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HIS311 Oct 17 A Colonial Nation, 1864-1891

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Robert Bothwell

October 17 2013 Key Words Notes  US civil war  Lincoln – President of US  Seward  ‘Trent Affair”  St. Albans Raid  “Alabama  British officials: - Palmerstone - British PM - Gladstone  Canadian officials/people: - John A. Macdonald - PM - George Brown – editor of newspaper - Alexander Galt – Canadian finance minster/first …?  Foreman – Writer  George E Cartier – Quebec   The Federation of Canada in the 1860s, second part will deal with the expansion of Canada between 1967 and 1891.  The American civil war is the most written about. A book by a British author Amanda Foreman that deals with Anglo-American relations during the American civil war.  The American civil war developed out of a political impasse between the Northern or free and the Southern or slave states that could no longer be resolved inside the American political system. Between 1820 and 1860 there were a series of crisis, each worse than the last which were patched over in a way that would persuade southern in particular to stay in the American union.  By 1860 it had become in the phrase of the day an “irreconcilable conflict.”  The American presidential election of 1860 produced a front runner: - There were 4 candidates for presidents. - The one with the most votes (39%) was Lincoln, politician from the state of Illinois. - He was the candidate of the Republican Party, which was a new party on the American scene.  The Republican Party was opposed to the expansion of slavery within the US. - It did not actually in that election stand for the abolition of slavery. - Obviously the American political crisis took it start in its desire not just for the limitation of slavery but for its abolishment.  In the south Lincolns the victory was taken as a first step towards the abolishment of the slavery completely.  Lincoln becomes president in March 1861. - His inauguration was met by the separation of bunch of southern states. - Initially the ones in the Deep South: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. - Followed eventually by Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.  What would Lincoln do? American opinion was uncertain in the winter 1860 – 1861. Many other northern were delighted to see the end of the south and believed that that American politics before 1860 had been dominated by the south and the southern agenda. So it is very much the sense that the United State was two separated interest groups/societies/ nations.  The southern states constitute themselves as the confederate States of America (CSA). - They make their capital in Virginia, which is not that far from Washington. - Southern politics were populated by politicians who had already served in Washington. - .  Lincoln said that he would not allow the separation and calls for volunteers. Volunteers arrive in Washington more less in time to prevent it from falling into southern hands. Washington itself was slave territory and sat inside a slave holding state – Maryland. Lincolns job is first to protect himself and then to reconquer the southern states.  The politicians of the south were not unfamiliar with foreign relations. - Many of them had traveled to Europe and were familiar with Great Britain. - Southern strategy was to try to get the British involved in the civil war. a. either directly, which was unlikely or b. by some kind of support for the south economically. - The reasoning was that the south principal export, cotton was essential to British industry. This is pretty well described by Foremen.  It is an Anglo-American matrix. The problem the prof. had with foremen was that the largest number of British subject who were effected by the revolution was not actually European, but in Canada.  There were 3 and half million British subjects living in North America. What happened in the US was very direct interest in British North America. We are not allying them Canadians, Canadians in 1851 were inhabitants of province, which are Ontario and Quebec. Inhabitants of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland would have out resisted any such name-calling.  However, they were all affected by what is going on in the state. - The Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland were major exports to the US, in particular to the southern States. Canadian fish went to feed slaves. - The province of Canada is greatly affected because it exports a lot of produce and lumber and some minerals to the US.  In addition to this economic connection there is a cultural connection: - Canadian churches, the Protestants ones are closely associated with their American counter parts. - Canadian political opinion is heavily affected by the slavery issue. Most educated and even uneducated Canadian in 1861 would have had a view about slavery. Most would have opposed it..  Consequently you’d think the Canadians would side with the North. This would have been the view of the president of the Canadian anti-slavery society George Brown. Who is the editor of the Globe newspaper.  Civil war isn’t initially about slavery, rather it is about union. - Lincoln went out of his way to say no, it isn’t about slavery. Stop worrying about that. Please become peaceful again, we wont take your slaves, - We Just want you to remain in the union. - The first two years of the war 1861-1862 that is the position of the American government in Washington. - And Canadians do not have strong affection for the American union as Lincoln did. - o the initial American federal position is a downer as it is also for American anti-slavery intellectuals. - There is an initial problem in the American position and this also effects American relations with Great Britain.  In terms of its external impact the American war strategy isn’t calculated to exploit that part of world opinion that otherwise would have been favorable to the US.  It is also true that there were Canadians who were pro-south. They are not nessacrly pro-slavery. That is the effect of their position. These are the people who hate the US and want to see it destroyed and broken up. And consequently want to see Canada’s strategic position improved if we were one country in North American instead of two.  Generally speaking if you are looking for pro-south opinion in Canada in the early 1860s you would find it in the conservative side. The prof phrases this carefully to illustrate that not all conservatives agreed with that position. - If you were reading Canadian newspapers from 1862 you’d find that conservative newspaper would be pro-south like Montreal Gazette would be pro-south and they would run one version of reality in this paper. - Canadian in 1862 were acquainted with cognitive dissonance in which you exclude whatever you do not want to hear. - If you read the Gazette you’d discover: a. south has Britain generals, attractive ladies, system of gentlemanly atrocity something out of Gone With the Wind b. If you read the Toronto Globe you’d find that the south is made up of murderers, villains, knife wielding assassin, brutes, sadist, and so on. Basically Django Unchained. - This is it. There is a division of opinion on the south in Canada. However, Canadians sort of battle it out. - However it doe not become a huge issue. l  Where it is most important is on the impact in Canada of Anglo American relations. This has to do with the desire of the union to get British support. And the desire of the south to get British support. So over, for both sides, British support is rather crucial.  Lincoln is aware of it. So to some degree is his secretary of state William Henry Seward. Who is governor of NY and is a canny politician. Both are very important in terms of Canada.  Lincoln had no perceptive views about British North America. Seward, however did. He believed that it was the destiny of British North America to join the US. He had taken a tour of Canada in 1857 and every thing he found proved that it was desirable and inevitable. It is important to think that he isn’t Canadian. He loves the Canadian so much that he thinks that they will be worthy American. Or he might persuade the brits to give us up as sort of a tip for good behavior.  There is a bit of agenda lurking in Washington, but is it subsumed by the American civil war. the American civil war does not go very well for the union. It is history in 1861 of one union defeat after another.  What had been expected to be a fairly easy restoration of order in the south turns out not to be.  It is just at that point that the confederate government send ambassadors to Europe, basically Britain and France. - They travel on a British steamer the Trent which is traveling from Havana Cuba- not American territory to England. - They are intercepted in the Atlantic by a US Navy ship and they are taken off and arrested and brought back to the US NYC. - The commander of the US navy ship is received as a national hero. - However from the British point of view this was an unwarranted incursion on a British ship. - It is actually the reverse of the British potion before 1812 and the reverse of the American position before 1812. - The Americans are now taking the old British point of view and the British are taking the old American point of view. - The British PM Lord Palmerston lets the American must release these two confederates that they have illegally seized. It is against the law and that they must be restored. - He gets quite belligerent about this.  The possibility of war between US and Great Britain arises - The British sends troops to Canada. 10,000 British soldiers arrive in Canada. They travel as far as Toronto. They are received very well by the Canadian society because it means that dull Canadian winter will be livened by parties - These are the best regiments, and this is the desire to show that they mean business  The story is that the queen’s husband Prince Albert desperately tries to smooth things over to tone down the British response and to give the Americans a chance to release the captives.  Lincoln and Seward agree to release the confederates.  So far that is all according to Foremen. What she fails to mention is that there is a Canadian view to this.  Canada by now has cabinets. They have governments that are locally responsible. The effective premier of Canada John A. Macdonald sends his finance minster Alexander Galt to Washington where he meets Lincoln. - First he assures Lincoln that Canada is not hostile to the Union. - In return received Lincolns reassurance that it is not on his agenda to attack British Empire or Canadian in particular. - It is only to say that we were well aware of this importance of foreign affairs and that we were not simply puppets in relations to it.  This is the first time that the prof can find that a Canadian representative is sent to a foreign country with a political mission. It is the first time where there is serious contact not j
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