Don H. Doyle is a professor emeritus of history at the University of South Carolina and has retired to Folly Beach, SC. His The Cause of All Nations: An International History of America's Civil War (2014) moves beyond the familiar narrative of Civil War battlefields and homefront to view the conflict from abroad. He is also the author of Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question (2002) and Faulkner's County: The Historical Roots of Yoknapatawpha (2000); the editor of Nationalism in the New World (2006), Secession as an International Phenomenon (2010), and American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s (2017); and a coeditor of The Transnational Significance of the American Civil War (2016). He is currently writing Viva Lincoln, a sequel to The Cause of All Nations, dealing with the international history of the Reconstruction era.
Half the nations of the modern day arrived in what we cheerfully call the “family of nations” through ugly political divorces, that involved violent rebellions, civil wars, foreign intervention. This lecture views the American Revolution and the American Civil War as major historical precedents on secession or separatism and its dangers.