James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  realized, as did the upper class, that the cause of the Union was the cause of democracy in England.  32   Up to the latter part of November, Great Britain preserved a strict neutrality. Louis Napoleon, the Emperor of the French, though in his American policy he did not represent the intelligent and liberal sentiment of his country, asked England officially to coöperate with him in recognizing the Confederacy and breaking the blockade. Earl Russell 1 in a letter to Palmerston took the ground that it would “not do for England and France to break a blockade for the sake of getting cotton,” but they might offer their mediation between the North and the South with the implied understanding that the section which refused it [the United States, of course, as the South would grasp eagerly at the offer] would be their enemy. Palmerston replied that “our best and true policy seems to be to go on as we have begun and to keep quite clear of the conflict between North and South.” 2 Later, Lord Palmerston, in his speech at the Lord Mayor’s dinner, “gave it clearly to be understood that there is to be no interference for the sake of cotton.” 3  33   But meanwhile the American press, apparently with no feeling of responsibility, was carrying on a duel with the English. The irritation caused by the ungenerous criticism of the London journals was vented by our own in bitter recrimination. Chief in attack was the New York Herald. “Let England and Spain look well to their conduct,” it said, “or we may bring them to a reckoning.” 4 “It is unfortunate” wrote John Bright to Sumner on November 20, “that nothing is done to change the reckless tone of your
Note 1. Formerly Lord John Russell. [back]
Note 2. Oct. 17, 18. Earl Russell, II, 344; Palmerston, II, 218. [back]
Note 3. Early in November, C. F. A. M. H. S., XLV, 53. [back]
Note 4. Nov. 9. [back]