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Lincoln, Seward, and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era (Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace) Kindle Edition
“A heartening reminder that politicians, at their best, can rise above petty rivalries and jealousies to serve a larger cause.” —Don H. Doyle, author of The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War
The Civil War marked a significant turning point in American history—not only for the United States itself but for its relations with foreign powers both during and after the conflict. The friendship and foreign policy partnership between President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Henry Seward shaped those US foreign policies. These unlikely allies, who began as rivals during the 1860 presidential nomination, helped ensure that America remained united and prospered in the aftermath of the nation’s consuming war.
In Lincoln, Seward, and US Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era, Joseph A. Fry examines the foreign policy decisions that resulted from this partnership and the legacy of those decisions. Lincoln and Seward, despite differences in upbringing, personality, and social status, both adamantly believed in the preservation of the union and the need to stymie slavery. They made that conviction the cornerstone of their policies abroad, and through those policies, such as Seward threatening war with any nation that intervened in the Civil War, they prevented European intervention that could have led to Northern defeat. The Union victory allowed America to resume imperial expansion, a dynamic that Seward sustained beyond Lincoln’s death during his tenure as President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State.
Fry’s analysis of the Civil War from an international perspective and the legacy of US policy decisions provides a more complete view of the war and a deeper understanding of this crucial juncture in American history.
"Joseph Fry, a distinguished historian of US foreign policy, has written an important book that admirably corrects lingering misconceptions about Secretary of State William Seward and his relationship with President Abraham Lincoln. In his rendering, we see two masters of statecraft working together, devising domestic and foreign policies that complemented one another and saved the life of the nation from its enemies at home and abroad. Fry's book is a heartening reminder that politicians, at their best, can rise above petty rivalries and jealousies to serve a larger cause, and they proved this during America's greatest crisis."―Don H. Doyle, author of The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War
"In this engaging and well-crafted study, Joseph A. Fry examines the unusual partnership that developed between President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward during the Civil War. Setting aside their intense rivalry, they became close friends, united in their determination to preserve and expand the Union while warding off an intervention by either England or France―or both―that could have changed the outcome of the war. An impressive work that will interest both academic and general readers."―Howard Jones, author of My Lai: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness
"Joseph Fry has written the book that we have long needed. More than just an examination of one of the greatest political partnerships in US history, this insightful study shows how the course of the nation's greatest internal crisis hinged upon its relations with foreign powers. Anyone who is interested in the Civil War and the emergence of the United States as a world power should read this book."―Jay Sexton, author of Debtor Diplomacy: Finance and American Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era, 1837-1873
"This is quite simply the best book I have read on the Civil War in the last twelve months. The author sketches in the vastly different backgrounds of the two men and their prewar philosophies and political experience. To read this book, filled with deft portraits of the two men and their critical partnership, is almost to meet them. Informed and wise, it is a joy to read."―North & South
"Fry. . .does more than just discuss the Lincoln administration's efforts to prevent foreign intervention in the Civil War, a topic well covered by many authors, but also touches on the broader range of issues that more or less fell under the umbrella of 'foreign relations'. . . . Lincoln, Seward, and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era. . .is a valuable read for anyone interested in American foreign policy in the mid-nineteenth century, and, of course, the Civil War."―Strategy Page
"Fry offers an illuminating overview of the cooperative efforts of Lincoln and Seward to shape US foreign policy during the Civil War."―Humanities and Social Sciences Online
"Fry has produced an impressive and judicious account of Lincoln and Seward's conduct of Civil War foreign relationsit is an excellent, slim volume to recommend to undergraduates and lay readers alike."―Journal of Southern History --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07LCX81J5
- Publisher : The University Press of Kentucky (April 5, 2019)
- Publication date : April 5, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 3937 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 247 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,771 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #99 in Civil War Antietam History
- #341 in International Diplomacy (Kindle Store)
- #414 in Reconstruction History of the U.S.
- Customer Reviews:
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After a short biography of the two men, the author focuses on this partnership where two rivals came together for the good of the nation and then became fast friends. Lincoln set the policy; Seward implemented it. Disagreements were quickly resolved. Major topics covered include Seward’s call to provoke a foreign war in 1861 to get the South back into the Union, the Trent Affair, the threat of European intervention and recognition of the Confederacy, the issue of European blockade runners, the commerce raiders and Laird rams under construction in Great Britain (and meant for the South’s navy), the influence of the Emancipation Proclamation on Europeans, and the impact of the Northern victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. The overarching goal of the tandem of Lincoln-Seward was the preservation of the Union, but to accomplish it, they had to prevent European recognition of the South and avoid a second war that could have been catastrophic.
Fry also spends a chapter on Seward’s tenure as secretary of state under the Johnson presidency. Seward’s main objective during these years was to expand American commerce, especially in Asia. The acquisition of Alaska fit nicely into his plan. However, he was less successful in attaining an island or naval base in the Caribbean, constructing a canal in Panama, and gaining control over the Hawaiian Islands. The secretary may have been at his best in his dealings with Napoleon III’s attempt to establish a European monarchy under French protection in Mexico. Rather than invade to drive the French out, Seward bid his time, allowing circumstances in both Mexico, France, and the German states to convince the emperor to abandon this project. French evacuation was done without the cost of a single American soldier’ life.
Seward has gone down as the second greatest secretary of state (behind John Quincy Adams) in U.S. history. His partnership with Lincoln is the greatest president-secretary of state combination in the nation’s storied past.
While meant primarily for students and novices of Union diplomacy during the 1860s, students of the Civil War will still find this a good read. The lengthy biographical essay will point one to more detailed works on various people and events of the years 1861-1869. The cost of this book is moderate, but the paperback version (which is sure to come) will be very affordable.
Most readers familiar with Lincoln's Administration and its fraught relationship with England and France will find little new here. More interesting to me was the attention given to Seward's work during the Johnson Administration, including why he stayed on under the despicable Andrew Johnson and how he secured the United States' purchase of Alaska from the czar.
As an aside, I find it irritating when book editors either mandate or allow the style usage of "US" in place of "U.S."