The American Civil War Through British Eyes Dispatches from British Diplomats: November 1860-April 1862
James J. Barnes, Patience P. Barnes, Prudence P.. Barnes
Kent State University Press, 2003 - 336 halaman
From November 1860 to April 1862 there was only one British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington, D.C.--Richard Bickerton Pemell Lyons, Second Baron. Lord Lyons was the highest-ranked British diplomat in Washington, appointed to this post in December 1858 and serving until February 1865.
The dispatches included in Volume 1 of The American Civil War through British Eyes offer insight into contemporary Anglo-American relations. This period witnessed the election of Abraham Lincoln, the secession crisis, the formation of the Confederacy, and the first military confrontations of the war. It also raised a host of problems for Great Britain's relationships with both the Union and the Confederacy, such as how the war would affect British nationals residing in the United States, what course official British policy should take regarding diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy, and the effect that the likely interruption of exports might have on British manufacturing.
One of Lord Lyon's tasks was to keep London informed of the shifting mood in America. He reported on the country's morale and relayed his impressions of the way in which the press and the politicians influenced public opinion and inflamed patriotic fervor. Lyons was especially struck by how slowly each side geared up for combat. His dispatches show the defensive Southern strategy and explains why the North felt it must take the struggle across Confederate lines. He also related how successful the North was in raising funds, speculated about the role slaves would play, and recognized that a major disruption of Southern life might provoke a slave uprising.
The issues raised by these dispatches are crucial ones for the study of the Civil War, and this volume, the first of a three-volume collection, fills an important void for students and scholars of the war. Lyons's dispatches offer a perspective on America during its first test of national unity. Through them the Civil War unfolds not in retrospect but through the eyes of a contemporary observer.
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afford the means of forming an opinion on the probable duration of the struggle ,
and on the spirit in which it will be conducted . No abatement in the bitterness or
in the resolution of either side is yet apparent . No dissentient voice is loud ...
The Cabinet will have but small means of checking them ; nor is it probable that
such means as it may have will be used . That Great Britain will be the principal
object of attack seems certain . It is easy to see how soon a struggle between ...
Let Europe be warned , and if she desired to reopen the trade , let her adopt the
only practicable means of doing so : let her promote by every means in her power
the speedy suppression of the rebellion . M. Mercier replied that he could have ...