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It is impossible to express the pain felt by loyal and conservative men in America when it was announced that the ministry of Lord Palmerston had determined to concede belligerent rights to the South.
Republican America did not solicit the moral support of Constitutional England as a boon. She expected it as a right. Not without the deepest regret did she find that she must fight the battle of Representative Institutions and human freedom alone.
Though no one imagined that the privileged classes of England would look with disfavor on the downfall of a democracy, no one in loyal America supposed that they could regard without horror a resort to conspiracy for the accomplishment of political ends, or contemplate without disdain great officers of state, who, with atrocious perfidy, had be trayed their trust.
No one supposed that the religious middle classes of The religious mid- England, who had ever been foremost in support of human liberty, could forget their traditions, and lend their influence to those who were attempting, by armed force, to perpetuate and extend. human slavery.
Course of the privileged classes of England.
PUBLIC OPINION IN ENGLAND.
No one supposed that the literature of England, of which it is the glory to have been the champion of Order, Progress, and all that is beneficent in modern civilization, could view unmoved the resort of a faction to brute violence, insurrection, and the horrors of civil war-still less that it would seek to paralyze a loyal people in their efforts to uphold a just, a great, a good government.
No one supposed that a commercial community would set the perilous example of building and equipping war-ships to destroy the commerce of its friend.
The literary classes.
The commercial classes.
Not without profound disappointment did loyal and educated Americans witness the direction of English influence. In their eyes it seemed false to the destinies of
PUBLIC OPINION IN ENGLAND.
Of a conflict which has cost half a million of lives, which in four years has imposed financial burdens and occasioned a destruction of property equal in aggregate value to the public debt of England, what is the result? Only this the Confirmation of Free Institutions. The price to be paid was very great, but it has been paid by America without a murmur.
Not among the titled-not among the educated-not The plain people even among the religious classes of England did Free America find favor. Her cause, however, was not without supporters in the ancestral land. The plain people, those who earn their daily bread by honorable industry, who recognized that her cause was their cause, were her friends, and that, too, though they were the chief sufferers by the commercial embar rassments of the war.
One illustrious man there was in England who saw The Prince Consort that the great interests of the Future would and the Queen. be better subserved by a sincere friendship with America than by the transitory alliances of Europe. He recognized the bonds of race. His prudent counsels strengthened the determination of the sovereign that the Trent controversy should have an honorable and peaceful solution. Had the desires of these, the most exalted personages in the Realm, been more completely fulfilled, the administration of Lord Palmerston would not have cast a disastrous shadow on the future of the AngloSaxon race.
With the exception of Russia, the Continent of Europe was greatly influenced by the representations of the En
INFLUENCE OF ENGLISH JOURNALISM.
Opinión in Europe glish press, which was supposed, for obvious on American affairs. reasons, to be well informed on the state of American affairs. The German settlers in America exerted what perhaps may be spoken of as a correcting influence in their native country, but they were not able to neutralize the power of the English press.
The appreciation of European opinion on affairs conIt was influenced by nected with the Civil War turns, therefore, English journalism essentially on a study of the views which were taken in England. The material for such a study is very ample. It is to be found in the journalism of the country, in the Parliamentary proceedings, and in the acts of the government. In truth, nothing more for this purpose is needed than may be found in the Times newspaper, that powerful journal which not only reflects, but in no inconsiderable degree forms the public opinion of En gland.
On this occasion I shall follow the course I have taken (vol. i., chap. xxvi.) in representing the opinions of the South, simply collecting and arranging together such statements as seem to have an important bearing on the subject, preserving, whenever possible, the language, and always the spirit, of the sources from which they are de rived.
Perhaps it may not be inappropriate to make the pref and English histori- atory remark that from the outset there excal recollections. isted in England a disposition to bear in remembrance the colonial war. It was said, The Southern States have as much right to assert their independence of the Union as the Colonies had to assert their independ ence of England. The reasons that justified the latter justify the former. The cases are precisely alike. Amer ica is suffering no more than she caused England to suffer. She should be the last of nations to complain.
The cases would have been more nearly alike if a suc
CHAP. LX.] COLONIAL AND CONFEDERATE MOVEMENTS.
cession of American princes had for many
Parallel between the and
Confederate move- years sat upon the English throne; if all the great offices of state, all the places of profit and power, had been largely engrossed by Americans; if Parliament had been entirely occupied in legislating for American interests, or, more truly, for one interest, and that one interest revolting to the conscience of the free Englishman; if there had been a slave-pen in the vicinity of Guildhall, and the cry of the slave-auctioneer echoing from the walls of Westminster Abbey; if the citizens of London had seen the agony of wives parted forever from their husbands, and children, even those at the breast, separated from their parents. The cases would have been more nearly alike if, when under the Constitution of England it became unavoidable that an English prince must displace those who had so long held the reins of government, the cabinet ministers of the retiring dy nasty had engaged in the most atrocious treason; if the army had been sent to remote territories for the pur pose of being entrapped, the navy scattered on fictitious errands in distant seas, so that not more than two or three ships were to be found upon the coast; if large sums of money had been purloined from the treasury for the purposes of the conspiracy; if every musket that could be secured had been stealthily sent across the At lantic; if the great arsenal at Woolwich had been seized and robbed of its thousands of cannon; if officers of the army and navy had been seduced to resign their commissions, and judges had refused to act; if the House of Lords had become the focus of a conspiracy against the government, and members of the House of Commons had retained their seats for no other purpose than to obstruct legislation; if the new sovereign had gone to his coronation in peril of being assassinated; if the malcontents. had openly declared that they would either rule or ruin
TACTICS OF THE NEWSPAPERS.
the nation, then there would have been an analogy be tween the causes of the War of the American Revolution and those of the American Civil War.
Considered merely as a matter of policy, the ministry Influence of English of Lord Palmerston regarded it as not unde sirable to promote a partition of the American Union. With very great skill the journalism of England manufactured public opinion, and brought the middle classes into accord with the privileged. The traditions of old dissensions furnished a starting-point, and the dexterous presentation of American revenue legisla tion accomplished the rest.
The manner in which an extensively circulated and powerful newspaper can imperceptibly direct public opinion, and thereby accomplish its ends, offers one of the most interesting subjects. of psychological study. Very strik ing examples of the kind are occasionally observed in America.
Let us notice the successive phases of opinion exhibited by such a foreign journal in 1861. It begins with a generous sympathy for a friendly nation in trouble, and insensibly leads its unsuspecting reader to very different sentiments at last. It says:
"The Southern States have sinned more than the NorthThe Southern States ern. They have exhibited a passionate ef in the wrong. frontery, not content with the sufferance of slavery, but determined on its extension. They refuse to have any man for President unless he regards a black servant and a black portmanteau as chattels of the same category and description. The right, with all its advantages, belongs to the states of the North. The North is for freedom, the South for the tar-brush and pine-fagot. Free and democratic communities have applied them
The successive opinions they present.