October 17 2013
Key Words Notes
US civil war
Lincoln – President of US
St. Albans Raid
- Palmerstone - British PM
- 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
The American presidential election of 1860 produced a front
- 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
- 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
- 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
The politicians of the south were not unfamiliar with foreign
- Many of them had traveled to Europe and were familiar with
- Southern strategy was to try to get the British involved in the
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
- 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
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