They Stood Like the Old Guard of Napoleon: Jefferson Davis and the Pro-Bonaparte Democrats, 1815-1870

Zvengrowski, Jeffrey, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Onuf, Peter, History, University of Virginia

Anglophobe Jeffersonian Democrats such as John C. Calhoun regarded Napoleon I's Bonapartist supporters as kindred spirits insofar as they too championed equality among whites and white supremacy against the British-led forces of the Right, which espoused hierarchy among whites, and the universal egalitarianism of the international Left. Buoyed by Napoleon III's restoration of Bonapartist rule among the French during the early 1850s, Calhoun's disciple Jefferson Davis urged the Pierce and Buchanan administrations to align the United States with Bonapartist France in hopes of fighting a new but more successful War of 1812 against the British Empire. In 1860, however, Davis mournfully concluded that the U.S. North had been taken over by a traitorous Republican coalition consisting of Left-leaning German immigrants, Anglophile elitists, and British abolitionist agents committed to racial equality. He launched what he took to be a new American Revolution as a result. Yet the belief of pro-administration Confederates that northern Democrats and Napoleon III's France would naturally support the Confederate States of America proved to be a grave miscalculation in the end. That miscalculation was predicated upon their longstanding misconceptions of northern anti-Democrats and the British, neither of whom were as hostile to white rule and equality among whites as they had believed.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Jefferson Davis, American Civil War, Confederate States of America, Democratic Party, Bonapartist France, Napoleon III
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