“With provocative, insightful essays, this volume helps formulate the questions, approaches, and arguments that can break us out of nationalist lenses and begin to craft truly innovative histories of a crucial era in the history of the nation and of the world.”—Gregory P. Downs, author of After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War
“Broadens our view of an era that has traditionally been explained in starkly national terms. This truly was a decade of revolutionary transformation, and the essays in this book get to the heart of it, making important connections among discrete struggles for emancipation and self-government in the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Europe.”—Daniel B. Rood, author of The Reinvention of Atlantic Slavery: Technology, Labor, Race, and Capitalism in the Greater Caribbean
“Reconstruction in the United States unfolded within a global conversation, a global politics, and a global social conflict. This volume convincingly pushes the historiography of Reconstruction outward and into its proper global context.”—Sven Beckert , author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Historians have examined the American Civil War and its aftermath for more than a century, yet little work has situated this important era in a global context. Contributors to United States Reconstruction across the Americas broaden the scope of Reconstruction by viewing it not as an insular process but as an international phenomenon.
Here, three leading international scholars explore how emancipation, nationhood and nationalism, and the spread of market capitalism—issues central to the period in the United States—were interwoven with global patterns of political, social, and economic change. Rafael Marquese explores the integrated trajectories of slavery in the United States and Brazil, tracing the connections, interactions, and transformations of the coffee and cotton economies in both countries. Don Doyle discusses how Secretary of State William Seward eliminated a possible Confederate revival and hostile European presence supported by Mexico’s Maximilian regime. Edward Rugemer reconsiders how Jamaica’s Morant Bay Rebellion influenced Reconstruction by demonstrating that emancipation without citizenship, political rights, or economic opportunities can have violent consequences.
This volume suggests new discussions about how the Civil War reshaped the United States’s relationship to the world and how large-scale international developments influenced the country’s transition from slavery to freedom.
William A. Link, Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida, is the author or editor of several books, including Southern Crucible: The Making of an American Region and Links: My Family in American History, as well as coeditor of The American South and the Atlantic World, Creating and Consuming the American South, and Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century South.