Keynote by Don H. Doyle for “Hybrid Republicanism: Italy and American Art, 1840-1918”

Keynote by Don H. Doyle for “Hybrid Republicanism: Italy and American Art, 1840-1918”


Ok, good evening everybody. Thank you for being here tonight with us for this conference entitled, “Hybrid Republicanism: Italy in American Art, 1840-1918.” Before I begin my introduction to the entire conference which is also taking place tomorrow at the American Academy. The center is just opening the conference. We have the pleasure and the honor to have here with us Professor Don Doyle who is our keynote speaker tonight. I’m wearing many hats in a way, because I”m also replacing the president of the Center who is in our announcement, but couldn’t be here tonight with us. He asked me to welcome you all, and give his best regards to the distinguished speakers that will be speaking also tomorrow. The Center for American Studies is an integral part of the history of the exchange transnational, transatlantic exchange between the United States and Italy. It was created by Americans and Italians together in 1918. Actually in two years we will have the anniversary, the 100th anniversary of the Center. Actually it was created as an Italian American Association and a library originally. It’s still a library. The largest of its kind in Italy, and the fourth largest in Europe on American studies. We have a collection of about 80,000 volumes here, plus digital collections. It’s a place that, basically for a whole century has been a protagonist of Italian U.S. relations. It was created, finally, as the Center for American Studies in 1932. It opened it 1934 and moved to this place, actually, in the late 30’s. It was Mussolini’s will that took the center here and reconstituted after World War Two by a group of young, then young, American study scholars. Among whom where our professors. I teach U.S. History at the University from three and I studied, I went back and forth, I still go back and forth between the United States and Italy. As one of the conference co-organizers along with, of course, Melissa Dabakis, and Paul Kaplan, and Lindsay Harris from the American Academy. Again, I welcome you here. I want to thank Melissa first of all, because she is behind the entire project, actually. She thought it out and started getting me interested in the concept of a conference of this kind. Actually, I’m not an art historian, but studying the history of Italian U.S. relations I came across a lot of painters, sculptors, American sculptors and painters visiting our country in the 19th Century specialized especially on the 19th and early 20th Century. With that there is Paul Kaplan the other co-organizer. Actually, we met tonight for the first time, but I feel I’ve known you for a long time because we’ve been Skyping for about a year or so. Of course, Medina Camboni who is a good friend, besides being a colleague from the University of Macerata. She was instrumental in making us meet. Also, she is the other person behind the conference. She will be speaking tomorrow. Thank you for being here Medina. I’m very happy to be able to open this conference, I must say. There are several reasons why. First of all, because the topic falls exactly within my research interests. Part of the explanation of the conference, which was written mostly by Melissa actually goes along the lines of my latest book on the United States and Italian Risorgimento. It’s part, the concept and the title, the entire conference, is a part of a long debate that has been going on among scholars for the past 15 years. It received a boost by the double anniversary of Italian unification and outbreak of the Civil War in 2011. One hundred and fifty years of exchange, mutual support, and cross fertilization of the two countries which rose to war prominence after the completion of their nation building processes in the 1870’s. Of course, in two very different positions in Italy and the United States, yet the collaboration between Italy and the United States finds its roots in the decades around those historic events in the 1840’s, 50’s and 60’s. Starting actually with the very first Italian refugees forced to leave the country during the Risorgimento, the very beginning in the late 18th early 19th Century. As Americans were traveling to Italy to learn about the country attracted by of course its history, mainly, but also by its new political spirit that informed Italians at the beginning of the Century. They left for the United States to find shelter. While the Americans were attracted to Italy by the idea of the grand tour, but of course also fascinated by the fight Italians were carrying on in those decades. Some of the artists of whom we will be speaking in this conference were also involved in the events of the Risorgimento. A few of them fought for it. They were not just painters or sculptors, there were many writers and intellectuals. Many young idealists who believed that the fight taking place in Italy was a transnational struggle for liberty and possibly Republicanism and an actual outcome of the new spirit started by American’s struggle for Independence. There are other reasons why I’m glad to be here. Because of my long collaboration with the Center for American Studies, I had the opportunity to be its director in the late 90’s and early years of this century. Another reason, obviously, is the opportunity to work with such distinguished colleagues and to introduce tonight professor Doyle, whom I met many many years ago as a Fulbright Scholar in Rome. I was completing my PhD actually when you arrived. With whom I share not only being a Fulbright Alumnus, but also the research interest in this topic. I have to thank the American Academy, of course, because the American Academy is hosting the entire conference tomorrow and the American Embassy. We have the Cultural Attaché here Steve Labensky and Gloria Berbena, the public affairs officer. Of course, Lin Saheris especially, and the Director of the American Academy. I would like to underline moreover, that this Rome conference, what we are doing today and tomorrow, is not the entire project. Next year, about the same time in October we will meet again in Washington D.C. to continue talking and discussing about these very issues and more in a second conference entitled, provisionally entitled, I understand “The Course of Empires: The American Fascination with Classical and Renaissance Italy?” This second event will take place at the Smithsonian American Art Musuem to whom with special thanks because they are organizing with us this entire thing. Tonight some of its specialist, Amelia and Karen are here with us to participate in the conference. But a particular tribute is due to the Terra Foundation and John Davis who have made this possible supporting the entire program both here and in Washington. Thank you all. We are meeting to talk about the constant exchange, transnational movements, and mutual influence between the two countries and about how some shared ideals of liberty and justice were reflected into the arts and more. As Melissa writes in the explanation of the project, and I quote you here because it was the best lines I could find “The idea of Republicanism assumed many complicated guises in Italy and the United States in the early republic. Italian sculptures traveled to the United States to help decorate the newly built Capital in Washington. Many were Italian patriots exiled because of their participation in early nationalists movements on the peninsula. They brought with them not only their unique ideas about republicanism but also visual iconography of nationhood that Americans adopted as their own. This exchange between pre-unification in Italy and the young American republic set the stage for a dynamic cultural reciprocity that continued throughout the century.” The end of the Cold War and the beginning of the new century with a stream of tragic events from Kosovo to Afghanistan to 9/11 opened the way for a revision of what, until then, had been a nation state centered history that included the American School of Exceptionalism as well as an unrepentant history of the making of the Italian nation state that too often discounted altogether the transnational international factors in the completion of the fights for liberty and the making of the nation. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, a good symbol of the divisions of the past, and the appearance of a new multipolar world in search for order the need to overcome boundaries and revisit history especially the significance and role of nation states became imperative. However, this exercise brought to light an evidence that had been there all along, and actually had already been pointed out by some scholars in different fields. Not only history had not come to an end, as someone contended, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the supposed success of the western model and the American one in particular. But the transnational and transatlantic exchange had been an essential instrument for the establishment of new nation states in the 19th Century and the protagonist of those events were well aware of its import. In two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009, two historians and, American and an Italian, published books that offered a more general readership, a transnational view of the nation building processes of the two countries proving that the Risorgimento, the American War of Independence, and the Civil War were part of a more general movement of ideas and actions that cut across the Atlantic and were shared by many people even beyond those geopolitical boundaries. I am speaking of Thomas Bender’s, “A Nation Among Nations” and Maurizio Isabella’s “Risorgimento in Exile: Italian Émigrés and the Liberal International in the Post-Napoleonic Era.” These two books contributed to opening a new field of research that has offered in less than a decade a new reading of the fights for freedom and justice of what is now indicated by most scholars as the long 19th Century. Don Doyle’s “The Cause of all Nations: An International History of the American Civil War,” the book you see there, is the most recent accomplishment of what can be called a new historical school in which I feel to belong. I forgot also to say that we are connected tonight thanks to the support and help of the people of the Smithsonian Institution with the American Art Museum of the Smithsonian Institution this conference is being streamed live from the Center for American Studies tonight. Welcome everybody also in the United States. To conclude this brief introduction and before giving the floor to Professor Doyle, I would like to attract your attention to the two pictures you see behind me, no actually on the side. I thought it was going to be in the back. Constantino Brumidi’s “The Apotheosis of Washington” and Franchesco’s “Abolition of Slavery” They are proof of what I mention in this introduction. They represent, in a way, a synthesis of the project that is at the basis of our conference. An Italian Greek artist, a naturalized American who depicts the triumph of Washington in a fresco in the dome of the nation’s capital completed during the Civil War in about 1865. And an Austrian Italian sculptor from Trieste a city finally acquired by Italy among many quarrels at the end of World War I and later swept by nationalist confrontations between Italian’s loving forces who depicts a novel Spartacus an Afro-American breaking the chains of slavery and holding in his hands the emancipation proclamation. With the aim of representing, of course, the transnational values of liberty and justice. The statue was on exhibit at the Philadelphia World Fair in 1876. While Brumidi’s work remains the celebration of a time of struggle of liberal internationalism and of a hero whom although a slave owner and an army general fought for the independence of his country. The American armored freedom that you see is triumphing over absolute monarchy and tyranny, that you see on the left. By that time, the struggle for freedom was abiding. After a completion of the new nation states and a compromise between the more moderate forces of change and a powerful money power often accompanied by representatives of the old elites, a difference sense of nationhood exclusive, self referential and often racist began spreading across the Atlantic. The compromises of 1876, both in Italy and the United States opened the way for a second Industrial Revolution in the west and for a political turn, which betrayed at least partially the ideals promoted by the patriots who fought on both sides of the Atlantic for liberty and justice. Yet, as we will see in this day and a half of meetings, many combatants carried on their struggle, which in a way culminated with World War I, especially in Italy. That war sanctioned at the same time the inception of a new world order and a temporary demise of the old ideals of patriotism, republicanism, and liberty. Fortunately, dreams and values of this kind are hard to die. Cantoni’s ideals still inform, at least in part, Italian Republican values. While Emerson and Thoreau’s as well as Margaret Fuller who participated in the Roman Republic of 1849. Their writings are part in parcel of the American cultural and political tradition. The transnational struggle, the international of liberalism and the fight for freedom entailed risks that the fighters were ready to take but were not necessarily harbingers of change and improvement. Those perils are the topic of our distinguished speaker lecture tonight. Professor Don Doyle, now I introduce him, is the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and the Director of ARENA, the Association for Research on Ethnicity and Nationalism in America. He was a Fulbright Professor, as I said before, of the American History in Rome in 1991 and again of American studies in Genova in 1995. He is the author of several essays and books among which i’d like to cite: Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question and Nationalism in the New World co-edited with Marco Pamplona. The title of his lecture tonight, so I give the floor to professor Doyle now is “The Republican Experiment: America, Italy, and the Perils of Self-Government.” Thank you. – applause – He will be speaking from the lectern, because he has the computer there. Let me help you. Daniele thank you for that very generous introduction and the wonderful explanation of the relationship, the transatlantic relationship between the United States and Italy and the Atlantic world. Thank you also to Melissa Debakus for helping to organize this, and Paul Kaplan. I’m very pleased to be here. I remember very well coming to Rome 25 years ago this last January and seeing young Daniele, we were both younger then. I remember also that I Iived for the first month up at the American Academy before I found an apartment right by the Pantheon, it was wonderful. They wanted to rent to foreigners at that time because they wouldn’t enforce the tenant laws and so on. I had the idea that I would be here to teach some at the University, but also to work on a book. I was working on a book on Faulkner and brought over two great big boxes of files and books on William Faulkner. They were sent to the Embassy. Maria who met me there, and has been so gracious in helping my return this year and earlier in other visits. decided to take me up to the Geniecillo in her little Fiat Spider. I think we had all the boxes on the back and we zipped through the Piazza Venezia and went on up the hill. That was my early introduction to life in Rome and I have been in love with Rome and Italy ever since. I have returned periodically, but most memorably in 2001 when I proposed at the fountain in the Piazza de la Rotunda in front of the Pantheon to my wife Margery. We return to Rome, we have a special affection for this place. Always standing in the same place, and I propose again. Thank you, she always answers “Yes.” We are very happy to be here again. Thank you everyone at the U.S. Embassy who helped sponsor my visit. I’m very delighted to be here. Now, let me take you to a moment about 155 years ago now in the spring of 1861. Between his election in November 1860 and his inauguration four months later, in those days it used to be in March that you would be inaugurated, hundreds of messages poured in from the nations of the world congratulating Abraham Lincoln, but among them was a letter from the oldest Republic in the world, The most serene, la Serenissima Republic of San Marino, addressed to the leader of the least serene nation in the world that spring of 1861. Perched high in the Apennine Mountains on the Adriatic side of the Italian Peninsula, San Marino occupies about 24 square miles of rock bound territory containing about 1,000 families at the time, most of them clustered inside the city walls. It originated in 301 A.D. and was founded by a man named Marinus. He was a Christian, he had fled the Romans and found exile in San Marino. They formed a kind of Christian maroon up in the mountains. It was governed since 1300 by an elected body, the Captain Regents. From 1600 to this day, they are ruled by the same written constitution that was promulgated in 1600. This brave mountain enclave resisted conquest by aggressive neighbors. The Duke of Urbino to the south, the Pope in Rome to the west, invading French armies under Napoleon the 1st in 1801. San Marino’s more recent troubles went back to 1849 when it offered asylum to Giuseppe Garibaldi after the fall of the republic of Rome when he led his forces out, Anita by his side, making their way across the mountains. They sought refuge in this Republic, this enclave, this asylum. He, with his army of red shirts were fleeing from the French and Austrian and Papal forces of Catholic Europe after the fall of the Revolutionary Republic of Rome. Pope Pius IX controled the Papal states that surrounded San Marino and the Austrian empire controlled Venice to the north. To the Pope, the Hapsburgs, Garibaldi, and the Red Republicans as they were known were a kin to revolutionary terrorists. Somehow, Garibaldi escaped from San Marino, and made his way down to the coast and left behind Austrian soldiers kicking down doors in San Marino, searching for him. By 1861, the Austrians still controlled Venice, but the realm of the Papal states had trumped to the area immediately surrounding Rome. The previous year, Garibaldi and his red shirts conquered much of the area to the south of San Marino in the name of King Victor Emanuel II. San Marino, in 1861, as now surrounded by the newly united kingdom of Italy. that proclaimed its existence at exactly the time that the United States was falling apart in March of 1861. The Captain Regents of San Marino were concerned about their future surrounded by this newly united nation determined to unite all of the Italian Peninsula. They reached out to their sister republic across the Atlantic to propose an alliance with the United States. Between fellow republicans in a careless world, the letter began in imperfect but very clear English. “It is of some time since the Republic of San Marino wishes to make an alliance with the United States of America. In that manner, as it is possible between a great potency and a very small country. As we think not extension of territories but conformity of opinions to secure friendly relations. So we are sure that you will be glad to shake hands with the people who in its smallness and poverty can exhibit to you an antiquity from 14 centuries of its free government maintained among the many revolutions of the surrounding countries and always respected, even by the conqueror Napoleon the first. Now we must inform you, that to give to the United States of America a mark of high consideration and sincere fraternity the sovereign council on our motion decreed in its sitting on 25 of October that the citizenship of the republic of San Marino was conferred forever to the president pro-temporary of the United States of America. We are very happy to send you a diploma of it.” I did a little story on this for the New York Times series, The Disunion. It came out in May of 2011. Apparently word across the Atlantic, the Republic of San Marino reissued the invitation to President Barack Obama 150 years after this letter was received. The Regents then alluded tactfully to the recent difficulties of their sister republic across the Atlantic. We are acquainted from newspapers with political grief, which you are now suffering; therefore, we pray to God to grant you a peaceful solution of your questions. Nevertheless, we hope that our letter will not reach you disagreeable. We shall expect anxiously an answer which proves us your kind acceptance. The letter from San Marino was addressed to Lincoln in New York City. They must have thought, why not, that New York was the capital of America. It took a little while to get to Washington. It probably arrived in mid April a very busy time for the United States of America in 1861. Lincoln was just about to experience a lot more political grief beginning with the fall of Fort Sumter. On May 7th, amid all the turmoil, Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William Henry Seward, both of them signed the letter, probably Seward composed it, found time to graciously accept the honor of citizenship bestowed on the new President by San Marino. “Great and good friends, although your dominion is small, your state is nevertheless one of the most honored in all of history. It has by its experience demonstrated the truth so full of encouragement to the friends of humanity that government founded on republican principles is capable of being so administered as to be secure and enduring. You have kindly adverted to the trial through which this republic is now passing. It is one of deep import. It involves the question whether a republic, a representative republic, extended and aggrandized to so much as to be safe from foreign enemies can save itself from the dangers of domestic faction. I have faith in good result.” Not many people had faith in good result that spring of succession and civil war. Conservatives in Europe received the news of the debacle in the so called great republic as its admirers called it, with unbridled glee. They leaped at the opportunity to pronounce the noble end to the entire republican experiment. That experiment that had been born in violence in the French Revolution of 1789. Elsewhere, and in all of history skeptics believed that experiments in self rule, or popular government ended in anarchy or despotism. Democratic forms of government, they believed, were inherently weak and tentative and fragile, especially prone to self destruction under the strains of war. In Britain, tory member of Parliament, Sir John Ramstend took the occasion to advise the British public that they were “now witnessing the bursting of that great republican bubble which had been so often held up to us as the model on which to recast our own English Constitution.” The first duty of the British government, he advised, ought to be to strengthen “The great distinction between the safe and irrational and tempered liberties of England and the wild and unreflecting excesses of mob rule, which had too often desecrated freedom and outraged humanity in America.” Another venerable tory, the Earl of Shrewsbury, addressed his constituency in a shire hall meeting congratulating the British on its aristocratic tradition of government and compared its success and stability over the decades with the extreme democracy that was now running amok in America. “Those of you who stand before me, you are seeing democracy on its trial,” Shrewsbury said. And they were seeing how it had failed. “Those standing before me,” he prophesied, “who lived long enough would see monarchy return to America.” Not only to America, but to all of the American republics in the western hemisphere. Anti American sediment ran equally strong among French conservatives who had witnessed two failed Republican experiments of their own country. “Your republic is dead” Achille Fould told one American, “and it is probably the last the world will see. You will have a reign of terror and then two or three monarchies.” French conservatives saw in America’s democracy the same fatal flaws that had doomed their own violent history with republicanism. In the north, one of them explained, there was an aristocracy of wealth. and another of ultra puritan reverends who led their flock beneath a mantle of hypocrisy and intolerance. Le Monde, an anti monarchist journal, condemned the American experiment as a mistake from the beginning. 80 years ago the republican tree had been planted now its spoiled fruits had fallen and its roots were rotten. It added, behold the slave holding rebels proclaiming, “Viva la libertà” French skeptics, too, prophesied the return of monarchy to the United States whose bloody Civil War was further proof that people simply could not rule themselves. Spain’s ultra conservative Catholic press was even more severe in its judgement of America’s Godless experiment. In the model republic of what were the United States we see more and more clearly how little account is a society constituted without God merely for the sake of men. Look at their wild ways of annihilating each other, confiscating each others goods, mutually destroying each others cities, and cordially wishing each other extinct. It mocked the so called model republic founded in rebellion and Atheism, “populated by the dregs of all the nations of the world and living without law of God or man.” Now American’s republican experiment stood doom to “die in a flood of blood and mire and serve as a rebuke to the flaming theories of democracy.” One London Times reporter wrote to a future diplomat to France, John Bigelow, “Every friend of despotism rejoices at your misfortune. It points the moral and adorns the tail in every aristocratic salon. It is the shame of them who have perhaps over zealously advocated the absolute perfection of the great republic.” For enemies of republicanism, the term “experiment” inferred that popular self government was unproven. Government by the people, according to skeptics, was destined sooner or later to devolve into anarchy or despotism. America seemed to be proving both options as possible. American’s great republic was only the latest in a string of examples going back to ancient Rome and to the Republic of Rome in 1848-49. For defenders of the republican experiment, the word, “experiment” suggested that the world was awaiting a crucial verdict. That is was unproven, yet to be decided. That the friends of freedom everywhere – in Latin America as well as Europe – must stand with America in its hour of trial. Both uses of the term also implied momentous change in the future, the outcome of this experiment, in this trial. It would change history. The American war many observers came to believe would decide the destiny of democracy and of freedom, particularly free labor, for generations to come. Karl Marx writing for the New York Daily Tribune saw the war as a last stand of a futile landed aristocracy fighting to preserve enslaved labor. “The first grand war of contemporaneous history, he wrote, “is the American War.” The highest form of popular self government til now realized is giving battle to the meanest and most shameless form of man’s enslaving recorded in the annals of history. He excoriated the great powers of Europe for taking advantage of the disarray in America. French republicans and abolitionists joined their voices to those supporting the union. Often at great peril because the censorship under Napoleon the Third’s regime really punished people who spoke openly in favor of republicanism in France, at least. Count Agenor de Gasparin an ardent abolitionists and reformer now in exile in Switzerland proclaimed the American conflict not as a failure, but as a revielle, a call to arms and to united support for America in its time of need. One of the gravest conflicts of the age is opening an America. It is time for us, in France and in Europe, to take sides. “Now is the moment, Gasparin implored, to sustain our friends when they are in need of us.” When their battle, far from being won, is scarcely begun. Édouard Laboulaye, a French history professor, was the leading expert on American constitutional history at the Collège de France. He defied censors to lecture on the American question in front of students. The lecture halls began to crowd with students. Foreigners came to visit in Paris and listened to this man who dared to speak in favor of America and of the republican experiment that was under trial there. He also reminded the French of their abiding bond between America and France. That France had attended the birth of the great republic in 1778. “The world is a solidarity, Laboulaye wrote, and the cause of America is the cause of liberty. So long as there shall be across the Atlantic a society of 30 millions of men living happily and peacefully under a government of their choice with laws made by themselves. Liberty will cast arrays over Europe like an illuminating feroce. But should liberty become eclipsed in the new world, it would become night in Europe.” This is the man who after the Civil War, by the way, devised the idea of a monument to the Franco American friendship. That would become known as the Statue of Liberty, but it was Liberty Enlightening the World. The rays from its crown going to the seven continents of the world. The European understanding of the American contest is a clash of political ideologies originated with conservatives who were pointing to the failure of self-rule in America, who delighted in the democratic experiment throughout the Atlantic world. But after first refusing this idea, liberal supporters of the Union began to embrace it. Politicians, intellectuals, journalists, reformers all came to see the American contest as something more than just a civil war. This was an epic battle between the forces of liberty, equality, and self government on one side against those of aristocracy, monarchy, slavery and repression on the other. Democracy was on trial and the verdict would decide the fate of human government for generations to come. In the 1860s they were horrified to see the government of the people seriously imperiled in the one place it had proven successful and durable – The United States. When Abraham Lincoln in December of 1861 said that, “America was the last best hope of earth,” he wasn’t bragging. This was a mournful plea for America and its friends to uphold its experiment, its imperiled experiment in popular government. In the mid 19th Century, it appeared to many that the world was moving away from democracy, and moving away also from ideas of human equality on which republicanism was based toward repressive government. Instead of seeing slavery as withering away and dying out, it appeared that slavery was on the cusp of a robust new reinvigorated and expanded existence. The confederate south had no intention of giving up slavery. In its Constitution, it copied nearly everything from the U.S. Constitution but added a clause that there shall never be any law forbidding slavery by any state. It’s very purpose in breaking away was not just to preserve slavery, but also to expand it – into the Caribbean, to make alliance with Spain, with Brazil, to expand it into Mexico. Had the Confederacy succeeded it would have meant a new birth of slavery not of freedom coming out of the American Civil War. It would have been a serious blow to the experiment in egalitarian democracy throughout the Atlantic world. Some of this was Europeans projecting onto this distant Civil War, this great epic contest, but there was, in fact, a great deal of truth to the idea that much was at stake in the outcome. This meant a key in notion of a war representing the forces of good and evil locked in mortal combat fitted very nicely into the dramatic romantic temperament of the mid 19th Century. Lincoln and the Republican Party had come to power by depicting the cause that they represented as that of liberty and emancipation, equal opportunity against that of the slave power conspiracy. As soon as the rebellion raised its head in America, they saw European empires circling like vultures over the dismembered body of the great republic. The Spanish empire swooped into the feeble Dominican Republic at the end of March, 1861 before the Civil War had even begun to take back this former colony into the Spanish Empire and some thought to reintroduce slavery there. They also picked fights with Peru and Chile over supposed affronts to the Spanish flag and its honor in another part of what appeared to be an effort to reclaim lost colonies. The British Empire, jealous of its Canadian possessions, nearly went to war with the United States in December of 1861 again over some affront to the British flag in The Trent Affair. If you remember, a Union Navy officer apprehended two Confederate agents on a British ship and this was a violation of International Law, and it nearly set off a war. But the most ambitious and the most eager to take advantage of the enfeebled United States was France. Their idea, Napoleon III’s idea was to fulfill the grand design for the Americas. Which would be to siege control of Mexico, build a canal across the Central American isthmus, to create a two ocean empire and to regenerate the Latin race as the French referred to it, to lead in South America as well as in the old world and to create an opposition to the Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic forces of republicanism in both hemispheres. In October 1861 delegates from Spain, France, and Britain met in London to organize the Tripartite Alliance whose first mission was to invade Mexico. The invasion began at the end of 1861 and in January the forces, the allied forces of these European powers were marching towards Puebla. Spain and Britain withdrew from this alliance just before Cinco de Mayo of 1862 when the French met a great setback. But, the French were even more determined to conquer Mexico and to make of it an experiment in monarchy as opposed to the experiment in republicanism. America’s Civil War took place in a era of mass circulation newspapers connected by telegraphs that at least across continents in North America and in Europe spread news as quickly as telegraph operators could tap it out. This was the internet of its day. It was really much more revolutionary in the changes that it brought than our own internet. Rapid dispersion of news, cheap production of journals of all kinds – daily and weekly journals – literacy was growing and if you couldn’t read you could hear what other people read. The news spread quickly. Though the transatlantic cable would not be completed successfully until 1866, fast steam driven mail carriers could get the news across the Atlantic in 10 or 11 days. This opened grand new opportunities for, lets not call it propaganda, but public diplomacy. Shaping the message to the foreign public to influence foreign policy abroad. It opened up a whole new level of warfare if you will in what today we would call public diplomacy – influencing the public to influence foreign policy. This was a war of ideology and ink that took place in the marble courts of power in Europe beyond the war of blood and bullets taking place back in the battlefields at home. This is a gathering of art historians and I thought, though I will not pose as an art historian that I would share with you some of the visual efforts to try to capture this contest between good and evil as captured in allegorical prints that were published very quickly at the beginning and during the war. I’ll just briefly describe some of these. Let’s see. Okay, this is ‘Moorish Trouble’ published in Philadelphia, 1861. I used this in one of the front pieces of the book. It’s a wonderful depiction. This is a German immigrant. One of the 48ers who came over after the Revolution of 1848. For reasons probably you know better than I do much of the engraving and artistry in lithographs and engraving was being done by German immigrants at this time. I looked in vain for Italian artists working on these subjects, and there should have been some, but I didn’t find any. Look at the imagery here. This is ‘Lib on Top’ born by this American eagle is liberty, humanity, Christ, justice. In the founding fathers, you can find, Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson leading with the American flag and Liberty dressed with an Indian style head dress rather than the usual Phrygian cap that is depicted of Liberty in the old world. Down below is King Cotton a monarch, a crocodile, reptilian figure sitting on a bail of cotton and the enslaved below in this netherworld miserable in this dark world with a pillar of fire behind him. Here is another, by Christopher Kimmol another German immigrant born in 1830. He comes to New York City, and here we see again another stark contrast between these opposed forces with Liberty in the center. There she has the Phrygian cap that goes back to ancient Rome as a symbol of emancipation. It became part of an age of revolution in the 19th Century, a symbol of revolution and of liberty. They are just on the left side to Liberty’s right with her scale and sword glowering at Jefferson Davis the serpent of the palm tree, which I suppose represents South Carolina, of people scooping up money on the southern side and Lincoln addressing the northern philanthropists who are giving their money and supporting the cause of union. They are on the left. Also is James Buchanan, the incompetent president who is sleeping while the Union falls apart. Here is some of the more popular art that was used to recruit soldiers. I learned in my study of the foreign influence on the American Civil War, that over 40 percent of the Union Army more than 2 million men were in arms for the Union. Forty-two percent of them, I estimate, were immigrants or the children of immigrants, the son’s of immigrants. Many of them who had come over before the Civil War, some of them who came over during the war to fight for the Union or to fight for the cause of the republican experiment, fighting the battles that they fought in the old world, or that their parents had fought in the old world. There you see some of the stock imagery, Liberty, the cap of Liberty above, and in various languages appealing. Here is General Seagull, a German born officer with a recruitment poster in French appealing to them and various other iterations of this. Another, two examples of the recruitment. There is a German recruitment poster and on the left, the Garibaldi Guard, perhaps the most cosmopolitan of all the regiments from New York. They have reenactors with this fantastic uniforms like the Bersaglieri with these grand hats with the big plumes and dark blue uniforms. Women also who are reenacting their role in the regiment. Look at the languages here, in Italian, Hungarian, French, and German. This was in honor of Garibaldi and it was hope that Garibaldi would come and fight for the Union. Lincoln actually issued an invitation in September of 1861. Using his name, they rallied this cosmopolitan poly group. The Pledge of Allegiance was given in 13 different languages. They had Catholic, Jewish, Protestant chaplains who could speak various languages. It was led by a Hungarian and it was one of the more remarkable of the foreign legends that fought for the Union. Smolensky on the right was the son of a Polish hero in the age of the Revolution. Their kind of Medieval figure, apparently in tights, is recruiting people. The uniforms of European origin were often a big come on for the soldiers. This was an image that was crafted for music, and then set to music by Scottish music writers called ‘The American Flag’ and it captures, in the lyrics, some of the spirit that they are appealing to. Many of the foreign volunteers were coming from the British Isles either during the war, or more often before the war, and coming from Canada, as well. Liberty now, a kind of Americanized Liberty, with the Phrygian cap and the American flag also with a cap on top. Of course, when Lincoln died, immigrant artists depicted this in allegorical terms with Washington embracing Lincoln as he is raised to the heavens, the martyr victorious. Another by a German artist. This was copied from a print that was made for Washington. Even the Indian that was in the print for Washington is included here, though the connection to Lincoln is not clear, but the same kind of references with the Liberty cap. The other hint of the Washington origin is the shield which includes fewer stars, 14 instead of the 32 that were in the Union. Here, another by a German artist. This was published in Europe and shows Lincoln surround by faith, hope, charity and the muses of architecture, wisdom, harmony, and force as historical figures. This kind of deification of the martyr Lincoln is universalized. That’s what I want to turn to next. I will talk briefly about a medal that was given to Mrs. Lincoln. Though it was originally in gold, this is a bronze replica of it. I use this because it’s readable. There you see the familiar face, the profile of Abraham Lincoln. In the back, the dedication on the tomb “To Lincoln, an honest man, abolished slavery, reestablished the Union, saved the Republic without vailing the Statue of Liberty.” This medal too helped give birth to what later would become the Statue of Liberty, a greater monument that was talked about in 1865. There is the actual gold medal. I held it in my hand, a gloved hand that I was able to get in the Library of Congress which they brought out. It was very heavy, solid gold. When it was presented to John Bigelow, the Ambassador to France, the committee said, “If France possessed the liberties enjoyed by republican America it is not by thousands but of millions that would be counted with us the admirers of Lincoln and the partisans of those opinions to which he devoted his life, and which are consecrated by this death. Tell Mrs. Lincoln that in this little box is the heart of France.” Finally, as I’ve been referring to, we don’t think of this as a monument to the Civil War, but it was. It originated in that summer of 1865 when Laboulaye and a young artists, Auguste Bartholdi, met over dinner and were talking about with other liberals in France, the idea of a monument to this friendship, to these ideals not based on national interest, but ideals, shared ideals of republicanism. Of course, you know the story. It took them more than twenty years to get this launched or erected. All this time, even under the censorship in France, this idea was born. There the Statue is raising above the streets of Paris in the 1870’s. Okay, now return to Lincoln’s assassination. The news of this assassination spread very quickly around the world. It happened on August 15th. It flashed across the land up to Halifax in Canada, then by sea across the ocean in 11 days arriving in Ireland. It went from Ireland to London and then across all of the continent. Within days, every major city and soon small towns in Europe knew about the assassination. It traveled more slowly down into South America. Into the Caribbean within a few days. It wasn’t learned about in Chile and Peru until some time in late May or early June. Freedom of assembly and speech was protected in Britain. It was probably the freest nation in Europe. Crowds formed outside the U.S. legations in London and gathered before consulates all across the British Isles. Within days, people were meeting in town halls and churches in meeting houses of all kinds, trade union halls to support, to show their support for the United States, to express their sympathy to Mrs. Lincoln, their support for President Johnson, but also to express the protesting and indignation of their government who they believed cited with the Confederacy. Not officially, they were neutral, but who supported the Confederacy and allowed the ships to be built that helped to advance the Confederate cause. Also to show the government, the governing classes, the aristocratic classes of Britian that a Republic had not only won this war, it had survived four years of grueling civil war and even an assassination. Against all of the predictions, the Republic, the Union had survived, and the constitution. The assassinated President was replaced by the Vice President. The government, instead of falling into a total revolutionary environment, survived. Leaders of both parties, and Queen Victoria, publicly expressed their remorse over Lincoln’s death. Members of the press who had ridiculed Lincoln as an American rustic, proof that this is what you get in a democracy, that this mobocracy has now elected this nobody from the prairies of Illinois. Someone that they thought was totally unsuited for the Presidency. We still have these doubts about the democratic process in America and abroad, believe me, especially in this season of our presidential election. Here it was, now Lincoln was being praised by his critics during the war. In London, again, Karl Marx rose to read the letter of condolence to President Johnson from the International Worker’s Association. “It is not our part to call words of sorrow and horror while the heart of two worlds heaves with emotion. Even the sycophants who year after year and day by day stick to their work of morally assassinating Abraham Lincoln and the great Republic he headed stand now aghast at this universal outburst of popular feeling and rival with each other to strew rhetorical flowers on his open grave.” Marx is giving it to the hypocrites. Workers across Britain embraced Lincoln as one of their one. A working man who had become President and Head of the State. From the seaport of Brighton they declared in their resolution, “This meeting of working men sympathizes more deeply with the untimely death of Abraham Lincoln as he was the first President elected from the working classes to the high position of ruler of one of the mightiest nations of the globe. He carried successfully the struggle of free against slave labor and we confidently hope and believe that his successor Andrew Johnson, who also sprang from the same class, may complete the work so nobly begun.” What really amazed the U.S. diplomats abroad was how the common people of Europe had followed all the events of the war. They knew the Lincoln story. The repeated it in the newspapers the narrative of his story, the woodsman, the rail splitter, the honest man, honest Abe. In all these very remote places in Europe, they testified to this in letters of condolence and resolutions of sympathy. Listen to this from Acireale, a little fishing village on the east coast of Sisily. You cannot be farther from the heart of Europe and still be in Europe than to be in Acireale. “Your President, Abraham Lincoln, has fallen victim of an assassin’s arm may his blood weigh in the balance for the regeneration of your states. We, a committee, desire to transmit to your proud and brave people a word that may avail to express the intense grief experienced here on the announcement of the death of so great a man. We assure you that throughout the nation, as if it were one individual the human heart could not restrain its grief and staggered beneath the weight of so great a calamity. Abraham Lincoln was not yours only, he was also ours. Because he was a brother whose great mind and fearless conscience guided a people to union and courageously uprooted slavery. Brothers, the trial has not ended. The country calls for fresh martyrs, the last contest and on the news of your victory, we will rejoice with you as we now grieve with you.” One more letter, if I may, from Kizette in Abruzzo, again a vary rural and isolated area that you would not have thought had been so up-to-date on the news from America. “From the summits of our mountains and ball works of liberty from the banks of our rivers and the shores of our seas a people who wish to be united, free, and independent have long bent their eyes upon the events of the great republic. They expect a new light to radiate upon the world with a new era of democratic civilization. Your history is the same as ours from Comelus and Cincinnatus to Franklin and Washington, from Lincoln and Seward to Garibaldi and Matzini. The tradition of the great struggle between good and evil, liberty and slavery, civilization and barbarism national autonomy and the rule of foreign despots has ever been the same. The roar of your battles was born across the ocean and awakened an echo in our happenings.” In Palermo, the city fathers named a major avenue Abramo Lincoln. Garibaldi’s grandson was named Lincoln. Probably hundreds if not thousands of others in Europe named their children and certainly piazzas, and buildings, and roads after Lincoln. Pope Pius IX was the embodiment of reaction in Europe. He was notable for being the only head of state, if you will, who did not issue a letter of condolence. It was noteworthy at the time. The liberals of Rome voiced their own support for the fallen leader in America. “Regretting, they wrote, that they were still severed from the bosom of the great Italian family.” Remember Rome was still independent now in 1865 from the United Kingdom of Italy. Therefore, the theocratic power still in control a worthy interpreter of their sorrow for the horrible crime. They took action. They removed secretly, which I believe means stole, a tablet from the Agor of Servius Tullius a Roman Emperor who was heralded as a champion, of popular liberty against oppression. They inscribed on this tablet the following inscription, in Latin, which was translated to English as, “The citizens of Rome dedicate to Abraham Lincoln President of the United States this stone from the Agor of Servius Tullius. That memory of these champions of liberty may be passed on united to prosperity.” They delivered the stone to the console in Rome who then delivered it to Livorno where it was put on a British ship and sent over to Andrew Johnson. I discovered the letter that attended this stone in the Museum de Sortimento just the other day all printed out with the inscription explaining what it meant to President Johnson once it was translated. The ship, the British ship shipwrecked in the Bermudas. The tablet lay on the beach for over a year. Finally it was recovered and sent to the White House, but by this time, Andrew Johnson was in the midst of an impeachment, a rial, and the tablet was virtually lost. Finally it recovered, it made its way to Springfield and is now placed on the tomb of Lincoln with an English translation in stone also. Two nights after the news arrived of Lincoln’s death, it shook Paris too. In Paris, under the second empire, people were not free to meet, to gather, to express themselves politically. Édouard Laboulaye was scheduled to give a lecture on Benjamin Franklin that night, April 28th. He was very sick, he pulled himself from bed and he came over and of course the lecture soon turned into a eulogy for Lincoln. “Never in my life as a professor have my words awakened so much sympathy,” he wrote to Bigalow, the Ambassador. “Three times in this session, the hall applauded with an enthusiasm which was not for the speaker but for the noble victim of the cowardly assassin. You ought to see how great the emotion is in Paris. Far greater than I supposed.” Bigalow was about to find that out for himself. After the lecture, the students poured out and by previous agreement gathered in the Latin quarter by Ponte San Michele. There they planned three thousand of them to march out along the Champs-Élysées to Bigalow’s house to present an address to him. Imagine, a large crowd, let’s not call it a mob, of students in Paris coming to an American Ambassador’s house angry and in protest there to praise America’s fallen leader. The police came out into the crowd, swords drawn, arresting students breaking up the crowd. Some of them broke away and went through the back streets of the city. Running, dodging the police, they made their way out, way out by the Arc de Triomphe, about three miles. They found a police cordon threw which they broke through and came in to the astonished Ambassador’s home. There one boy pulled out of his coat pocket an address expressing their sympathy for the United States and for the Republican experiment. The whole address could not be published in France because it was censored because it included a rebuke to the existing government. “I had no idea that Mr. Lincoln had such a hold upon the heart of the young gentlemen in France” Bigalow wrote to Seward that night. No one had any idea until that night, until that moment when these hundreds of letters came out of small villages, out of workers groups, out of student groups and were sent to U.S. legations around the world. Bigalow suggested the idea of gathering them, translating them, publishing them. They became part of the annual diplomatic correspondence in 1866. Again, an expanded version in 1867. Copies of this book were sent to every government in the world. As though to show them, here is what your people think, not just about the United States, but about this republican experiment. It gave courage to Republicans across Europe. It gave them the idea that not only that the war had proven that a Republic could withstand civil war and assassination in America, but that it could spread and that it could continue elsewhere. I don’t think I have time to tell the story of the subscription that led to the medal but that was another popular movement in which people donated ten centenes or two sue in the old form of money. It became a kind of diplomatic affray in which the government confiscated the money and tried to suppress the subscription. The French democracy, as they called themselves, led by Victor Hugo and some of the other leading liberals of the day took on the subscription and delivered the medal to Bigalow and then Mrs. Lincoln. The Union’s improbable victory astonished the governing classes of Europe. It emboldened republicans and reformers everywhere. English radical Edward Beasley said, “Under a strain such as no aristocracy no monarchy, no empire could have supported the Republican institutions have stood firm. It is we who now call upon the privileged classes to mark the result. And mark it they did. Spain withdrew from Santo Domingo and with their help the United States made peace with Peru and Chile. Britain set up Canada as a self governing dominion and effectively withdrew from the western hemisphere. Russia sold Alaska and disappeared and gave up its claims on going all the way down to California. Most famously the French, in early 1866, Napoleon the 3rd announced that the civilizing mission of the French and Mexico was over. They called the troops back and in June of 1867 Max a Million was left to face a Mexican firing squad on his own. In Britain in 1867, a really momentous year for the republican experiment. Crowds were forming, they had organized the reform league calling for universal suffrage and voting truly universal for women as well as for men. In the face of massive demonstrations in Hyde Park Parliament caved in and passed the second reform act in 1867 which vastly expanded the right to vote to the working classes and middle classes in Britain. The cordon of slavery, an empire that had surrounded the United States in 1861, had withered away. Whatever other ills democracy would suffer in the decades ahead the idea that government of, by, and for the people that it would not perish from the earth, had been proved. The experiment had proven good. There was reason to hope that Europe would in due time also discard dynastic rule and find its way toward democratic self rule. Eugene Peloton, one of the French liberals put it this way, “American is not only America, one place or one race more on the map, it is yet and especially the model school of liberty. If against all possibility it had perished with it would fall a great experiment.” Thank you. – applause – Thank you Don for such an interesting and enlightening opening and context of what will be developed tomorrow more about the arts and about artists. This is the context they moved in. I have actually several questions, but I will keep silent. Are there questions? We can talk more about it. Are there questions, or remarks, or comments? We have some time still to go and then there is a little reception offered by the Center for American Studies. Paul has a question. Oh, Paul, ok. The acoustic is not very good here. Just to get things started, thank you so much for that with so many fascinating details. No, no, it’s on. They were particularly eloquent samples. There were several hundred letters from Italy There were about a thousand letters and resolutions that were collected and translated and published. About forty percent of them come from the British Isles and British possessions overseas In continental Europe it goes down from France and then Italy and then Switzerland was a strong hold. Of course, the only major republic in Europe There were, I forget how many hundred from Italy, but in those letters, that was a committee. So you might have thirty signatures below This represents tens of thousands of people. I think of these letters as a kind of public opinion poll. Now obviously it’s biased but it’s pro-republican. You don’t write a letter of condolence to someone who represents an ideology that you want to denounce. Although there was some of that from heads of state who had no use for Lincoln’s ideology but were showing respect. These popular manifestations, they came from everywhere and they are fascinating. I think they wanted to make a point of showing how the people felt, unfiltered by newspapers, by politicians, by government censors. It’s really a remarkable document, this book. Anything else? Actually, well, let me just say one thing about republicanism. From what you are saying, basically, which is quite true, the 1860’s is a time of radical republicanism. Not only in the United States, thinking of the reconstruction, well the Civil War first but also the radical reconstruction, but also in Europe. I mean there are still the forces of the old republican ideal that was born not only in the American Revolution, but also in the French one. That somehow lost momentum. Yes. I mean they developed it in the 50’s and 60’s and then they lost stamina somehow. This affected, in a way, didn’t it, the development of American republicanism and democracy. Yes. I mean, do you agree with this and do you have any idea of the perception back in Europe? This setback, I mean the election of Hayes in 1876 was a setback. Yes, I’m actually working on a sequel in which I want to read the foreign response to this experiment in reconstruction. I think most American historians look at reconstruction as a valent try, but of failure. I think if we see it instead in the context of these various events that it helped to set off the withdrawal of empires from the western hemisphere, the defeat in, I didn’t mention it, but in Spain in 1868 a Republican revolution is successful. In Cuba simultaneously republicans proclaim independence for Cuba and freedom to the slaves. Spain answers with its own emancipation law. Gradual and slow but nonetheless slavery in 1870 in Spain is put on the road to extinction. Brazil the next year follows. In Brazil, one of the senators there I quote “So long as the United States had slavery, we were protected.” Now, the United States has ended slavery, now Spain has ended. He said, “We don’t need a civil war to end slavery, the world laughing at us is enough, the scorn of all nations is enough.” They didn’t end it completely until 1888 and Cuba and Spain in 1886. It was put on the road to extinction before then. I think that the post war impact of the Union victory, the victory of Republicanism was quite sensational and reinvigorating. But you are asking about the failure or the end of reconstruction in the 1870’s. I think we are seeing a turn at that time in the international republican spirit. The rise of a new kind of imperialism in Asia and eventually into Africa, the Middle East. The rise also of scientific racism which was a powerful antidote or counter message to egalitarian ideas. This begins to take hold. During the Civil War, Arthur Gobeno the confederacy is beginning to embrace and cultivate these racial ideas, but it doesn’t really percolate up into the government and into these imperialist adventures until later in the 19th Century. There is a turn to the right, I think you are correct. Thank you. Anybody else? Yes. The mic is there. Yes, yes, yes. Two of the more famous or noticed aristocrats who came to fight for the Union were the Orléans Princes, decedents of Louis Philippe. This was, many thought a rebuke to Napoleon the 3rd and a demonstration that they were now prepared to lead France in a more republican direction than their grandfather had been. Yes, one more and then I think we can go. Can you, ok, yeah, hold it. Yes, Laboulaye. Yes, that was Édouard Laboulaye the French history professor. Yeah. Yes. By this time, Laboulaye is writing after the Emancipation Proclamation, but before that was issued there was a great deal of consternation in Europe. The book I wrote begins with this entreaty to Garibaldi, to come and fight for the union Garibaldi says, “What are you fighting for if you are not fighting to emancipate the slaves?” Then this is just another Civil War with no moral interest to the rest of the world.” It was embarrassing to the United States because Lincoln had guaranteed slavery in the states. He did not want to, his purpose was not to perpetuate slavery, but he did not want to give any cause to the rebellion. To reify their idea that they were rebelling in order to preserve their rights as property owners. This is a process, the United States is both the first and one of the last to end slavery. The states of Vermont, and New York, and other states began to abolish slavery even the late 18th Century, but you are right, they are slow. This is not just another slave nation Two thirds of the American slaves in the American hemisphere were in the United States, four million slaves. It was a very powerful bastion of slavery. If the confederacy had won, who knows what the future of slavery and democracy would have been. At first, the jaundiced eye of the historian, I didn’t believe all of this kind of rhetoric about this battle this epic battle. It really was a lot at stake in this war. I think that what you are seeing is the Union trying to tell, here is what we are fighting for, it really is at the beginning a conservative message. We are not going to disturb slavery, we want just to protect ourselves. It’s a kind of imperial conservative message. It’s the confederacy that is saying, we want liberty and self government. They found a way, partly by listening to European voices, including Garibaldi’s and saying, no we are on the side of liberty. Of liberty not just for slaves, but for the people. It’s a public diplomacy, it’s a soft power war. The gravitation of Lincoln to the Emancipation Proclamation is not just his moral awakening. He always hated slavery. It’s not just the politics of the slave states and the border states. It’s the international world. Carl Sckurz, the Ambassador to Spain a German revolutionary decides to resign his position in Madrid and he comes to Lincoln and meets with him in February of 1862. He says, “The governments want us to fail. The people will support us if we make this a war for republican institutions and against slavery. Why do they want to support a war whose purpose is to maintain slavery and to restore the Union as it was?” Lincoln says, “I understand. No one will side with a war against slavery or with the rebels to preserve slavery or to rescue slavery.” But he said, “I’m not there yet. The people are not with me yet. I want you to go out and criticize this and tell the others to criticize this.” Lincoln was a master at this kind of public diplomacy and public relations. I need the public to be aroused in favor of a war for abolition. Then it came. He saw it coming much earlier than what we expect. One last quick question. I see that there is a hand up here and a quick answer. So then we eat something afterwards. We are getting thirsty and hungry. No in September 1862 it was issued. In January 1863 it was finally promulgated as law. There was an interim period there. The constitutional ending of slavery in the 13th Amendment that was not passed and ratified until the end of 1865. It’s December of 1865 that America, the United States, finally ends slavery. This was exactly what the south wanted the world to believe. It’s not about slavery it’s about free trade. We want to, by this time in March the Union had raised the tariff to pay for the war. This was a gift to the confederacy. They said, “Look we are not going to charge it, we are not going to impose a tariff. You’ll have free access to cotton.” Again it’s a liberal message – free trade and self government. They were on the side of progress it seemed at the beginning of the war. That changed, and it changed in part because of Lincoln’s adroit maneuvering towards emancipation bringing the public with him, and encouraging this discussion of the purpose of the war. Thank you. Now, the time is late – applause – We are now having a break. This way, right? Do you know? It’s this way? We are having a little something, a reception. We will convene again tomorrow morning at 9:30AM at the American Academy. We will be streaming again live in the United States in Washington D.C. in the afternoon, correct? Right. Thank you all.

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