Austro-American relations, 1861-1866
Kaufman, Burton Ira
Galambos, Louis P.
Master of Arts
The period between 1851-1866 was the era of the American Civil War and the European intervention in Mexico, when Napoleon III of France attempted to force the Mexican people to accept Austrian Archduke Maximilian as their ruler. This thesis deals with official Austrian policy in regard to both of the above crises in the history of the western hemisphere. The writer has come to the conclusion that Austria's attitude towards political developments in the United States and Mexico in the l860's merely reflected the general policy of friendship which the Habsburg government then followed in dealing with the government in Washington. Before the late 1830's the Austrians were anything but cordial to the United States. Then the policy suddenly changed. An evaluation of the reasons for this fundamental policy change Is one of the subjects taken up in this thesis. During the period under discussion a series of Important diplomatic exchanges took place between Austria and the United States. Under consideration were such questions as maritime neutral rights during time of war, the sale of arms to the Confederacy, the attempt by a United States consul in Vienna to grant a general's commission in the Union army to the Italian patriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and the policy which Austria adopted towards Mexico. Using the records of the Austrian Foreign Office, the United States Department of State, numerous manuscript collections, and other pertinent primary and secondary sources, the author discusses these questions and relates them to the general problem of the relations between Austria and the United States during the years 1851 to 1866. Austro-American Relations. 1861-1866 is primarily a diplomatic study. However, the author also devotes some attention to the political, social, and economic conditions of both countries. Especial emphasis is placed on the effects of the Civil War on the Austrian economy. The author also discusses the policies followed by the Austrian and American diplomats who played a vital role in determining policy between Austria and the United States. Particularly important were Johann Georg Hulsemann, the Austrian minister to the United States during the first three years considered in the study, and John Motley, the American minister to Austria for the entire period 1851-1866. Finally, attention is paid to several previous interpretations of Austro-American relations during the Civil War and Mexican intervention. These analyses stated that Austria pursued a hostile policy towards the government in Washington during the 1850's, and the author of this thesis explains, by way of summary, why he rejects these interpretations.