as Britain and France remained neutral


Senior Member
From the Wikipedia:

The American Civil War (1861-1865) ensued, with the overwhelming material and manpower advantages of the North decisive in a long war, as Britain and France remained neutral.

How to interpret the word "as" here? Does it mean "when" or "because"?

SOURCE HERE: History of the United States

Thanks a lot. :)
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm conflicted. "While" works perfectly well. The preceding paragraphs mention France taking a side in the war between Britain and its colonies so "because France remained neutral" seems worth mentioning, however "because Britain remained neutral" is no more interesting than "because Switzerland remained neutral." I think it could have been written more clearly.
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