England Supported the Confederacy?

#41
Actions always speak louder then words. Small arms flowed freely to the Confederacy until Willmington was captured. The Union openly recruited British citizens on British soil. Only strong U.S. political pressure kept the Laird Rams from being sold to the Confederate Navy.
The UK openly sold weapons to both sides.
Leftyhunter
But the free flow of small arms shipments does not prove that the British government was "allowing" or behind it. Do you think the fact that in late February 1865, the Confederacy had no money, no ports open and almost no life remaining, might of had something to do with the discontinuance of any type of goods being shipped to it?
 

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#42
But the free flow of small arms shipments does not prove that the British government was "allowing" or behind it. Do you think the fact that in late February 1865, the Confederacy had no money, no ports open and almost no life remaining, might of had something to do with the discontinuance of any type of goods being shipped to it?
My point is that the British along with other governments were complicit on the arms trade with the Confederacy. If they wished yo stop it they could have. Be it a Laird Ram or a rifled musket they are both deadly weapons.
So in answer to the OPs question the UK and other nations supported no sides but their own side. They tried to make as much money as they could with the exception of the Laird Rams which was stopped due to U.S. political pressure.
Leftyhunter
 
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#43
My tour guide in Halifax, Canada insisted that the British stationed soldiers in Halifax after the Civil War because England feared the United States would invade in retaliation for the British support of the Confederacy. I said I thought England might fear that, but that essentially the British did NOT support the Confederacy. Was I right or was he?
And @Copperhead-mi ,
See the article " British arms sustained the Confederacy" ww.militaryhistory.com.
Without British arms impirts the Confederacy would according to the writter collapse in 18 months. That is not to say the UK supported the Confederacy but was willing as were other natiins to openly sell weapons to it.
Leftyhunter
 
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#44
Be that as it may, after April 1862, the US moved into the slot previously occupied by Portugal, with respect to the suppression of the slave trade. The British navy was not enforcing the US blockade, but from the African coast, to Havana, they were relieving the US of the cost of suppressing the slave trade. From the time the international observers watched the US navy in action at Port Royal, the Europeans had a good idea that the US was going to be all right.
 
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#45
Lord Lyons and the British were giving plenty of advice with respect to "how" and "why" with respect to the building up the blockade. The fall of the Confederacy was going to mean the virtual end of slavery in the western hemisphere. PM Palmerston was going to maximize the % chance of success once the US put the anti-slavery program in motion.
 
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#46
after the civil war ended Secretary of State Seward, felt that england had supported the confederacy to the point that the war lasted two years longer than it should have. Seward wanted british columbia and possibly all of canada as payment for this act. Sirs john a macdonald(first prime minister of canada ) quickly formed the confederacy of canada whereby cutting off any claims that the united states had against england. and that is how canada was started
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1683499.Canadians_in_the_Civil_War
 

19thGeorgia

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#47
My tour guide in Halifax, Canada insisted that the British stationed soldiers in Halifax after the Civil War because England feared the United States would invade in retaliation for the British support of the Confederacy. I said I thought England might fear that, but that essentially the British did NOT support the Confederacy. Was I right or was he?
From the Webster-Ashburton Treaty-
"ARTICLE X.
It is agreed that the United States and Her Britannic Majesty shall, upon mutual requisitions by them, or their Ministers, Officers, or authorities, respectively made, deliver up to justice, all persons who, being charged with the crime of murder, or assault with intent to commit murder, or Piracy, or arson, or robbery, or Forgery, or the utterance of forged paper, committed within the jurisdiction of either, shall seek an asylum, or shall be found, within the territories of the other"
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/br-1842.asp

Britain's declaration of neutrality protected Confederates from this provision.
 
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#48
after the civil war ended Secretary of State Seward, felt that england had supported the confederacy to the point that the war lasted two years longer than it should have. Seward wanted british columbia and possibly all of canada as payment for this act. Sirs john a macdonald(first prime minister of canada ) quickly formed the confederacy of canada whereby cutting off any claims that the united states had against england. and that is how canada was started
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1683499.Canadians_in_the_Civil_War
Senator Charles Sumner was the advocate of the so called collateral damages. Senator Sumner had a large Irish/American constituency which was highly influential. Sec'y Seward produced a settlement near the end of the Johnson presidency, which was viewed as unacceptable by the Republicans or the incoming administration.
Reviving all the wild talk about invading British North America ignored the fact that the US was $2B in debt with $400M in unbacked currency, and desparately needed British capital. It was time for a talk-a-thon and all parties realized it.
 
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Malingerer

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#49
I always got the sense that GB (at least during the 19th century) had ambivalent feelings when it came to the USA - if we succeeded in the great representative government experiment then it was "good for you little cousins" if not then it's "told you so - the mob cannot govern". Hard to beat the satisfaction of a good "told you so".
 

BlueandGrayl

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#50
Not necessarily the nation per se but there were certain segments in British society that did support the Confederacy examples shipbuilding companies, pro-Confederate organizations such as aid groups and the Index by Henry Hotze, and even some government officials such as Palmerston and Russell.

The main impetus for why there was British interest in recognizing the Confederacy in these certain segments between 1861-1863 prior to Gettysburg/Vicksburg especially during the Maryland and Kentucky Campaigns in September 1862 were:
1. Most considered Confederate independence as unchallengeable and that the North could not defeat the South which looked true when you consider the events of Bull Run/Manassas I July 1861 to post-Trent Affair January 1826 or the Seven Days Summer 1862-early to mid September fall pre-Antietam 1862 especially the latter as after Bull Run/Manassas II Palmerston and Russell agreed to discuss recognition in October before Antietam/Perryville. This was the main impetus for recognition/meditation that the Confederacy had properly established its claim to independence and the Union could not win.

2. Cotton, since most British mills still used cotton from the South due of a self-imposed embargo coupled with the blockade it caused a cotton famine.
 

Waterloo50

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#51
I think Britain would have preferred a peaceful separation, that was certainly the opinion of Lord Lyons. Lyons had his finger on the pulse of the British government and the general consensus was that the confederacy was ‘mad’ to try and dissolve the union, the word around parliament was that even if the union was successful the chances were that the USA would eventually fall apart. It’s true that a large majority of the British upper classes and industrialists were covertly in support of the confederacy but for the ordinary working class Englishman, his feelings leaned in support of the union. In my humble opinion, it would have been extremely difficult for parliament to openly support one side or the other, far too much at stake. I’ve stated many times before that I think the Brits played ‘wait and see’..don’t forget, we were also occupied with other potential political problems but of a European nature,
 
#52
And @Copperhead-mi ,
See the article " British arms sustained the Confederacy" ww.militaryhistory.com.
Without British arms impirts the Confederacy would according to the writter collapse in 18 months. That is not to say the UK supported the Confederacy but was willing as were other natiins to openly sell weapons to it.
Leftyhunter
<groan> There is not nor has there been any dispute on my part that British small arms and ammunition were essential to both sides, especially the Confederacy. What I have said and still maintain is that the small arms sales and shipments were with private firms and not the British government. You keep claiming that the British government was complicit in the trade or suggest that the government was directly involved yet you've offered no sources to support your claims.
 
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#53
<groan> There is not nor has there been any dispute on my part that British small arms and ammunition were essential to both sides, especially the Confederacy. What I have said and still maintain is that the small arms sales and shipments were with private firms and not the British government. You keep claiming that the British government was complicit in the trade or suggest that the government was directly involved yet you've offered no sources to support your claims.
I am merely pointing out that if the British could stop the private sale of the Laird Rams they could of done the same for small arms to the Confederacy.
Leftyhunter
 

major bill

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#54
We might need a better understanding of British laws during the Civil War era to know what the British government could have done to stop private sales of small arms and clothing and such.
 

alexjack

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#55
It's a shame that the British government did not have the same sense of sympathy with the efforts of the North to bring about the end of slavery that the common and largely uneducated working classes did.......


Lincoln's Letter to the Working-Men
of Manchester, England

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 19, 1863.
To the Working-men of Manchester:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the address and resolutions which you sent me on the eve of the new year. When I came, on the 4th of March, 1861, through a free and constitutional election to preside in the Government of the United States, the country was found at the verge of civil war. Whatever might have been the cause, or whosesoever the fault, one duty, paramount to all others, was_ before me, namely, to maintain and preserve at once the Constitution and the integrity of the Federal Republic. A conscientious purpose to perform this duty is the key to all the measures of administration which have been and to all which will hereafter be pursued. Under our frame of government and my official oath, I could not depart from this purpose if I would. It is not always in the power of governments to enlarge or restrict the scope of moral results which follow the policies that they may deem it necessary for the public safety from time to time to adopt.

I have understood well that the duty of self-preservation rests solely with the American people; but I have at the same time been aware that favor or disfavor of foreign nations might have a material influence in enlarging or prolonging the struggle with disloyal men in which the country is engaged. A fair examination of history has served to authorize a belief that the past actions and influences of the United States were generally regarded as having been beneficial toward mankind. I have, therefore, reckoned upon the forbearance of nations. Circumstances -to some of which you kindly allude - induce me especially to expect that if justice and good faith should be practised by the United States, they would encounter no hostile influence on the part of Great Britain. It is now a pleasant duty to acknowledge the demonstration you have given of your desire that a spirit of amity and peace toward this country may prevail in the councils of your Queen, who is respected and esteemed in your own country only more than she is by the kindred nation which has its home on this side of the Atlantic.

I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working-men of Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis. It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to overthrow this government, which was built upon the foundation of human rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain the favor of Europe. Through the action of our disloyal citizens, the working- men of Europe have been subjected to severe trials, for the purpose of forcing their sanction to that attempt. Under the circumstances, I cannot but regard your decisive utterances upon the question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is indeed an energetic and re-inspiring assurance of the inherent power of truth, and of the ultimate and universal triumph of justice, humanity, and freedom. I do not doubt that the sentiments you have expressed will be sustained by your great nation; and, on the other hand, I have no hesitation in assuring you that they will excite admiration, esteem, and the most reciprocal feelings of friendship among the American people. I hail this interchange of sentiment, therefore, as an augury that whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your country or my own, the peace and friendship which now exist between the two nations will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Submitted by Capt. Gary Holman, Federal Staff
 

Northern Light

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#56
after the civil war ended Secretary of State Seward, felt that england had supported the confederacy to the point that the war lasted two years longer than it should have. Seward wanted british columbia and possibly all of canada as payment for this act. Sirs john a macdonald(first prime minister of canada ) quickly formed the confederacy of canada whereby cutting off any claims that the united states had against england. and that is how canada was started
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1683499.Canadians_in_the_Civil_War
Not quite. Seward got quite belligerent with with Britain following the Civil War for a variety of reasons. As usual, the go-to position was an attempt at a land-grab of British North America as "reparation" for Britain's so-called support of the Confederacy.
The confederation of the British Colonies came about for a lot of reasons, but was mostly due to internal political squabbles that created a deadlock in power in what is now Ontario and Quebec. Creating a union of the five colonies would break that deadlock. Britain was also realizing that its armies were too small to effectively protect its vast Empire and encouraged the union so that Canada would be responsible for its own defence. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Confederation
 

Northern Light

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#57
And @Copperhead-mi ,
See the article " British arms sustained the Confederacy" ww.militaryhistory.com.
Without British arms impirts the Confederacy would according to the writter collapse in 18 months. That is not to say the UK supported the Confederacy but was willing as were other natiins to openly sell weapons to it.
Leftyhunter
Whilst British manufacturers may have sold arms to the Confederacy or to the Union this does not reflect the British government's official position. As Britain did not recognize the Confederacy as a nation, they may have been no legal reason or desire to stop such exports.
 

USS ALASKA

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#58
Not necessarily the nation per se but there were certain segments in British society that did support the Confederacy examples shipbuilding companies...
Shipyards did not 'support' the Confederacy any more than my local dairy 'supports' my family when I buy their milk. The Confederacy just happened to be another customer that had the cash - or an equivalent - to acquire their product. To 'support' the Confederacy implies they gave deeply discounted prices - or outright donation - or refused to build ships for the Union.
646

Cheers,
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#59
For the British a quick decision in the US Civil War would have been best. The only quick outcome that was possible was separation. That runs contrary to the other British interest, which was the end of slavery in the western hemisphere.
When it became clear that the two interests could not be achieved simultaneously, the British had a dilemma.
Then the third interest came into play. The United States was the larger economy. It produced a surplus of wheat. There were Brits with investments in the US and other US citizens living in London, with more investments in the US. Most of the people who had immigrated from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England to the United States between 1820-1860 lived in the northern states. The United States was the best customer. And cotton could be grown in other places around the world, outside the southern areas of the United States. US was preferable, but it was not the only fiber.
By mid June of 1863 it was much clearer that the United States was going to control the main cotton areas and slavery as it had existed before 1860 was not going to survive the Civil War in the United States.
 

67th Tigers

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#60
My tour guide in Halifax, Canada insisted that the British stationed soldiers in Halifax after the Civil War because England feared the United States would invade in retaliation for the British support of the Confederacy. I said I thought England might fear that, but that essentially the British did NOT support the Confederacy. Was I right or was he?
Halifax was a major Royal Navy base, and was permanently garrisoned. In 1861 two regular regiments, the 62nd and 63rd were stationed in the Maritime provinces, along with a body of artillerymen who manned the habour defences of Halifax.

When the USS San Jacinto violated the RMS Trent's right of innocent passage there was a very serious move towards war with the US, which was a separate issue to the Confederate war. Halifax was a major staging post by which British troops moved. The St. Lawrence river had frozen. When news reached Britain of the incident, a brigade at the highest readiness level boarded a ship immediately with orders to try and offload troops at Riviere du Loup (when the railway met the river), but only 9 coys of the lead battalion (1st Bn, 16th) offloaded, without their heavy equipment. Everyone else diverted to Halifax and were to sledge across New Brunswick into Canada proper.

The first battalion to go via sledge were the 62nd regiment at Halifax. They'd been relieved by the arrival of 1st Bn, Grenadier Guards at Halifax. They moved on the steamer Delta to St. Andrews, up a bit on the railway, and then sledged across the country to make sure the huttas were all intact for the movement. As more regiments arrived they relieved the regiments at Halifax to go to Canada in the sequence of arrival.
 



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