialization. But Sears, a diplomatic historian, displayed an inspirational catholicity in his research tastes. His textbook (A History of American Foreign Relations, 1927), several monographs, and more than thirty scholarly articles, book chapters, and other publications ranged widely through the U.S. diplomatic experience from the early republic through the world wars.

Still, Sears, especially during his early professional career, could not resist the spell that the Civil War has cast on this country’s historians. James M. McPherson, noting the more than fifty thousand titles about that conflict, has observed that the Civil War is the “most written-about event in American history.” Sears contributed to this national obsession.

Sears wrote two articles that treated French responses to the Civil War. He authored a spirited piece about August Belmont, the banker and former U.S. diplomat who undertook an unofficial overseas mission for . . .

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