This thirty-first installment continues our series on HeinOnline’s digital collections.
Hein’s Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) database is a comprehensive and fascinating collection of diplomatic correspondence and documents spanning the years 1861-1980. The series is organized by presidency, beginning with Lincoln and ending with Carter, and is further organized by year and by nation or region of note.
Browsing these documents gives one a genuine sense of what successes, difficulties and troubles faced US diplomats in each respective time and place. A quick look at an 1863 volume reveals the concerns of a Russian prince, expressed to US diplomat Bayard Taylor, that the northern and southern States of the then-warring United States would never truly be able to re-unify even with a Union victory. A further reading reveals talks amongst the European powers of England, France and Russia as to whether an intervention in the conflict would be proper. This is just one example of the collection’s ability to bring international context to major events in US history.
Also included is a set of “Other Related Works,” containing agreements, reference materials, and other documents relating to various topics of international relations. One of these, Armed Merchantmen, discusses attitudes toward arming commercial vessels during World War One; another, by John Latane, examines the interaction of the US Constitution with agreements and transactions made abroad.
This database would be very helpful to anyone researching US foreign relations, or even to someone interested in the role of the US in a particular historical event.
To access the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) collection in Hein, click here, select HeinOnline under “Legal Search Engines Research,” and select the collection from the list to your left. Happy Researching!