The Cause Of All Nations Analysis

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After eleven Southern states seceded from the United States in February of 1861, and the country was one the brink of a Civil War, the rest of the world watched to see if the ideals of freedom and democracy would defeat the institution of slavery and tyranny. In Don Doyle’s book The Cause of All Nations, he explains how at the outset of the war, European nations had taken great interest in America’s struggle and ignited a division between those who sided with the North and those who sided with the South. This division involved the aristocracy and conservatives sympathizing with the Confederacy, and the liberal-minded middle class siding with the Union. The American conflict was important to Europeans because the fate of republicanism and democracy …show more content…
For example, the Greek independence movement against the Ottoman Empire, and Belgium’s independence from the Netherlands were highly admired and recognized by nations abroad. The idea that people possessed a natural right to govern themselves and pursue their own destiny had a firm basis in liberal philosophy and a clear precedent in international law (Doyle, 29). The South recognized this and used it to their advantage. Lastly, France and Britain specifically had an economic interest in supporting the Confederacy due to their reliance on southern cotton. The South provided 75% of the world’s cotton, and Southern leaders were under the impression that they would receive recognition because of “King Cotton.” Jefferson Davis devised a plan that instituted an embargo on cotton instead of giving Europe massive amounts of it at a cheap price. This embargo would initiate diplomacy; however, both Britain and France had “bumper crops” or a back-up supply of cotton within their borders, including other sources like Egypt and India (Kytle, lecture, Nov. 17, 2015). Therefore, the South’s economic appeal was not very …show more content…
minister of Spain had convinced Lincoln in 1862 that it was time to place the war against the rebellious slave states upon a higher moral basis and thereby give the Union the control of public opinion in Europe (Doyle, 69). So, Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863. It did not instantly cause European powers to shift their support from the South to the Northern cause. But Garibaldi’s rallies had caused public support in the war to turn against recognition, therefore making the possibility of Southern recognition impossible. The Great Powers had to realize that Lincoln had declared war on slavery, and any policy favoring an independent South would be seen as an effort to rescue slavery from its doom (Doyle, 236). The European powers could not choose to recognize a nation fighting for slavery over one that was fighting for liberty. And from that point on, the Civil War would be fought on the terms of liberty, and would be the only cause for all

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