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That’s the subject of my weekend column over at RealClearHistory. An excerpt:
4. The Confederacy was, for all intents and purposes, an independent country. When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the Confederacy had long since declared independence from the United States and set up a federal government of its own. Montgomery, Ala. acted as its capital city until 1861, when the Confederacy’s government moved to Richmond, Va. Lincoln viewed Richmond’s diplomacy with the British and French as the most dangerous element of the Confederacy’s secession. If Richmond could somehow manage to get a world power on its side, the consequences for the future of the republic would be dire. For London and Paris, the calculations were a bit different. If either one joined the side of the Confederacy, the other would officially join the north and a global war could ensue. The Confederacy lobbied especially hard for the British to fight on their side, but there was one issue London’s hawks, the factions that wanted a war with Washington, couldn’t get past.
Please, read the rest.
My son is being born right about now (I scheduled this post). I hope everything goes well (it’s a c-section). Wish me luck!
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- Christian humanism: A path not taken Paul Seaton, Law & Liberty
This article analyzes the changing treaty law and practice governing the Ottoman state’s attitude toward the subjects of its most important neighbor and most inveterate rival: the Russian Empire. The two empires were linked by both migration and unfreedom; alongside Russian slaves forcibly brought to the sultans’ domains, many others came as fugitives from serfdom and conscription. But beginning in the late 18th century, the Ottoman Empire reinforced Russian serfdom and conscription by agreeing to return fugitives, even as the same treaties undermined Ottoman forced labor by mandating the return of Russian slaves. Drawing extensively on Ottoman archival sources, this article argues that the resulting interimperial regulations on unfreedom and movement hardened the empires’ human and geographic boundaries, so that for many Russian subjects, foreign subjecthood under treaty law was not a privilege, but a liability.
This is from Will Smiley, a historian at the University of New Hampshire. Here is the link.
It’s true, and it’s the subject of my latest Tuesday column over at RealClearHistory. Check it out:
The two future superpower rivals had more in common than mere future greatness, though. Both were expanding rapidly, gobbling up huge swaths of territory at the expense of isolated polities like the Khiva Khanate and the Sioux confederacy, and hapless autocracies like Mexico and the Ottoman Empire. Russia and the United States also shared common foes – France and the U.K. – due mostly to the fact that American and Russian expansion was beginning to step on French and British toes. Both empires – one democratic, the other autocratic – also had looming labor crises that overshadowed everything they did in international affairs: slavery and serfdom.
Yes, I’m writing about the widely-ignored Crimean War. Please, read the rest, and don’t forget to tune in Friday for ten cool facts about the Crimean War!
- African-American incomes in mid-century Tom Westland, Decompressing History
- Black American Culture and the Racial Wealth Gap Coleman Hughes, Quillette
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- My Great-Grandfather, the Nigerian Slave Trader Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, New Yorker