Divided Poles in a divided nation: Poles in the Union and Confederacy in the American Civil War

Bielski, Mark Francis (2014). Divided Poles in a divided nation: Poles in the Union and Confederacy in the American Civil War. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis studies a group of Poles embroiled in the American Civil War. They span three generations and share culture, nationality and devotion to their ideals. The common thread running through their lives is that they came from a country that had basically disintegrated at the end of the previous century, yet they carried the concepts of freedom that they inherited from their forefathers with them to America. Their ancestral Poland had been openly democratic and deemed dangerous to the autocratic imperial neighbours that partitioned it. These men came to a new country, then exercised their “Polishness” as they became embroiled in the great American upheaval, the Civil War.
Of the nine of them examined, four sided with the North and four with the South. Another began in the Confederate cavalry and finished with the Union. In a war commonly categorized as a struggle between two American regions, there has not been significant attention devoted to Poles and foreigners in general. These men carried their belief in democratic liberalism with them from Europe in to the American War. Whether fighting to keep a Union together or to establish the new Confederacy, they held to their ideals and made a significant contribution.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5432


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