Author: Niels Eichhorn

Queen Victoria’s Speeches to Parliament: The Role of the Civil War in British Politics

Queen Victoria’s Speeches to Parliament: The Role of the Civil War in British Politics

At the opening of each Parliamentary session, the British monarch delivers a policy statement crafted by the Prime Minister, explaining the cabinet’s plans for the forthcoming sitting of Parliament. With Parliament prorogued until October 14, 2019, when Queen Elizabeth II is supposed to read Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s agenda to ...
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Secession and Slavery in Great Britain II:  John Lothrop Motley and the Causes of the Civil War in <i>The Times</i> of London

Secession and Slavery in Great Britain II: John Lothrop Motley and the Causes of the Civil War in The Times of London

To read Part I of my analysis of this debate, click here. Part I discusses two articles by Cassius Clay, an antislavery Kentuckian and U.S. Minister to the Russian court, and Edwin DeLeon, a secessionist and former U.S. minister to Egypt. British neutrality inspired Clay and DeLeon to present their ...
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Secession and Slavery in Great Britain: Cassius Clay and Edwin DeLeon debate in <i>The Times</i> of London

Secession and Slavery in Great Britain: Cassius Clay and Edwin DeLeon debate in The Times of London

On May 13, 1861, Queen Victoria announced Great Britain’s neutrality in the Civil War, which raised Southern hopes of recognition and Northern fears of the same. The Queen’s proclamation and public reaction to the outbreak of hostilities were the result of long-standing assumptions about the sectional division in the United ...
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“Jack My Dear,-Where the devil are you?” John Lothrop Motley, Otto von Bismarck, and the Civil War

“Jack My Dear,-Where the devil are you?” John Lothrop Motley, Otto von Bismarck, and the Civil War

Historians have rarely examined the German States’ reactions to the Civil War. Much has been said about German immigrants fighting in the war, German-American political leaders involved in community and political organization, and the nativist backlash in the United States; however, Central Europe’s perspectives are a blank page in English ...
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Lessons from the Crimean War: The Augusta Arsenal

Lessons from the Crimean War: The Augusta Arsenal

In 1853 a conflict began that, for the first time since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, pitted most of the great powers of Europe against each other. What initially started as a conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires quickly escalated to involve the western European maritime ...
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A Transnational View of Medicine and Medical Practices during the Civil War

A Transnational View of Medicine and Medical Practices during the Civil War

Interest in the medical history of the Civil War has increased in recent years, not in small part due to Shauna Devine’s Tom Watson Brown Award-winning work, Learning from the Wounded.[1] Tens of thousands of U.S. and Confederate soldiers suffered some form of injury in the course of the Civil ...
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Comparing Home Rule in Hungary and the U.S. South

Comparing Home Rule in Hungary and the U.S. South

Home rule, defined as the gaining of political autonomy, is usually associated with the struggle for autonomy in Ireland. Twice defeated, the Irish Republic claimed its independence before home rule took effect.[1] While the British debated home rule in 1886 and 1893, the U.S. South was working toward its own ...
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Preventing War after Fort Sumter: The Schleiden-Seward-Stephens Negotiations

Preventing War after Fort Sumter: The Schleiden-Seward-Stephens Negotiations

With the firing on Fort Sumter, the secession crisis escalated into bloody conflict. Weeks of work to mend sectional relations in Congress and with the Peace Conference had failed; Secretary of State William H. Seward’s conversations with the southern peace commissioners had similarly lead to nothing when President Abraham Lincoln ...
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William H. Seward’s Foreign War Panacea Reconsidered

William H. Seward’s Foreign War Panacea Reconsidered

As William H. Seward allegedly stated in 1861, “if the Lord would only give the United States an excuse for a war with England, France, or Spain, that would be the best means of reestablishing internal peace.” This is probably one of the most famous and most widely quoted sentences ...
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Communications, Steamship Lines, and the American Civil War

Communications, Steamship Lines, and the American Civil War

Today, a simple click and mere seconds separate the writer and reader of a message; they communicate instantaneously with one another across vast distances. In the middle of the nineteenth century, weeks could pass before a letter reached its recipient on the other side of the ocean. Civil War armies ...
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Lessons in Diplomacy: Reassessing the <i>Trent</i> Affair

Lessons in Diplomacy: Reassessing the Trent Affair

As the saber rattling and awkward gestures toward friends and foes alike continue to come from Washington, and the loose finger of the president drifts between Twitter and nuclear war with potentially Iran and North Korea, escaping to the diplomacy of the American Civil War provides a reminder that brinkmanship ...
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Empty Pedestals and Absent Pedestals: Civil War Memory and Monuments to the American Revolution

Empty Pedestals and Absent Pedestals: Civil War Memory and Monuments to the American Revolution

Today we share the first of our new Field Dispatches, an examination of Civil War memory by Niels Eichhorn, an assistant professor of history at Middle Georgia State University. Dr. Eichhorn specializes in the history of U.S. foreign relations in the nineteenth century, and his work has appeared in Civil ...
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Maps, Topography, and Teaching Civil War Battles

Maps, Topography, and Teaching Civil War Battles

How often have we encountered the blank stares of students when talking about a battle during the Civil War, trying to explain why the exhausted troops did not pursue their victory and deliver a finishing blow? I have had many a debate with a student on the subject, with the ...
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The Plantation Tour Disaster: Teaching Slavery, Memory, and Public History

Plantation tours offer an abundance of learning opportunities, but they can also offer a stereotypical, even anachronistic, portrayal of slavery and life in the Old South. For instance, a tour guide at the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site near Brunswick, Georgia, stated during a tour that “in the holiday season, one ...
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