Jones book offers a new perspective on the key factors of the civil war such as, the fear of European intervention before 1863, Napoleon's grand design for the Americas, and the use by Lincoln of slavery as an evil worth destroying and the target of his foreign policy. Indeed, it would be difficult not to talk about the battles since the book focuses heavily on the major ones such as Vicksburg and Gettysburg, and forgetting the sacrifices the union made in keeping states such as Missouri, and Maryland from joining the south.
Jones suggested that Lincoln was very much concern about the possibility of the British and French supporting the Confederacy, and the calamity this could have had for the north by changing the history of the U.S, and throwing out the ideals of the revolutionary war. However, through quick manipulation of the crisis Lincoln was able to convince the major European powers that he was totally against the institution of slavery, and thus making it the central theme of his foreign policy. Although this gave some reassurance to the British and French, the idea of seeing a weaker U.S. must have been enticing that both countries secretly considered supporting the south if one side took the lead. Indeed, fortunate for Lincoln, neither side was willing to do so since Lord Palmerston had to worry about his weak coalition, the union threats, and the personal interest of the crown. He pointed out that the same reluctance could not be said of Napoleon who had a grand design for a Mexican empire, and made no secret of his support for the south. His only stumbling block was the reluctance of Great Britain to take the lead and for him to follow.
Jones argued that Lincoln's greatest fear was the recognition of the Confederacy by Britain who could easily convinced the other European powers to do the same, and end the liberal revolutions and restore the old order. Indeed, the defeat of Lee’s army at Antietam and Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation of 1863, place the union in great peril of European intervention on the grounds of humanity. But just as easy as the British fear collapsed, another threat of intervention popped up from Napoleon trying fulfilling his uncle’s grand design for an American Empire. The establishment of a Mexican Empire worried the U.S. but the defeat of Confederate Forces at Vicksburg and Gettysburg in 1863, forced Napoleon the recognized that his dream for an empire was coming to an end, and the threat by the union that he must vacate Mexico put an end to this menace.
Jones brilliant command of the topic, outlined how Lincoln used the issue of slavery as a moral issue, and when the union need a rallying torch he addresses the evil of slavery, and the desire to create the perfect union. His ability to narrate the event demonstrates his superb analytical skills; on how Lincoln's antislavery ideology impacted his foreign policy. Indeed,...