The Key Factors in the United States' Civil War

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Jones book offers a new perspective on the key factors of the civil war such as, the fear of European intervention before 1863, Napoleon's grand design for the Americas, and the use by Lincoln of slavery as an evil worth destroying and the target of his foreign policy. Indeed, it would be difficult not to talk about the battles since the book focuses heavily on the major ones such as Vicksburg and Gettysburg, and forgetting the sacrifices the union made in keeping states such as Missouri, and Maryland from joining the south. Jones suggested that Lincoln was very much concern about the possibility of the British and French supporting the Confederacy, and the calamity this could have had for the north by changing the history of the U.S, and throwing out the ideals of the revolutionary war. However, through quick manipulation of the crisis Lincoln was able to convince the major European powers that he was totally against the institution of slavery, and thus making it the central theme of his foreign policy. Although this gave some reassurance to the British and French, the idea of seeing a weaker U.S. must have been enticing that both countries secretly considered supporting the south if one side took the lead. Indeed, fortunate for Lincoln, neither side was willing to do so since Lord Palmerston had to worry about his weak coalition, the union threats, and the personal interest of the crown. He pointed out that the same reluctance could not be said of Napoleon who had a grand design for a Mexican empire, and made no secret of his support for the south. His only stumbling block was the reluctance of Great Britain to take the lead and for him to follow. Jones argued that Lincoln's greatest fear was the recognition of the Confede... ... middle of paper ... ...or the cool head and strong personality of Lord Palmerston, Great Britain might have intervened as early as 1862. Luckily for the union the occasion to which Palmerston was waiting for never materializes, and Russell could not push the prime minister into recognizing the Confederacy. All in all, Jones wrote a brilliant book which addresses most of the issues that other writers did not cover such as Lincoln's ideology, and a much greater in-depth view of the British government's position, which I was very much unaware of. Finally, it would be insulting if one did not give credit to Jones for mention the major battles of the civil war, and the hardships the soldiers of both sides must have endured. This book should be high recommended for all students of history, which gives the reader a shorter but, good overview of one of the greatest events in American history.

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