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The American Civil War: An International History


Instructor, Michael A. Butler, Ph.D.
Tuesdays, July 14, 21, 28
10:30 am - 12 noon

Online with Zoom

This series of three lectures will examine the Civil War in its diplomatic context.  We will examine the international background to secession, Union and Confederate foreign policy, the role of European Powers in the conflict, and the Civil War’s impact on British, French, Spanish and Russian diplomacy.   Note that the lectures will focus on diplomatic and political, rather than military, history.

Michael A. Butler retired from the Foreign Service of the Department of State in 2010 at the rank of Minister-Counselor (two-star military equivalent) after a thirty-year career. Since 2012 he has taught in the History department at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Professor Butler’s Foreign Service postings included Oporto, Lisbon, Washington, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Oslo, Madrid, San Salvador and Helsinki.  From 1993-1995, he was seconded to the US Army as Visiting Professor of Social Sciences at the US Military Academy, West Point.  Professor Butler served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and was Chargé d’Affaires (acting Ambassador) for seven months during his Helsinki posting.

Professor Butler holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia, with a focus on American Diplomatic History and a secondary focus on the history of twentieth-century Europe.  At William & Mary, he teaches the history of international politics, with a special interest in the intersection of history and diplomatic practice.  Professor Butler is the author of Cautious Visionary: Cordell Hull and Trade Reform, 1933-1937 (Kent State University Press, 1998) and currently researches foreign policy aspects of the Hoover-Roosevelt transition of 1932-1933.  The Dean of the College of William & Mary honored Professor Butler with the College’s Excellence in Teaching Award during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The fee for the 3-week series is $30. Following the lectures there will be a Q & A session.

Zoom link will be sent out on Monday, July 13 before the lecture begins.

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