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Britain and the American Civil War

Between 1861 and 1865, torn apart by arguments over slavery, states’ rights and the nature of federal government, the northern and southern states of the United States fought a bitter civil war. While war was fought on American soil, the conflict had global repercussions, with Britain playing an important strategic, commercial and diplomatic role. Britain and the American Civil War commemorates this involvement and explores some of our collections from this tumultuous era. It has been generously supported by the American Trust for the British Library.


Credits and more about the exhibition


Highlights from the Library's collections


A chronology of the American Civil War


The interconnected issues of slavery, territorial and sectional political control

Anglo-American relations

Britain and the American Civil War

Mapping the Civil War

Popular interest in the course of the war led to the production of many new maps


Bringing peace to the nation presented a hugely challenging task

Guide to resources

Find out more about the Civil War

British adventurers

Over half of America's foreign–born population was British and Irish

Elsewhere on our websites


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