International Emancipation – Summer 1861 – Donald Schaffer

Due to health problems I haven’t been able to make any new posts for a while, so to fill that void I thought I’d highlight a recent post by Donald Schaffer at his blog “Civil War Emancipation” on the international nature of emancipation:

There is a tendency in Civil War studies to see the war through a domestic-only perspective, neglecting its international manifestations except to the extent they affected the war at home. This approach is understandable given the conflict largely was internal, pitting Americans against Americans, and the long tradition in United States history of American exceptionalism. Such parochialism also has affected the study of emancipation as well, although less so as professional historians have internationalized the history of slavery in recent decades, seeing the topic increasingly in the larger context of African slavery in the entire Americas. Fortunately, this trend also has led scholars more and more to see emancipation as part of an international process that started with the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s and lasted until Brazil was the last nation in the Western hemisphere to free its slaves in 1888.


About marcferguson

I teach history, including the American Civil War Era, as an Adjunct at American International College in Springfield, Ma. I also teach survey courses in U.S. history, Western Civilization, and World History, and have taught at other area colleges, including the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and Holyoke Community College. While my academic background is in European History, my interest in the American Civil War began about a decade ago. Other areas of interest include Modernism, 20th century World Thought and Culture, The Rise of the West after 1400, 19th c. American Society and Culture, Central and Eastern European History and Culture, and Local History. I have in recent years cut back my teaching drastically in order to devote more time raising my kids (15 year old twins now), including working part-time at their elementary/middle school for the past 6 years, they are now launched and off to High School, and I plan to crank up my involvement in teaching history and local history projects, particularly in light of the American Civil War Sesquicentennial.
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