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Union sentiment in the South opportunity to develop. The defeat of McClellan before Richmond in July, 1862, Cabinet pro

seemed to show that this attempt had failed. gram

September 14, Palmerston wrote to Russell favoring recognition. Russell replied with the suggestion that mediation be offered first, and that a cabinet meeting be held September 23 or September 30 to discuss the matter. Lord Granville, who was absent with the queen, proposed further delay, and a meeting was finally arranged for October. Russell set to work on the preparation of a memoir to present the case for mediation and subsequent recognition.

In the interval W. E. Gladstone, chancellor of the exchequer, the coming man but many years junior to Palmerston

and Russell, touched on the subject at NewcasCabinet delay

tle. “There can be no doubt,” said he, “that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy, and they have made what is more than either, they have made a nation.” His position was promptly attacked by a fellow cabinet member, Sir George Cornwallis Lewis. For cabinet members in Great Britain thus to commit themselves on subjects which have not yet been decided by the cabinet as a whole, and thus to differ, is not unknown, but it is always indiscreet. As a result it was decided that recognition could wait awhile, long enough to allow the party chiefs to assert themselves and to discipline Gladstone. The matter was dropped for the time.

The cabinet therefore met Parliament, February 5, 1863, without a declared policy. Interest thereupon centred in Parliamentary an attempt to force its hand through Parliadiscussion

ment. A member, Mr. Roebuck, had an interview with Napoleon, who urged him to press the matter. On June 30 he introduced a motion instructing the government “to enter into negotiation with the great powers of Europe for the purpose of obtaining their coöperation in the recognition " of the Confederacy.

This seeming climax, however, is deceptive; the real crisis had passed. The final argument had always been in the hands of the North, and had by this time been Emancipation made effective. Great Britain could not take proclamation action perpetuating slavery. Universal emancipation outweighed cotton. With the advantage of its sentimental appeal, this consideration was equally strong from a practical standpoint. Between 1854 and 1860 the northern workingman had been brought over from a passive to an actual opposition to slavery, by insistence on the economic disadvantage to free laborers of competition by labor-owners. The British laboring-man had gone through his education earlier, with such effect that the very population most severely hit by the cotton famine, the operatives of the Lancaster mills, had nevertheless steadily stood by the North. Suppor through their distress by the splendid organization of British philanthropy, they found their situation begin to improve with the coming of Indian and Egyptian cotton in 1863; 1 and if they had any doubt as to the purpose of the North it was absolved by Lincoln's preliminary emancipation proclamation of September 22, 1862.

Whether this proclamation had anything to do with the postponement of the critical cabinet meeting it is impossible to say, but it is noticeable that the news of it Effect of reached England between the calling of the emancipation meeting and its postponement. Between that time and June, actual emancipation was proclaimed, January 1, 1863. Lincoln did not allow the effect of the proclamation to be lost upon English opinion. Throughout the war he and Seward were continually sending abroad all kinds of informal representatives upon all sorts of missions. The influence of John Bigelow on the French press, and of Thurlow Weed on the English, was probably not great, and many of these roving emissaries caused as much annoyance to Adams as their counterparts had given to Franklin during the Revolu

*R. A. Arnold, History of the Cotton Famine, London, 1864.

tion. Henry Ward Beecher, however, was a real ambassador to the people, and Lincoln himself wrote a public letter to the working-men of London. On the whole, the development of a pro-northern sentiment was rather by a raising of interest in the indifferent or the uninformed than by a converting of the pro-southern classes, although the Whig element began to turn. Many moderates moreover, were decidedly influenced by the northern victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, July 3 and 4, 1863. It was, however, on July 13, three days before the news of these victories reached England that Roebuck, realizing the change in the balance of opinion, withdrew his motion. It was Lincoln, not Grant and Meade, who prevented recognition.

Even with the crisis past, there still remained a twofold danger. With the proceeds of their loan the Confederates The Laird

were having built by Laird, the great British

iron-master, war vessels, rams of such formidable fighting capacity that they caused the sensitive quills of our press to stand erect with horror as they saw them, omnipresent, destroying our poor blockading fleet, laying the Atlantic coast under tribute, and ascending our rivers and creeks for the devastation of the interior. There was more chance, however, that some episode would arise out of their building that would tip the still swaying balance of British opinion, or would impress that of the United States as an act of war. Adams, with growing confidence, pressed upon Russell the duty of preventing these vessels, whose progress was regularly reported in the newspapers, from being delivered into the hands of the Confederacy. Russell promised to investigate, but his law officers discovered that the vessels had been sold to a French firm, and that there was no "evidence capable of being presented to a Court of Justice” that they were intended for the Confederacy. Actually they did not know that a contract existed by which the French firm was to turn them over to Confederate agents when they were once beyond British jurisdiction. Adams, however, rightly believed that this was the case. On September 5, therefore, hearing that one ship was about to depart, he wrote to Russell: “I can regard it no otherwise than as practically opening to the insurgents full liberty in this Kingdom, to conduct a campaign against the northern seaports. . . . It would be superfluous in me to point out to your Lordship that this is war." Russell had no intention thus to provoke war. Two days before Adams's letter was written he had ordered the rams detained. This closed the episode; the rams never afterwards were within reach of the Confederacy.

66 rams


With September, 1863, the triumph of northern diplomacy was complete. Davis's next message to the Confederate Congress is a petulant admission of defeat. Triumph of Nevertheless, the Confederacy did not give up

the North its hope of foreign aid or its attempt to secure it. Alexander H. Stephens even favored abolishing slavery to win it. All subsequent plans, policies, and projects, however, were actually dependent upon military success, which could not come on any grand scale without foreign aid, without the breaking of the blockade. The situation was an impasse. Chance might work for the Confederacy, but no diplomatic skill would avail for rescue.

1 See also M. D. Conway, Autobiography (2 vols., Boston, etc., 1904), ch. xxi.


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FROM the date of President Monroe's message of 1823 to the Civil war there had been no new European colony estab

lished in America, no transfer of territory from Practical effect of the Monroe one European nation to another, and no conDoctrine

trolling intervention by European powers in American affairs. This inactivity had not been due to any unwillingness to interfere, or even to a lack of desire, but to a recognition of the fact that owing to its position, the United States was actually stronger over most of the continental area than any European power could be, and that her friendship was more valuable than the spoils that might be snatched in a general scramble for plunder.

In answering questions as to the national policy asked by the governments of Argentina and Brazil in 1825, Clay had

been careful to state that “our declaration Interpretation of the Monroe must be regarded as having been voluntarily Doctrine

made, and not as conveying any pledge or obligation the performance of which foreign nations have a right to demand.” Until the Mexican war our policy was negative, and we avoided entanglements in the ever-changing complications of Spanish-American politics. This left a field open for the exercise of European influence, and by mediation and advice European governments sought to ain a hold without actually coming into collision with us. Ju 1827, for instance, Austria and Great Britain sought to tuange peace between Brazil and Portugal, and Great Britain theactively intervene. After 1845, our ministers are often wheł taking a mediating part in South American disputes,

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