Discussion England Supported the Confederacy?

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Saphroneth

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Much of that had to do with public pressure. You can blame it on money and greed, or whatever. There were Pro Confederate Brits in high places. Official recognition, they didn’t get. UN-official help, they did.
Can you give an example of unofficial help the Confederates got that was extralegal?
 

uaskme

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Can you give an example of unofficial help the Confederates got that was extralegal?
Didn’t say it was illegal. However Laird gave the Confederates the latest Shipping Technology. Played Havoc with the Yankee Paddled wheeled sailing Ships. Confederates would of had no Navy, if not for the Brits. Not just a Minor thing. There is no doubt, there were influential Pro Confederate Brits who aided the Confederacy. Who were also inside the Government. Not saying the British Government directly aided the Confederates.
 
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Saphroneth

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Didn’t say it was illegal.
Then surely there's no problem? If the British don't violate neutrality laws, then they're obviously being sufficiently neutral to be within their laws, and we already know of several ways the British framed their neutrality so as to benefit the Union; they certainly sold the Union enough gunpowder and small arms.

However Laird gave the Confederates the latest Shipping Technology. Played Havoc with the Yankee Paddled wheeled sailing Ships.
To be precise, he successfully gave (i.e. sold) them one ship, the Alabama. True that she was the latest technology, but not because she was a screw vessel - it was because she had a rainwater tank and a lifting screw so she could spend most of her time under sail.
His other attempts, such as the Rams, were caught before they left the country.
 

uaskme

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Then surely there's no problem? If the British don't violate neutrality laws, then they're obviously being sufficiently neutral to be within their laws, and we already know of several ways the British framed their neutrality so as to benefit the Union; they certainly sold the Union enough gunpowder and small arms.


To be precise, he successfully gave (i.e. sold) them one ship, the Alabama. True that she was the latest technology, but not because she was a screw vessel - it was because she had a rainwater tank and a lifting screw so she could spend most of her time under sail.
His other attempts, such as the Rams, were caught before they left the country.
Yep, I’m familiar with it. Bad Press had something to do with it. The Rams That is.
 
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Saphroneth

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Yep, I’m familiar with it. Bad Press had something to do with it. The Rams That is.
I'm not so sure. The Alabama was nearly caught before departure, after all, and only got away because of the trouble involved for the government to ascertain the identity of the buyers*; compare that to the Confederate reception in France, where Slidell approached Napoleon III personally and got his approval to contract for the two rams built under the cover names Sphinx and Cheops.

*at least one other ship was seized but released because it could not be proven she was intended for the CSN
 
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The big Investment houses in The Northern States Carried State Notes on Southern Railroads, which were built with Slavery. They loaned money to Planters who used Slaves as collateral. They were 1 step outside of Slavery!



The United States also had to pay compensation to Britain in the same settlement for its actions during the war.
Sorry, but if I'm reading your comment correctly, the only states that issued "States Notes" were many of the Southern States. As a numismatist and former notaphilist I am unaware of any "Northern States" who owned and operated a state bank. Can you provide some examples?
 

Polloco

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I haven't read the whole thread yet, so its very possible someone else brought up this subject. If so please disregard. In fact Someone did mention it on this forum on a differant post. That trip taken by Lt. Col. Freemantle from Texas to New York City in the middle of the Civil War had to be more than a coincidence. It was almost like he was on a fact finding tour for his country.
 
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USS ALASKA

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Sorry, but if I'm reading your comment correctly, the only states that issued "States Notes" were many of the Southern States. As a numismatist and former notaphilist I am unaware of any "Northern States" who owned and operated a state bank. Can you provide some examples?
Sir, I do not wish to speak for @edgeworthy but if we substitute the word 'bond' for 'note', it would be a more accurate description of the debt instruments used by states, (and the railroads themselves), to fund railroad development...

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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wausaubob

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The British had to understand that the US was s
I'm not so sure. The Alabama was nearly caught before departure, after all, and only got away because of the trouble involved for the government to ascertain the identity of the buyers*; compare that to the Confederate reception in France, where Slidell approached Napoleon III personally and got his approval to contract for the two rams built under the cover names Sphinx and Cheops.

*at least one other ship was seized but released because it could not be proven she was intended for the CSN
I think the ship that became the Shenandoah also got out late in 1864.
 

wausaubob

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I think the major irritant was the amount of military equipment the Confederacy was able to buy with money raised from cotton that was smuggled through the blockade. These sales were not a violation of the blockade, nor were British companies the only people sending money and salt into the Confederacy. In general the US claim for indirect damages was political poison more directed at Grant than at Britain.
Its hard to believe that US commanders did not get occasional hints about the locations of the Florida and the Alabama. The US had a small searching navy and did not have the same consular power as the British. The British navy was no fan of the Confederates, and their links to pirates and slave traders in Louisiana and Texas.
 
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Saphroneth

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I haven't read the whole thread yet, so its very possible someone else brought up this subject. If so please disregard. In fact Someone did mention it on this forum on a differant post. That trip taken by Lt. Col. Freemantle from Texas to New York City in the middle of the Civil War had to be more than a coincidence. It was almost like he was on a fact finding tour for his country.
Why does it have to be more than a coincidence? He was a personable officer from a country the CSA was desperate to impress.

Its hard to believe that US commanders did not get occasional hints about the locations of the Florida and the Alabama. The US had a small searching navy and did not have the same consular power as the British.
Oh, they did, it's just that the SecNavy was just terrible at dealing with an enemy cruiser. As Semmes explained:


the old gentleman [Welles] does not seem once to have thought of so simple a policy as stationing a ship anywhere. The reader who has followed the Alabama in her career thus far, has seen how many vital points he left unguarded. His plan seemed to be, first to wait until he heard of the Alabama being somewhere, and then to send off a number of cruisers, post-haste, in pursuit of her, as though he expected her to stand still, and wait for her pursuers! This method of his left the game entirely in my own hands.


I think the ship that became the Shenandoah also got out late in 1864.
Yes, though in that case she wasn't even a purpose-built commerce raider (she was just a ship under construction which the CSN purchased in secret) making it even harder to tell that she should be stopped.
 

wausaubob

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Why does it have to be more than a coincidence? He was a personable officer from a country the CSA was desperate to impress.


Oh, they did, it's just that the SecNavy was just terrible at dealing with an enemy cruiser. As Semmes explained:


the old gentleman [Welles] does not seem once to have thought of so simple a policy as stationing a ship anywhere. The reader who has followed the Alabama in her career thus far, has seen how many vital points he left unguarded. His plan seemed to be, first to wait until he heard of the Alabama being somewhere, and then to send off a number of cruisers, post-haste, in pursuit of her, as though he expected her to stand still, and wait for her pursuers! This method of his left the game entirely in my own hands.



Yes, though in that case she wasn't even a purpose-built commerce raider (she was just a ship under construction which the CSN purchased in secret) making it even harder to tell that she should be stopped.
I think when Semmes headed towards the Channel it was a desperate move. He knew he needed to refit and a French port was his best chance. Once he got that close to London and Liverpool, the odds of a fight went way up.
Concerning the Shenandoah, it was even less a fighting ship than the Alabama. Other than uselessly terrorizing old whaling ships, it did not accomplish much. The whales did not become Confederate allies.
 

Saphroneth

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Concerning the Shenandoah, it was even less a fighting ship than the Alabama. Other than uselessly terrorizing old whaling ships, it did not accomplish much. The whales did not become Confederate allies.
Well, the point of commerce raiding is rather to cause a lot of commercial damage to harm the enemy economy. It was actually US doctrine at the time for any war they considered themselves to be likely to fight - fight a guerre de course rather than contending with the main strength of the enemy navy.
 
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wausaubob

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Whether they supported the US, the plan adopted by the US took on a good deal of British influence.
The British could point out that the equivalent city to London was New York. New York was the financial capital and merchant capital of the US. Once the Confederacy was cut off from direct trade to New York, the cost of everything goes up. That raises the question of whether New York would tolerate that. If New York respected the blockade, the English could respect. If New York became a smugglers haven, why shouldn't the British openly defy the blockade?
The other element was that the US captured almost all of the river ports and blockaded the seaports early in the war. This meant the US captured most of the Confederate ship building potential by June of 1862.
New Orleans was the gateway to the Mississippi, and the biggest commercial city in the south. It was also essential to having an efficient market for slaves. The British had tried to capture New Orleans, but they had been unsuccessful. The US captured New Orleans and the slave trade was in trouble thereafter.
 

Saphroneth

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Given that Barings Bank was the traditional overseas bank for the USA and actually remained so during the War of 1812, I imagine that one's probably fairly hard to change.
 
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O' Be Joyful

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The whales did not become Confederate allies.

H/T @5fish :wink: :

The Confederacy desire to cripple the whaling industry, it along with the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania marks the beginning of the end of whaling industry here in America. The Confederacy can be proud due to their traitorous ways, many whales are alive today. Who would have thought the confederacy were whale lovers?
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-legacy-end-of-whaling.25258/#post-494359
 

Urbancohort

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Sir, will have to respectfully disagree with this. If anything it cut down on '...diplomatic scrambling...' every time a ship was stopped...
To wit;


https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-blockade-waste-or-war-winner.74051/#post-486006


https://civilwartalk.com/threads/blockade-proclamation.88108/#post-697513


https://civilwartalk.com/threads/blockade-proclamation.88108/page-2#post-698055


https://civilwartalk.com/threads/proclaiming-a-blockade-vs-closing-the-ports.99309/#post-867836


https://civilwartalk.com/threads/proclaiming-a-blockade-vs-closing-the-ports.99309/#post-867972

Once again, apologies to @Mark F. Jenkins for pulling his quotes out of their original threads and thanks to him for writing all that up in an easy-to-digest manner!
5289

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Very informative and interesting. I shall read in detail but really appreciate the effort you took in this.

Many, many thanks
 
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