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tv   Don Doyle on The Cause of All Nations  CSPAN  July 11, 2015 3:30pm-4:31pm EDT

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doctors have written about this perspective and this experience. there are certainly -- i think it's more important for me to focus on how to deal with and it how i overcame it but it's setter -- certain live not there. >> "black man in a white coat." comes out in september of 2015. the author is dr. damon tweedy. you're watching booktv on c-span2. >> this is booktv on c-span2. television for serious readers. here's our prime timineup.
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don doyle recounts the global reaction to the american civil war up next. he reports the war was viewed as a test of the democratic model by many monarch kentucky who were hoping her to dissolution of the union. >> tonight we're delighted to oath don doyle and sidney blumenthal to discuss international relations and dr. doyle's latest back, the cause of our nations an international history of the american civil war. don doyle is approve of history
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at the university of south carolina and director of arena the association for research on ethnicity and nationallallism in the americas. before coming to south carolina he taught at vanderbilt university and the universe of michigan deash debris. he teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in u.s. hoyt, including the intro tuckty survey course, and southern history, and nationalism and comparative perspective. fluent in four languages which someoff cow can test in the a -- doyle has been a visiting professor at the university of rome italy the university of genoa, italy and the university of leeds england and the -- i'm not going to try that one -- rio de janeiro. >> catholic university. >> helping shape the cause of owl nations. sidney plumen that is former assistant and senior advicer to president bill clinton senior
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adviser to hillary clinton and author of eight books his next boom is the political life of abraham lincoln slated for release in 2016, '17 and '18. and has been a writer of publics like at the "washington post," new run, "vanity fair" and "the new yorker," specializing in foreign affairs. abouts his lit contrary career he was the executive producing for the academy award winning documentary, taxi to the dark side which won him an emmy ward. he was a senior fellow at the new york universitier center for law and security from 2005 to 2012' had been a member of the council on foreign relations for 27 years in the cause of all nations, doyle analyzes the civil war through the lens of international relations and shows how the so-called war between the states affected nation states, like great britain, france, spain and italy. weaving american leaders like
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lincoln and seward with other international figures, doyle argues the civil was viewed internationally as part of a broader struggle for democracy. by extending the scope of the civil war doyle makes a great contribution to our understanding the war. reading the book is like arriving at favorite restaurant but not knowing the street it's on. join me in welcoming don doyle and sidney blumenthal. [applause] >> i'd like to introduce don doyle this evening. it is my great honor to appear here at the lincoln cottage especially on this date, which is the 150th anniversary of appomattox and i would like don doyle, who has written this
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marvelous book, that i hope you all read -- the single best book on the international aspects of the civil war -- to begin by setting the scene and talking about 150 years ago on april 9th. >> on this day, abraham lincoln was coming back from his trip to richmond after it had fallen and had visited the troops at city point, and there he had a french visitor, the marquee who was -- i learned a relative of the marquee delafayette and there with shambrun he asked the military plan to play the anthem of the french republic, which had been banned under the second empire of napoleon iii and lincoln remarked that it was odd
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that a frenchman had to come to america to listen to this famous anthem and the band played it and lincoln said i rather like that tune. play it again. and they did. and then he said, i'd also like to play the tune, dixie for our guest, who had never heard it. he said, this now is federal property. we fought hard for that. and it now belongs to us. but i want everyone to know that in our country unlike france, he didn't say but that was what he meant -- the southerners are going to be free to hear that song. play it. and they did. and then came back to washington. of course, this was the day also that robert e. lee at an mattox surrendered the troops. it was not the end of the war but it was the beginning of the end, and of course, jefferson davis would not be apprehended
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until another month on may 10th i believe and of course the assassination on april 14th was intended to re-ignite the war. so this was a momentous day and the expectation for the end of the war. >> i'd like to set the stage a little bit before i have don talk about his book, and read you just a few things from my forthcoming work, too as a kind of prologue. i'd like to discuss the origins of abraham lincoln's internationalism. why did lincoln think this was so important? where did this all come from? so i'd like to take you back to a moment in 1852.
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lincoln has been a congressman. he served one term. he is living in springfield illinois and at the end of -- of this year, the leader of the failed hungarian revolution in the springtime of nations the great revolt of 1848, comes to new york, and a crowd of 100,000 people a quarter of the population of new york, greets him, ecstatically, and he marchs down broadway, on the greatest horse of the mexican warm, named black warrior and there is a huge parade. and let me just read you a little bit and then a little bit about lincoln and then i'll have -- turn to don and we're going to leap forward to the civil war. i want to get a sense of why
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lincoln cared so much about what the world thought. the hungarian celebrity brought along a rag tag entourage and his only agenda. he imagined his electric presence would stark u.s. intervention against the haspburg empire and raise million dollar for a war chest he promised would be handsomely reteamed in bones. he mistook the scale of this groating to be about his own glorious cause claiming the brutal oppression of the old worth, discovered the confusing cacophony of the new extolling democracy, he would flounder amidst its mysterious realities and then what happens is after he is spurned by various parties
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in washington, and tries to go to the south to raise money and is spurned starts making his way through the capitals of the provincial states of the country. he never makes it to springfield. but there's a meeting in springfield about him and the town's mayor a man whose name was ironically john calhoun who was a proslavery democrat, and had been lincoln's supervisor when he learn how to be a surveyor becomes the president of the meeting and -- but the person who is put in charge of writing the resolutions is abraham lincoln. and i'll just read you what one of the springfield resolutions -- little noticed at the time says. i says the sympathies of this country and the benefits of this -- its position should be
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exerted in favor of the people of every nation struggling to be free. the kasuth episode was undoubtedly central in broadening lincoln's international outlook which was organically connected to his doling politics. he neither spoke nor read any language other than english and would never travel abroad brut followed the rise and fall of the revolutions of 1848. he saw them as democratic movements based on similar prims to those of the declaration of independence and suppressed by a constellation of despotic monarchial pours. he was eager for the expose and disappointed at their failure in 1858 when he wrote the springfield resolutions in behalf of hungarian freedom he did not link the european and antislavery struggles. only radical abolitionists were willing to make that logical
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leap lawsuit two years later in his speech at peoria, on october 16, 1854 he did not hesitate to speak what hard shortly before been politically unspeakable. on slavery he said: i hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world. enables the enemies of free institutions with plausibility to taunt us as hypocrites. he would repeat his exact phrase. this phrase. in his first debate with stephen a. douglas and during the decade of the 1850s lincoln was the friend many exiled revolutionaries, from germany who would become instrumental in the formation of the new republican party and become his indispensable allies. lincoln understood the civil war
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as an international event of the greatest magnitude. the cause of the united states as a liberal rub opposed be the same oppressive forces that crushed the 1848 revolutions. it was this idea that led him in 1862 to call the united states the last best hope of earth. and now we're entering the cause of all nations. professor doyle's book. and one of the great figures of the european revolutions plays a stroll central role in our civil war, and that figure is garibaldi. he appeared at the beginning of the war and he appears at a key turning point in the war and i wonder if you could explain to us how important garibaldi is to americans. >> this is what got me interested in this story.
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at the beginning i was a full bright professor in italy and at that time in the mid-'90s, italy was divided. the north was talking about secession and the -- they were calling for separate government, and i learned about this story of garibaldi and it seemed to me just a kind of bizarre curiosity, and it had been dealt with before by historians, kind of ignored and forgotten or treated as just a curiosity. i wanted to learn more. and that opened up the whole story that i followed, that produced this book, and i used the chapter the first chapter called "garibaldi's question." at this time everyone knew who garibaldi was. they knew what he stood for why he was famous. he was the hero of two worlds in south america in north america as well as in europe.
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he was the first real global hero and by that i mean he existed in print and in images. everyone knew what he looked like. women adored garibaldi. they adopted the garibaldi fashion with large red blouses and sometimes military jackets and imitate thing garibaldi style. for americans garibaldi was an important figure, and they wanted him on the south -- both the confederate and the union side companies regiments were named after garibaldi. the south dropped theirs. it was one in louisiana after this news that garibaldi was going to join the union and it was a rumor and echoed through the international press and across america through the summer of 1861. and i later found out that the
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rumor began back with garibaldi back in this little island, as his lieutenants his advisers, were kind of salting the press with these stories. that if invited he might come and raise his sword for america. and so it happened immediately after the battle of bull run as it turned out with lincoln's approval the secretary of state, invited this soldier of freedom to come and fight for the unity and liberty of america, and sent one of his most trusted diplomats henry sanford, u.s. minister to belgium and unofficially the head of secret service in the union diplomatic corps to this tiny island in the middle of the mediterranean, to ask garibaldi if he would serve in the union army.
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garibaldi had who conditions. one is he want complete command of all union forces. [laughter] >> i would be no use as a lieutenant. a pilot must in control of his ship. second he wanted to know, was this war about the emancipation of the negroes or not? if it's not about slavery if it's not for universal emaps pacing, then it will be just another civil war in which the world would have no interest. the union didn't have a good answer for that in september of 1861. but it created -- i think it underscored the need for some kind of moral purpose to the war, and it's the beginning at least, of this reconsideration on the union side of what it was that they were fighting for. now, at the end of the book, i'm -- >> i'm going to leap ahead -- at the end of the book you tell a wonderful story about garibaldi at the moment when it appears
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that the european power maize recognize the confederacy. we know that's the key thing the confederacy is fighting for. if they get recognition from the european powers, then they can exist as a separate nation, and those powers would break the union blockade. and it would be the end of the united states as we knew it. so that is what everybody was playing for on the battlefields here and on the diplomatic battlefields. but garibaldi -- you have done a fantastic work of scholarshipship and weaving together what happened at this very moment involving garibaldi. >> the usual story we have is that the major powers of europe, britain and france in particular were conspiring to intervene in the u.s. war and by intervention this was meant
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that they would offer mediation if the north refused and the south accepted, that would give them reason to recognize the south. now, recognition isn't just a formality or a nicety. it meant that the south existed in -- under international law. it meant that the conditions for the blockade would have to meet a higher standard and meant the threat of the war between the united states and britain and france. it would have been a world war instead of a civil war. the usual story is that lincoln proposed the emancipation proclamation and the news arrives in europe just in time to diffuse this plot of the great powers of europe to intervene. that's not it. in fact, the exchanges between lord pammerston and his foreign minister earl russell, indicate
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that -- especially for russell -- the idea that the united states was about to enact emancipation and to ignite violence and insurrection and race warfare in america actually hastened and encouraged them on this plan to intervention. what foiled their plan was a little known incident but it was garibaldi leading hisband of red shirts in southern italy on a march to rome. roma or morte. rome or death was the slogan. at the end of august, garibaldi standing upon a hill, was wounded by italian soldiers whom he was hoping would come over and join him in this march to liberate rome from the pope and the french control and to make it the capital of a united italy. he went to prison. many thought he would be
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executed. and as a rebel against the state, and all of europe was in a kind of uproar over the fate of garibaldi. huge riots took place in hyde park london, on successive sundays surrounding this period, and in italy and other parts there were demonstrations in favor of garibaldi. this wasn't just garibaldi but the whole cause of liberty and republicany. it caused a crisis in the french government, and napoleon fired his foreign secretary and it meant that the french and the british could no longer collaborate during this period. it created a turmoil. and in the meantime, garibaldi sends this letter to the english nation that calls on britain to stand by her daughter, america who is now fighting for emancipation and to -- against
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the traders in human flesh and just puts this whole -- the whole war into a completely different perspective. what is interesting is that garibaldi's letter to the english nation was written on september 28th before he knew anything about the emancipation proclamation. but garibaldi knows before lincoln knows is going to be about slavery and emancipation, and so it became. >> garibaldi is not the only pro-american in europe, and in britain. who is supporting the united states. and who is instrumental in the struggle. one of the others is somebody whose picture many people don't know but we just looked at this picture. it's the picture of lincoln presenting the emancipation proclamation to his cabinet. in the corner of the picture you can see a portrait, and it is the portrait of an english
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liberal, john bright, who lincoln revered. lincoln had two portraits in his study in the white house one of andrew jackson because of his proclamation on nullification which guided lincoln in his early thinking on secession. and the other was john bright, and to him this represented the liberal cause in the world. tell us something about john bright and how important he was in britain and his relationship with lincoln himself. >> they never met. bright never came to america but he was a tremendous force in -- -- during the self war an international voice. he was a quaker. he was a -- according to his
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class and economic interests he should have been on the side of the confederacy but he wasn't. as a quaker he was opposed to war and also opposed to the english aristocracy and this exclusiveness because he was a quaker a dissenter he was in a excluded minority, and he became an advocate of reform in england, particularly reform of voting rights. he wanted what was called universal suffrage, neglect for men only but it was for all men and he wanted an american style democracy. during the trent crisis, at the end of 1861, you remember the union had apprehended at sea two confederate emissaries, and it created an international crisis, and the press in britain was flip -- whipping up the public into a lather for war and look
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like britain was on the verge of war in that december of 1861. john bright stood up and made a terrific speech to his own constituency in the north of england, and spoke out against this war fever and also embraced the union cause as the same cause for democracy or for expansion of the suffrage in britain, and reminded britain of their -- this common bond that went back to colonial times and evoked this idea of the transatlantic nation that was -- that had gone to war before and regretfully, and that still had this bond of brotherhood across thesay. he became a very powerful voice for the union and also cast the war as one of democratic forces against those of aristocracy and
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slavery. >> lincoln when he was assassinated had in his pockets various artifacts various personal items. one of them was the clipping of an article from a london paper by john bright. >> is that right? >> and lincoln sent to john bright as you note in your book he wrote out some resolutions for bright to present to public meetings in england, and that were then ratified at huge public meetings there one of those who organized one of those meetings -- he was also a very influential journalist. he was living in london. and he wrote for an american paper, from london, on the self-war. i want to just read you from your own book about what he
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wrote. he said the present struggle between the south and the north is a struggle between two social systems. the system of slavery and the system of free labor. that was karl marx. tell us about marx and the civil war. >> marx wrote for the new york tribune, the largest newspaper -- one of the largest in the world -- horace greeley's group out of new york, which had a real interest in the revolutionary movement out europe, especially in 1848 and he hired marc. i think he paid him the equivalent of ten dollars a week. marx lived on that. he was writing and living in a slum in soho, moved out to a sub by-of london -- suburb of
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london. but he and frederick engles were fascinate with the american war. they saw this as the last stand of this feudalistic air to cancracy against norses norses of the bourgeois see free labor. marring wax on the side of the bourgeoises and a supporter 0 free labor and they were fighting the class war now not in europe, not in the most industrialized area of europe in britain, but in distant america. and so that is the way he framed it. now, as the new york tribune abandoned its overseas correspondence and they wanted to cover the civil war moore but marc was cut off but continued to write on the
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american civil war and he was influential as depicting the war as if the epic battle in this historic struggle between forces of free labor and liberalism, setting the stage of course, he hoped, for the final revolution but he would was a friend of america and a very articulate one. ...
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>> this is 509 unexpected player in civil war diplomacy. stalin once asked how many battalions does the pope have. [laughter] not very many. but he was an important political figure because of his appeal to catholic europe. he was especially important because of his indirect influence over the french public which was a great power and was sympathetic toward the confederacy and the government. neutral, but sympathetic toward the confederacy. pope pius ix actually began as what they hoped would be a liberal pope, and then during the revolution garibaldi came into rome and set up the republic of rome. pope pius was expelled from
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rome, came back with the help of the french. and the french continued to garrison the city of rome and to protect what were the papal states. is so the pope is, becomes a reactionary figure against all things modern. the syllabus -- [inaudible] denounces toleration of religion free speech, free thought and denounces all forms of modernity especially liberalism and nationalism. the confederates see a friend in pope pius ix, and they send emissaries to get him to side with the confederacy in its war against these zealot puritans who were ransacking churches in louisiana and desecrating the catholic churches in other parts of the country. and the pope wrote a letter that essentially said that he regretted this intestinal war as
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they called it and hoped for peace. but on the envelope, it was addressed to -- in latin, of course -- to what one of the confederate envoys translated as his excellency, the president of the confederate states of america. a.m. bros stood -- a.m. bros stood up and said we are recognized by the pontiff of europe. this is the fist of the great monarchs of europe to recognize this. put this in the archives. well it wasn't quite that, but it was very effective especially in discouraging irish immigrants in ireland and also in the united states from fighting for these zealous puritans, as they depicted it. is so religion becomes wrapped up in this as well as ideology. >> yeah. you mentioned the confederate diplomatic effort. we think of what the union does but the confederacy was quite
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active in doing everything it could to enlist the european powers on its side. why don't you tell us a little bit about some of these confederate diplomats. >> this was all important to them and probably not important enough in that jefferson davis didn't really put that much stock in diplomacy. but his secretary of state, actually his third secretary of state -- they had a couple of fill-ins there during the first year that weren't very interesting, i think they lost valuable time, by the way -- judah p. benjamin was from a jewish family that had migrated from spain to portugal amsterdam and then to london, born in the british west indies. he was a cosmopolitan and a brilliant lawyer. knew a lot about international law, had -- >> senator from louisiana -- >> senator from louisiana and married a french creole
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louisianan, so he was a man of parts, and he knew the languages and knew the law. very able. and he recognized we can't outlast the union, they have more men. and we can't outlast this politically. we can't press our population to four or five years of war. we've got to win this through recognition. and so he began to fund public diplomacy programs, what we might call propaganda but it was efforts to persuade public opinion abroad. there were a number of them, and they're often depicted as kindxd of cartoonish figures that were spitting tobacco and behaving badly in europe. but they had some very savvy envoys. john sly dell in paris was alsou! a louisianan, was fluent in french and very good at diplomacy. he had worked his way into
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napoleon iii's court and did a lot to advance the interests of the confederacy. james -- both of them had reason to believe that sooner or later the great powers of europe were going to recognize the south. and that they would put aside whatever moral qualms they or their public had and recognize the south just to end the war out of humanitarian concern but also out of concern for king cotton. they had to have the cotton from the south. the south was supplying 80% of the world cotton, and the economies of britain and much of europe depended on cotton. now, it wasn't just the profits of businessmen and mill owners, it was the fear of social revolution with massive unemployment. so there was a real concern that the longer this american war went on, the more danger europe economically and socially would be in.
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>> well, you know, judah p. benjamin served in the senate with william seward. they were both senators together. >> yeah. >> and on one evening benjamin was delivering a speech denouncing seward who was considered to be one of the most anti-slavery senators. he was from new york. and seward said to him, as he was speaking, when you're finished senator benjamin, please give me one of those fine cigars that you're smoking. [laughter] but tell us a little bit about the lincoln and seward relationship. seward became -- was as we know, famous team of rivals, was the, was lincoln's rival for the republican nomination but became his secretary of state. and they didn't always get aa long, but they later became an indispensable team. >> yes.
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yes. i, i found in that relationship a really good working relationship. and if they disagreed at times, it was a real healthy disagreement. so here was seward, he was expected, he was the ineffable nominee for the -- inevitable nominee for the republican party. and it was really because he had become too well known for his declamations about the irrepressible conflict and his anti-slavery statements that he was put aside for lincoln who was regarded as more moderate. and because he was less well known -- he'd been off in illinois for most of his career served as a congressman for just one term and except for the lincoln/douglas debates which brought him some international notoriety, he didn't have as much baggage as seward did. so now seward, the jealous rival, disappointed rival, was
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brought in as secretary of state, and i think that was one of the smart moves lincoln made. he pulled him into the tent. seward was jealous and somewhat condescending at time, but they worked together. there's one incident where on april 1st seward writes this memo and everyone uses this to depict seward as this kind of warmonger. but the memo, what some call the april fool's day memo, has seward advising the president you seem a little bit too busy with these post office appointments. let's have a war with spain or france or both. spain had just invaded santa domingo. and his idea was that this would be a panacea, this would unite the north and south. that south carolina, seeing the enemy ships coming into new york harbor, would come and fight for the union. well, he was a little off on some of that and lincoln did
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not take his advice. but seward's aggressive foreign policy that threatened europe, that hard power line that remained intact, he was not corrected or dissuaded from that. and that was very important to the success of the war. >> when we think of the international relations of the civil war, we think about europe but one of the most important factors was mexico. >> yes. >> mexico was crucial to the war and con constantly talked about. why don't you explain to us why this was so. >> right at the beginning of the war right after spain took over santa domingo france, spain and britain met in london and formed a tripart alliance in which they agreed for annal ride invasion
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of mexico -- an allied invasion of mexico. napoleon's grand design to topple the juarez government, the republican who'd just been his party had just been elected. he took office at the same time that lincoln did. to topple them and to install a european monarch and to demonstrate to all of latin america that monarchy would stabilize and bring peace to latin america. and, of course, napoleon iii wanted the confederacy to win to create a buffer state between his latin catholic empire that would be seated in mexico and the anglo-saxon democracy menacing it from the north. so that became very important to the war. >> at the end of the war one of the great french supporters of the united states, a
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professor -- >> a history professor -- >> a history professor makes a suggestion that there should be a gesture to the united states. why don't you explain what that gesture is and what happened. >> he's one of my favorites because i think he's a history professor, but also he loved america. he'd never been there. sometimes it works better -- [laughter] a to admire a nation or a person from a distance without -- >> napoleon iii which was an oppressive dictatorship and they saw the united states as an example of the values. >> yes. >> that they wished -- [inaudible conversations] >> the universal values of equality and liberty and self-government. and he admired america because without kings, without priests without those kind of
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aristocracy, they had been able since 1789 to conduct government without assassinations, without revolutions. france went through multiple changes of governments revolutions and all kinds of murderous violence. and america he saw as an example of stability until 1861. and so now the whole experiment in self-government, government by the people, seemed to be in jeopardy. and lavolet became a very effective agent of john bigelow, and he was used very effectively, calling upon the american people to stand up and to defend lincoln and the union in this experiment for democracy. when lincoln was assassinated
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lavolet was so depressed and he and a number of other republicans met at his country place outside of paris. they couldn't really meet publicly under napoleon's regime. and they had an idea for a monument to america to this friendship between france and the united states that went back to 1778 and this commitment to liberty. and out of that one of the members of this dinner party was august bartleby, the artist, who later had this idea for what we now call the statue of liberty. but it was liberty enlightening the world. it would take 20 years before they actually erected that in new york harbor, but the idea was born in that summer of 1865. and that statue is our greatest civil war monument. not just for america but for all the world because it is liberty enlightening the world.
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>> that statue, which most people are quite familiar with, don't know that at the feet of the statue of liberty lie broken chains. >> yes. >> representing emancipation. she is holding the declaration of independence -- >> yes. >> all men are created equal. lincoln's credo. >> yes. >> and holding up the lamp. >> yes. >> of enlightenment. >> that's right, yes. >> and values. and deliberately facing europe. >> and striding toward europe, yes. [laughter] >> and as lavolet explained the lamp -- not the torch not the symbol of revolution, not stepping over dead corpses but of enlightenment. yeah. it's a wonderful story. >> thank you so much. [applause]
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well, we have some time for questions. right here. >> i get depressed as an african-american. i've seen 150 years go by where lincoln has been put up as almost a, you know, a saint-like figure on the one hand and then parochialized. and it's taken scholars like you two to find these new angles. do you -- i mean it seems to me especially as an african-american that this parochialism that lincoln was a limited purpose person that this stuff about foreign affairs and even i've come to lectures here where we talk about how the capital turned from a sleepy southern town to a real northern town because of him. it just seems to go against this grain in american history for 150 years until you guys have come along that i think has been perpetuated, i think by white southerners and maybe even conservatives these days that
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he was just a limited purpose hero. [laughter] and i'm serious that he was a limited purpose hero, and we just have to look at him in this box and not in this broad spectrum that, you know, people like you have done in international affairs other scholars who talk in this house about things like the city itself and of the cause of african-american advancement and freedom even during, you know, the five years during the war. but do you have any opinion as to why we look at him, even school children these days, as a limited purpose hero without seeing this broad context of international affairs and even local politics here in washington? >> lincoln is always a surprise. i mean, i think that he was depicted at the beginning in his campaign as being this prairie lawyer who didn't know anything about the world.
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as sidney showed, very early in his career he had this awareness of america, part of this larger world and that if this was an experiment in government by people that it mattered to the world and that the world would matter to america. but he learns and he grows during the war. he's not just what he was at the beginning. he listens a lot, and that was the secret to the diplomatic program overseas too. seward sent his diplomats over and said tell us what they're saying. what are they saying in the press. and so the dispatches coming back to washington were filled with these reports of the public mind, as they call it and the idea that there was a public out there was important to their understanding and to their strategy of diplomacy. and lincoln listened and he learned. he and seward together. >> this is an enormous
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subject -- [laughter] about abraham lincoln. >> [inaudible] >> no, no, no. the last thing you should do is apologize because you have asked the central question about lincoln. and some people say, you know, lincoln evolved. he didn't really care about slavery. and some people say he was just in his open time. they -- in his own time. they said he was, essentially, a half politician. of he was a low class character. and people say, you know, he just wanted to get by. well, the truth is as lincoln himself said, i was naturally anti-slavery. he was born into this. now, this is a long, long discussion. the truth is his father left kentucky to get away from slavery. and his parents were members of small, sectarian primitive baptist emancipationist
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churches. people generally don't know this. he was -- as lincoln himself said, he was raised to be anti-slavery. he went down to new orleans twice. he was shocked at what he saw, the open-air auctions. and his cousin, dennis hanks, said that he vowed that he would strike a blow against slavery. that might be slightly apocryphal but it may not be. lincoln, when he was a state legislator in illinois which was -- i'm an illinoisan, third generation, was the most racist state in the north at the time. they had a black code. it was, it was draconian against blacks. and lincoln as a state legislator in the 1830s proposed in the illinois state legislature a bill for e manages
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payings in the district of columbia. that was the most forward-thinking thing that you could coat the time. so while it's true that lincoln evolved, that he grew he deepened his thought developed in response to events and circumstances and reading and his own experiences, he was always anti-slavery. and in 1858 before he's president in his house divided in his house divided speech he says he is determined to put slavery on the course of ultimate extinction. says it explicitly. his statements against slavery beginning in 1854 with his speeches in springfield and peoria are very explicit about slavery. if slavery is not wrong nothing is wrong. so, but lincoln was also a politician. he had very difficult circumstances, and he had to cope with this.
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of course after his death and after reconstruction there was a whole lost cause movement, there was a whole mythology built up. and the southerners, and i think don could speak to this some other time took over the historical profession in the writing on the civil war. and they created a mythology. and only in recent years is it being broken. this book is one of these breakthroughs, in my view. so i think you've asked the central question. i hope i can come back in about a year and -- [laughter] and when my book is published and talk about this issue in detail. but i think everyone needs to encounter lincoln again, and you're quite right. >> can you expand a little bit on the sevenment that would lead -- sentiment that would
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lead great britain to tilt towards the south given that it's sort of counterintuitive. they'd abolished slavery through the colonies and everything else. and also as part of that, to what extent was any financial other actual support given to the confederacy by the european powers? >> britain was divided. when we talk about britain one of the distinctions that needs to be made for any country is of course, the government and then the public mind to the extent that that could be identified. but palmerston who was the prime minister was anti-democratic. and many of the british governing class were just delighted to see what one called the republican bubble burst. and this was proof that self-government didn't work. they were arguing with john bright, whom we discussed earlier, and this whole
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brightism, they could it, this whole idea that they should expand the franchise. so that sentiment was important. and then the other was, of course, just the concern about cotton. and a lot of free trade liberals who might be anti-slavery would say, well, if the war -- if the union isn't fighting against slavery, then what do we have against trading with the south? and if they believe in free trade -- by this time the union had passed a very high tariff -- then let's do business an independent south is. going the other way was this deep anti-slavery antipathy and pro-democracy sentiment in the public of great britain. and that was important. so they maintained neutrality throughout. you asked about material help. of course the government turned a blind eye to the construction of confederate raiders in the
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csa ship the alabama, was one of the most deadly forces on the open seas. and they had others that they were, that were purchased by the confederacy and constructed there in london. i mean, excuse me, in england. and they wanted to also do the same in france. so there was unofficial help, but officially they remained neutral. it was, you're right those are exactly the contending forces that were in play. >> in the back, please. >> [inaudible] talk about the relationship -- [inaudible] so important to what was going on in europe. was there any influence of the civil war in south american countries or countries other than the european theater? and did the civil war influence any of the future revolutions in those countries? >> yes. of course the european intervention in mexico and in santa domingo, what had been the
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dominican republic, seemed to be precursors of a in my chapter i call it "the empire's return." they're coming back to tack back lost -- take back lost colonies and establish monarchies in different latin american countries. and many latin americans began to see this as a contest in which they had a stake. and their main concern was about this european imperialism. and they saw the defeat of the union as would be a big blow to them and to these rather feeble republics. now, we think of now the monroe doctrine as a kind of excuse, a veil for u.s. imperialism. latin americans were going, latin american diplomats were going to washington, begging america to defend its monroe doctrine and to stand up for this idea that europe would no longer be allowed to just come in and carve up the western
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hemisphere for its colonies. after the war, at the end of the war, those 'em -- empires all retreat. think about it british, north america, what had been a collection of different british possessions now were formed into what we know as canada the dominion of canada. self-governing. still wrongs to britain but self-governing. russia retreats. sells russia dub excuse me, sells alaska. [laughter] excuse me, sarah palin. [laughter] and, of course, maximilian meets his doom in june of 1867 at the hands of a republican firing squad in mexico. some call it the last battle of the civil war. cuba begins a revolution in 1868 against slavery but also for freedom for cuba. to so a number of different confrontations erupt at the end
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of the american civil war. and at the end europe has withdrawn from the western hemisphere. so there were big stakes for latin america in this war. >> one more question? we'd love to have another question. right here, please. >> i'm kind of taken aback by your comment that if certain things had not fallen into place, we were facing a world war. and that's just a startling comment to me, and i wondered if you would expand upon it. >> no. union policy was that if any foreign country does anything to to aid this domestic rebellion that we will wrap the world in flames. seward used this phrase several different times and often he would do it in front of journalists and diplomats and he'd strike a match and light his cigar -- [laughter] fill the room with smoke. and some thought that seward was a little off, maybe drinking too much. [laughter] maybe going around the bend.
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but i think that he was crazy like a fox. i think he knew exactly what it was doing. and if they worried that he was a little too happy about the idea of going to war it didn't bother him. i think he wanted that. but that threat of war kind of hard power with one hand and then this soft power effort to assuage british and french european public opinion, that was very much part of seward's foreign policy. and with lincoln looking over his shoulder and participating in this kind of smart power strategy that they developed. but, yeah, could have been very different with a world war. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. >> because how could the north -- in a world war at the same time? >> yeah. but, you know, by this time keep in mind that they had put two million men in arms. it was the largest army in the world.
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there were a million men at the end of the war, but two million altogether. and it proved all expectations to the world that a democracy could actually mobilize and fight a war a sustained war. and they also, by this time, had built a very large and impressive navy. and britain had had two wars with the united states and neither of them went well. [laughter] okay, the war of 1812 was a draw, perhaps, but it was not a victory for the largest naval power in the world and they didn't want a third one. there was also a great deal of sentiment, pro-american sentiment in britain and palmer, i'm sure felt certain they would fall if they went to war against america. >> the people who were living through this felt that everything was at stake, that there could be a world war -- >> yes. >> and our ambassador to britain, charles francis adams,
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who was the son of diplomats -- >> yes. >> he was is the son of john quincy adams and the grandson of john add a also, had a keen sense of american history. said we are now passing through the very crisis of our fate. and it was. >> yeah. >> and that's what your book is about. thank you, professor. [applause] >> thank you all for joining us this evening. i hope you join us downstairs for the book signing in the library. thank you. [inaudible conversations]


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