Britain had recognized the CSA?

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Absolutely, so the blockade is a knife that cuts both ways, and effectively ruins the ability of the US to pay premiums on municipal and transportation bonds owned by British subjects. As I have written before, the economies and the populations were intertwined after 1844-46, and Britain would be engaged in a economic war with a part of its own population if it blockaded the US. The British liberals might suffer the most in that economic war, but they were unlikely to suffer quietly.


According to the British statistics, the United States represented £19m of £121m exports (15.9%) and £28m of £160m imports (17.3%) for 1862.* In 1863, the relative importance of the US dwindled: £20m of £142m exports (13.9%) and £20m of £164m imports (11.9%). What this shows is that access to the British market is far more important to the United States, in terms both of exports and imports.



* Note that these figures are not strictly directly comparable, as US government years end on 30 June and UK government years end on 31 March.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Because cotton exports were so greatly diminished once the US controlled New Orleans. It was the Confederacy that was exporting to Britain, not the US.
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Because cotton exports were so greatly diminished once the US controlled New Orleans. It was the Confederacy that was exporting to Britain, not the US.

Conversely, it was the US which was importing from Britain and not the other way around. By the numbers given thats much worse for the US economy considering the goods imported like iron, steel and nitre are not exactly trivial when conducting a war.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Because cotton exports were so greatly diminished once the US controlled New Orleans. It was the Confederacy that was exporting to Britain, not the US.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
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Location
Denver, CO
Conversely, it was the US which was importing from Britain and not the other way around. By the numbers given thats much worse for the US economy considering the goods imported like iron, steel and nitre are not exactly trivial when conducting a war.
Correct. In December 1861 the US was extremely vulnerable, as has been discussed previously on other topics. By October 1862 the situation had been rectified and the strategic position of the US was much stronger relative to the Confederacy. The US administration was prepared to live with the status quo of late 1862, if that is what it took.
 

wausaubob

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Denver, CO
Conversely, it was the US which was importing from Britain and not the other way around. By the numbers given thats much worse for the US economy considering the goods imported like iron, steel and nitre are not exactly trivial when conducting a war.
There was only one way to maintain a non militarized border between BNA and the US, and that was be patient with the US and not interfere with the war. There were other ways to grow and obtain cotton and those other ways were probably going to have to be explored regardless of intervention.
The British were interested into restoring American exports of cotton, but they were also interested in breaking the linkage between slavery and cotton. That meant forcing many more white farmers to grow cotton, without slaves, and that is what happened.
 

wausaubob

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I suspect that George Cornewall Lewis' report highlighted the general opinion that the long term prospects of a slave society were very poor. The population does not grow fast, and for the potential Confederacy, white people begin to move away looking for opportunity. There would be very little immigration into the Confederacy and by October 1862 virtually no opportunity to expand their territory. British experience was of the view that sooner or later the enslaved would rise up and reek revenge on their enslavers. I think when Grant wrote about that he was just summarizing what he heard in England after his extended visit there, including an interview with the aging Lord Russell.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
More to the point, it's not 13% of government revenue. In 1862-3 the total US government revenue was $111M, of which Customs formed $69 million - which is 62% of the total. Indeed, with 58% of US trade volumes being with Britain then Britain simply ceasing to trade with the US it would cut US government income by 36% (without imposition of new taxes).

Note in addition that this does not factor in the effect of the loss of the coasting trade. This was around 2.6 million tons of shipping in the Civil War period, all engaged in moving goods from US port to US port by ship, and the loss of this capacity will tend to cause economic damage - especially since so much of the iron used to manufacture rails happened to be sourced from Britain, around half during the Civil War.

Just a question. Does this estimation of coastal trade include factors like access to fisheries, especially probably the Grand Banks but would the blockade - in the event of war - also result in an impact on local fisheries? Thinking because on another site I've learnt how many victims of the U boats in WWI were simply fishing vessels but not sure what the international view would be in the 1860's?
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Just a question. Does this estimation of coastal trade include factors like access to fisheries, especially probably the Grand Banks but would the blockade - in the event of war - also result in an impact on local fisheries? Thinking because on another site I've learnt how many victims of the U boats in WWI were simply fishing vessels but not sure what the international view would be in the 1860's?
It looks like the US fishing industry was interrupted by the War of 1812. My understanding is that "enemy" ships (US flagged ships) would probably be liable to capture, but I'm not sure about that.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
It looks like the US fishing industry was interrupted by the War of 1812. My understanding is that "enemy" ships (US flagged ships) would probably be liable to capture, but I'm not sure about that.
An interesting question. I have seen information that in 1815 the RN seized several fishing vessels - apparently connected to a dispute about the impact of the Treaty of Ghent on the 1783 Treaty regarding fishing rights - but the British Government quickly revoked the seizures. I haven't seen anything regarding similar seizures during the War.
 

edgeworthy

Private
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
I repeat Mr. Lipsey's table 3:
View attachment 409412
See page 8. https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w4710/w4710.pdf
Except for cotton, the US was not an import/export economy in 1860. Except for a few military supplies in the early going, the US was not dependent on exports.
Foreign investment in the US was very important, and the US was a net debtor nation for a long time. However, foreign investment is a captive asset. If a conflict starts between Britain and US there might not be much new investment in the US, but what already exists is controlled by the US and payments on the investments are dependent on the health of the US economy.
According to the annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance, the US Government Purchased 726,705 Foreign Muskets and Rifles in 1862.
https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/156.html
I would hesitate to call that "a few military supplies in the early going"?

900,000 1853 Enfields were imported during the war. 22% of the Union Infantry Regiments at the Battle of Gettysburg were exclusively armed with such. 33% carried Springfields as their only weapon. (12% a mix of both) The third most common firearm was the Austrian Lorenz.
 
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wausaubob

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Location
Denver, CO
An interesting question. I have seen information that in 1815 the RN seized several fishing vessels - apparently connected to a dispute about the impact of the Treaty of Ghent on the 1783 Treaty regarding fishing rights - but the British Government quickly revoked the seizures. I haven't seen anything regarding similar seizures during the War.
I think it remained a live issue until the comprehensive post war mediation of the grievances the US had with Great Britain.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
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Location
Denver, CO
According to the annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance, the US Government Purchased 726,705 Foreign Muskets and Rifles in 1862.
https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/156.html
I would hesitate to call that "a few military supplies in the early going"?

900,000 1853 Enfields were imported during the war. 22% of the Union Infantry Regiments at the Battle of Gettysburg were exclusively armed with such. 33% carried Springfields as their only weapon. (12% a mix of both) The third most common firearm was the Austrian Lorenz.
Don't forget the nitre. You didn't think "few" was funny?
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
According to the annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance, the US Government Purchased 726,705 Foreign Muskets and Rifles in 1862.
https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/156.html
I would hesitate to call that "a few military supplies in the early going"?

900,000 1853 Enfields were imported during the war. 22% of the Union Infantry Regiments at the Battle of Gettysburg were exclusively armed with such. 33% carried Springfields as their only weapon. (12% a mix of both) The third most common firearm was the Austrian Lorenz.
And Grant's Army was pulling Enfields from the Confederate stands of arms at Vicksburg, if they saw them. By that time in the war knew what a good rifle was worth.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Don't forget the nitre. You didn't think "few" was funny?
I think the actual point here is that the Union army purchased more foreign weapons to 30 June 1862 than it had spares on 30 June 1862. It literally could not have armed the army it historically produced.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
That's a nice speech you've quoted.
Technically it's a thesis.


Note that I'm not arguing, and have never argued, that British operations will be flawless. What I am arguing however is that any reasonable comparison indicates that the economic warfare attendant on a war between the Union and the British will be devastating to the US while merely being painful for the British, for a host of reasons from better British understanding of how to prevent commerce raiding to the extreme difficulty of commerce raiding in the specific diplomatic environment the US had created to the greater overall effectiveness of blockading than commerce raiding sans blockade.

Certainly in the War of 1812 the British had problems with the blockade of the Gulf; since they were able to do immense damage to the US economy in that war, it remains open to question however whether the reason for this was simply that the more important targets got more resources. It is also the case that in a Civil War intervention scenario the Gulf is not overall a valid export route; even if the Mississippi has been opened then blockading New Orleans specifically is easier than blockading the entire Gulf Coast.



Now feel free to explicate the concessions the British got regarding that buffer state they wanted for the tribes in the Old Northwest.
This is a strange argument to me, because you seem to imply that the British seeking said buffer state was a war goal and that they would have been willing to keep fighting (in a war which was started by a US declaration of war and invasion of Canada) in order to secure said concessions. The fact that Tecumseh had been dead for over a year and that his confederacy had collapsed with his death can't have failed to influence that, and the negotiations didn't take place in a vacuum - there were concerns that war with France would reignite.


What actually happened in the War of 1812 was that (as the thesis notes) the US was incapable of further serious campaigning for economic reasons - meaning due to the damage the British had inflicted upon them chiefly through blockade - and they were thus compelled to a peace acceptable to the British negotiators, dropping their war aims.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
It looks like the US fishing industry was interrupted by the War of 1812. My understanding is that "enemy" ships (US flagged ships) would probably be liable to capture, but I'm not sure about that.

I do remember reading once that once the blockade was spread to the New England region - after the initial fall of France allowed many more ships to be available the RN did allow some ships from the region to access the Grand Banks because the communities there depended so much on the fish for survival - possibly also because the NE area was bitterly opposed to the conflict and refused to contribute men to attacks on Canada. As such there probably was action against US fishermen but that one 'bit' of data doesn't really give enough to tell.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
I think the actual point here is that the Union army purchased more foreign weapons to 30 June 1862 than it had spares on 30 June 1862. It literally could not have armed the army it historically produced.

One big question is does purchase mean ordered, paid for or received delivery of? I recall some discussion of this in the run up to your Trent War TL and while a lot of orders had been made by say the start of 1862 many had probably not yet been delivered simply because of the time it would take to construct and ship them. Ditto with other military items. Of course this would change once a blockade was started as their lible for seizure so could well not be received. Although this would be less important in a later intervention due to some other factor.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
An interesting question. I have seen information that in 1815 the RN seized several fishing vessels - apparently connected to a dispute about the impact of the Treaty of Ghent on the 1783 Treaty regarding fishing rights - but the British Government quickly revoked the seizures. I haven't seen anything regarding similar seizures during the War.

Was that after they knew about the peace settlement or prior to that point? If the former it could have been due to dispute over the terms of the treaty, which would explain why London revoked the seizures if the local forces had exceeded their authority under the agreement. If before knowledge of the treaty reached them then such seizures would have been rightly revoked before the two nations were no longer at war.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
One big question is does purchase mean ordered, paid for or received delivery of? I recall some discussion of this in the run up to your Trent War TL and while a lot of orders had been made by say the start of 1862 many had probably not yet been delivered simply because of the time it would take to construct and ship them. Ditto with other military items. Of course this would change once a blockade was started as their lible for seizure so could well not be received. Although this would be less important in a later intervention due to some other factor.
My understanding is that most weapons were shipped Q1 and Q2 1862. Robcraufurd did a series of analyses on the topic which went on 67th's blog.
 
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