The International American Civil War
People all over the world--from Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Australia, and elsewhere--had a role in the American Civil War. Many joined the Union Army or were involved with Confederate blockade-running vessels.
Both rich and poor nations and upper and lower classes anxiously followed the latest news about the war in America. Both the haves and have-nots worldwide had opportunities to profit from the war.
The American Civil War changed the world through its military tactics, communications, shipbuilding, and innovations. It also contributed to music, sports, and entertainment.
Battles raged far beyond the main theater of war in the southeastern states. There was fighting off the coast of France and in Brazil. Ships were sunk near Alaska and Russia. Both the Canadian and Mexican borders were the sites of raids, major spying operations, smuggling, and international controversy.
Many international influences--among them, uniforms the Zouave units wore, songs the soldiers sang, and literature, such as the famous French novel "Les Miserables"--impacted both sides.
Besides the battlefield, the North and South heatedly opposed each other on the diplomatic front. Seeking official recognition from England and other nations, Confederate diplomats offered large quantities of cotton. The Confederates were hoping that the Royal Navy would actively intervene and break the Union blockade of the southern ports. The Union diplomats, for their part, tapped into strong anti-slavery sentiment in Europe by publicizing Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in order to dissuade the British from supporting the South. With the United States already having fought two wars against England, diplomatic relations between both sides and England would largely determine whether or not there would be a third.
During the war, the Union did not only have to deal with secession in the South but also with a small portion of the North. Town Line, New York, near the Canadian border, voted to join the Confederacy in 1861. It would not officially rejoin the United States until after World War II, functioning as a semi-autonomous entity.
All of this and more in my next book.