European Investment and the ACW

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USS ALASKA

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Having read through many of the threads relating to the possibility of European intervention in the ACW, I have a question that I couldn't find an answer to.

Was the potential loss of investment ever brought up as a reason not to intervene in the ACW? A tremendous amount of what would be now known as 'euro' dollars was invested into antebellum America. British, French, Dutch and German cash flowed into the US, especially in what would become the Union, if for no other reason than to park it some place 'safe' to get it away from the constant wars that seemed to plague Europe at the time. Was anyone mentioning to their Parliamentary representatives - "Hey dude, I have a load of pounds invested in American enterprises. If I lose that because we support the South and they get 'nationalized' or defaulted on, I can no longer monetarily support you in the manner I have been."

Were ANY investors campaigning with their respective governments to NOT support the South because of possible loses?

Thanks,
USS ALASKA
 

leftyhunter

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Having read through many of the threads relating to the possibility of European intervention in the ACW, I have a question that I couldn't find an answer to.

Was the potential loss of investment ever brought up as a reason not to intervene in the ACW? A tremendous amount of what would be now known as 'euro' dollars was invested into antebellum America. British, French, Dutch and German cash flowed into the US, especially in what would become the Union, if for no other reason than to park it some place 'safe' to get it away from the constant wars that seemed to plague Europe at the time. Was anyone mentioning to their Parliamentary representatives - "Hey dude, I have a load of pounds invested in American enterprises. If I lose that because we support the South and they get 'nationalized' or defaulted on, I can no longer monetarily support you in the manner I have been."

Were ANY investors campaigning with their respective governments to NOT support the South because of possible loses?

Thanks,
USS ALASKA
Interesting question. We can never know,what was privately said. A historical researcher would have to dig up Civil War era publications such has the British magazine " the Economist" and other magazines and newspapers that were read by the respective European businessmen of that era.
On the other hand their was no major clamor among the population of any European country for military intervention in the Civil War.
Leftyhunter
 

chelyabinsk

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Was anyone mentioning to their Parliamentary representatives - "Hey dude, I have a load of pounds invested in American enterprises. If I lose that because we support the South and they get 'nationalized' or defaulted on, I can no longer monetarily support you in the manner I have been."
The answer is no, not least because it wasn't general practice:

'The policy of the United States, as reflected chiefly in legislation and in treaties, has been very consistent in regard to debts and shares of moneys in the public funds or in banks, irrespective of the residence of the owner. Although debts were generally sequestered during the Revolutionary War and actually confiscated in one of the States, the practice of confiscation was declared in a permanent treaty between the United States and Great Britain in 1794 to be unjust and impolitic, and although this declaration was not repeated in subsequent treaties, the provision against confiscation of debts has been embodied in the treaties of the United States with such regularity that, with due reservation in regard to the possibility that the usage may not have fully developed into a rule of customary law binding upon all nations, it may safely be said that it has been the consistent policy as well as practice of the United States to refrain from the confiscation of debts and shares or moneys in the public funds or in banks.' (Edgar Turlington, 'Treatment of Enemy Private Property in the United States before the World War,' American Journal of International Law, v.22 n.2, April 1928)

The US didn't confiscate British assets in the War of 1812 - indeed, the Russians continued to pay interest to British bondholders during the Crimean War - so the expectation was that the Union would, if not pay the interest, at least honour the existing securities.

Just to confirm this, I checked the two big Parliamentary debates on intervention (18 July 1862 and 30 June 1863) and the post-Trent Affair discussion (the Queen's Speech of 6 February 1862 and Bright's question on 17 February 1862) for relevant keywords (asset, debt, stock, share, security/ies, invest, merchant, confiscate/ion, repudiate/ion, seize/ure, nationalise). As far as I can tell, there wasn't any mention of the Union expropriating British assets in the event of a war.

The other factor I should probably note is that there was no question of Parliamentary representatives being 'monetarily support[ed]' by their constituents, except in a few cases where there would be a subscription to fund the cost of electing them. MPs weren't even paid at all until 1911.

A historical researcher would have to dig up Civil War era publications such has the British magazine " the Economist" and other magazines and newspapers that were read by the respective European businessmen of that era.
'The only other important mode in which the Americans could injure us is by not paying their debts to us, and of this there is certainly some fear... Though the trading debts of the North are unusually small, yet the "securities" of various kinds held in this country, of which the interest is annually payable by the North to us, are as numerous as ever. Some of this interest would probably be duly paid in the event of a rupture, but it would be very sanguine to expect the whole.' (Economist, 7 December 1861)

As you can see, just as I summarised above, the expectation was that there would be no expropriation of assets. In fact, the above editorial concluded with:
'On the whole, therefore, we may conclude by observing that it would be idle vanity in the Americans to fancy that they can eke out their admitted military inferiority to this country by a disastrous superiority in the infliction of commercial disaster. Our power to inflict it on them is much greater than theirs to inflict it on us.'

As The Economist seems to be an acceptable benchmark for the opinions of the British commercial community, I should also point out the following:
'Nevertheless, with all these grave considerations in view, we do not find a single merchant, and scarcely a single man, who does not admit that, unless substantial reparation be offered, war, with all its contingencies - nay, with all its certainties - must be cheerfully accepted.' (Economist, 28 December 1861)
 
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Mk VII

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Parliamentarians didn't have to solicit funds from their constituents - they would already be independently wealthy. If they weren't, they wouldn't be in the House in the first place. Being an MP was more a social obligation than a career, especially as they weren't paid to do it. Many would not have visited their constituency more than a few times - once a year was considered normal.

The Economist's remarks appear to date from the time of the Trent case, when feelings were inflamed, however the Lincoln cabinet decided to back down and the crisis passed.
 

leftyhunter

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The answer is no, not least because it wasn't general practice:

'The policy of the United States, as reflected chiefly in legislation and in treaties, has been very consistent in regard to debts and shares of moneys in the public funds or in banks, irrespective of the residence of the owner. Although debts were generally sequestered during the Revolutionary War and actually confiscated in one of the States, the practice of confiscation was declared in a permanent treaty between the United States and Great Britain in 1794 to be unjust and impolitic, and although this declaration was not repeated in subsequent treaties, the provision against confiscation of debts has been embodied in the treaties of the United States with such regularity that, with due reservation in regard to the possibility that the usage may not have fully developed into a rule of customary law binding upon all nations, it may safely be said that it has been the consistent policy as well as practice of the United States to refrain from the confiscation of debts and shares or moneys in the public funds or in banks.' (Edgar Turlington, 'Treatment of Enemy Private Property in the United States before the World War,' American Journal of International Law, v.22 n.2, April 1928)

The US didn't confiscate British assets in the War of 1812 - indeed, the Russians continued to pay interest to British bondholders during the Crimean War - so the expectation was that the Union would, if not pay the interest, at least honour the existing securities.

Just to confirm this, I checked the two big Parliamentary debates on intervention (18 July 1862 and 30 June 1863) and the post-Trent Affair discussion (the Queen's Speech of 6 February 1862 and Bright's question on 17 February 1862) for relevant keywords (asset, debt, stock, share, security/ies, invest, merchant, confiscate/ion, repudiate/ion, seize/ure, nationalise). As far as I can tell, there wasn't any mention of the Union expropriating British assets in the event of a war.

The other factor I should probably note is that there was no question of Parliamentary representatives being 'monetarily support[ed]' by their constituents, except in a few cases where there would be a subscription to fund the cost of electing them. MPs weren't even paid at all until 1911.


'The only other important mode in which the Americans could injure us is by not paying their debts to us, and of this there is certainly some fear... Though the trading debts of the North are unusually small, yet the "securities" of various kinds held in this country, of which the interest is annually payable by the North to us, are as numerous as ever. Some of this interest would probably be duly paid in the event of a rupture, but it would be very sanguine to expect the whole.' (Economist, 7 December 1861)

As you can see, just as I summarised above, the expectation was that there would be no expropriation of assets. In fact, the above editorial concluded with:
'On the whole, therefore, we may conclude by observing that it would be idle vanity in the Americans to fancy that they can eke out their admitted military inferiority to this country by a disastrous superiority in the infliction of commercial disaster. Our power to inflict it on them is much greater than theirs to inflict it on us.'

As The Economist seems to be an acceptable benchmark for the opinions of the British commercial community, I should also point out the following:
'Nevertheless, with all these grave considerations in view, we do not find a single merchant, and scarcely a single man, who does not admit that, unless substantial reparation be offered, war, with all its contingencies - nay, with all its certainties - must be cheerfully accepted.' (Economist, 28 December 1861)
While I can't speak for @USS ALASKA I interpreted his question has ; would a potential war with the United States endanger their investments in the U.S.?
By endangering their investments I was thinking more in terms of an interruption of buisness not so much nationalization. For example a factory or buisness that exports products to the UK now has to wait until the war with the UK is over.
Also no "substantial reparations " were made to Great Britain after the Trent Affair was concluded. All the British got were two useless Confederate diplomats.
Leftyhunter
 

chelyabinsk

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The Economist's remarks appear to date from the time of the Trent case, when feelings were inflamed
It was the closest to war that Britain and the Union got, which made it the best option for seeing if the British were worried about their investments. When recognition was discussed further down the line, the British expected it to be a diplomatic act with no further military involvement. That means there's even less consideration of expropriation than there was at the time of the Trent, which wasn't much to begin with. However, the realities of economic warfare didn't change much over the course of this period from the perspective of neutrals anticipating entry into the war, which makes the Trent example a reasonable yardstick for our purposes.

For example a factory or buisness that exports products to the UK now has to wait until the war with the UK is over.
Generally, if the British wanted to build a factory to sell things in the UK they built it in Britain. After all, if it hadn't been cheaper to manufacture in Britain then the US wouldn't have been erecting tariff walls to keep British goods out. Those tariff walls result in British steel manufacturers building US plants in the 1870s, and a subsequent hike in 1883 sees some cotton manufacturers following suit: however, until the turn of the century these plants still mostly sold into the US market rather than back to the UK.

The important thing to remember is that in this period, when we talk about British investment in the United States, we're overwhelmingly talking about British people owning fixed-term interest-bearing bonds issued by American states or private entities headquartered in the United States (such as railways and banks). These are the 'securities' described by The Economist and the 'debts' described by Turlington. And, as I've illustrated, these investments were not usually expropriated: in fact, the interest payments were often still made. That's why the expropriation of British investments wasn't a factor in British discussions about entering the war, and why the commercial community were apparently ready to go to war over the Trent.

no "substantial reparations " were made to Great Britain after the Trent Affair was concluded. All the British got were two useless Confederate diplomats.
The quote says 'substantial reparation,' not 'reparations'. 'Reparation' means to make amends, not necessarily through financial transfers. The reparation for the boarding of the Trent, of course, was the return of the two individuals whom the Union had seized illegally from a neutral vessel.
 
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USS ALASKA

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The other factor I should probably note is that there was no question of Parliamentary representatives being 'monetarily support[ed]' by their constituents, except in a few cases where there would be a subscription to fund the cost of electing them.
Really? No budding industrialist or traders or folks invested in the EIC trying to sway votes on protectionism vs free trade? And no, I don't know sir, that's why I ask...

MPs weren't even paid at all until 1911.
Which might be why they wanted / needed funding...once again, don't know so the ask.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

USS ALASKA

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Perhaps nationalization was the wrong word to use because it suggests governmental action. But I can see a potential for 'defaults' on bonds be they company or state issues.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

leftyhunter

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Perhaps nationalization was the wrong word to use because it suggests governmental action. But I can see a potential for 'defaults' on bonds be they company or state issues.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
We have a lot of threads on why the UK and other nations did not recognize the Confederacy . The main reason is at the end of the day each nation has to examine the risk vs reward in going to war with the Union vs just trade with both sides .
Trading with both sides including weaponry just made more sense then getting bogged down in a war.
Leftyhunter
 
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chelyabinsk

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No budding industrialist or traders or folks invested in the EIC trying to sway votes on protectionism vs free trade?
Not really- certainly not at this period, because the East India Company had ceased to exist in 1857 and the question of free trade versus protection had been settled in the 1840s (the Conservatives dropping it as a policy in 1852).

Which might be why they wanted / needed funding...once again, don't know so the ask.
The 1859 election was the first in which there was no legal requirement for MPs to have a specific annual income of £600 or £300, depending on the type of seat for which they sat. There are various ways of measuring the value of income over time, but £300 in 1859 would equate to between £28,560 and £797,000 today. The last MP to be prosecuted for lying about their income was sentenced to four months in prison in April 1858.

Despite the removal of the income requirements, MPs had to be wealthy enough to afford to live in London for half the year without being paid, as well as donating appropriate sums to local charities (a practice known as 'nursing the constituency,' coals for the elderly at Christmas being a popular choice) and funding their bulk of their own election and re-election campaigns when Parliament was dissolved. At this time, there were no organised political parties: we talk about 'Liberals' and 'Conservatives', but that either meant a group of MPs who more or less voted the same way, or a collection of like-minded individuals in a particular constituency who managed their local election affairs. The 1832 Reform Act introduced the phenomenon whereby each constituency would update its electoral register once a year, and most of the funds provided by the local party went towards this annual registration activity.

At elections, therefore, the MP bore the majority of the costs (hiring rooms, paying messengers, printing posters, and so forth). There were exceptions, as I've said, notably the practice of starting a subscription to refund the expenses of a defeated candidate if they thought he'd been unfairly treated. I've also seen one constituency where the local party funded the entire campaign themselves: their candidate had been successfully prosecuted for bribery and unseated at the previous election, and they wanted to redeem his character.

Perhaps nationalization was the wrong word to use because it suggests governmental action. But I can see a potential for 'defaults' on bonds be they company or state issues.
Defaulting on bonds is fine, as long as you don't mind your cost of borrowing for any future debt issues rising dramatically. This is what happened to the French ancien regime: they cancelled debts so many times that the financiers began to charge incredibly high interest rates, intending to make their money back before any future debt cancellation. If US companies have to offer higher interest rates to attract investors, it gives them both cash flow and profitability problems and reduces the amount of capital available to invest.

For instance, the Denver and Rio Grande railway historically offered a coupon rate of $35 per year for a $1,000 bond. If investors trust US railway bonds less, the Denver and Rio Grande might have to offer $70 or more, would have to pay that extra interest in cash every single year, and might still raise less money than it did historically. With less capital (capital here used in the broader sense, as bonds are technically a liability), the company is less able to fund its railway operations. It's also more likely to go bust in the event of any downturn, a factor that will reinforce the idea that US railways are a bad investment.

The other problem, of course, is if the bondholders sue the defaulters after the war and the US courts uphold their property rights. It reduces the overall economic penalty to the whole of the US for defaulting (though it won't eliminate it entirely), but the companies who defaulted now have to find the money to pay the accrued interest.
 

USS ALASKA

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...because the East India Company had ceased to exist in 1857 and the question of free trade versus protection had been settled in the 1840s.
Indeed sir, that is the situation I was referring to, not just ACW time frame. I remember reading, and I wish I could remember the source, of the different sides trying to sway the vote and law by funding individuals that were on one side or the other - or get them to change sides.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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John S. Carter

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Interesting question. We can never know,what was privately said. A historical researcher would have to dig up Civil War era publications such has the British magazine " the Economist" and other magazines and newspapers that were read by the respective European businessmen of that era.
On the other hand their was no major clamor among the population of any European country for military intervention in the Civil War.
Leftyhunter
This may be off topic,but there is one issue of the British that has been overlooked,The industrial revolution brought about a change in British economic investment.One of the major results was the invention and the development in the process of manufacturing of cotton and cotton cloth,first with use of water mill then with the more rapid method of steam power/coal.This resulted in more demand of cotton materials on a wider bases than previous Cotton for the British was first from India,and Egypt.The Southern plantation produced more and cheaper cotton for theBritish But the labor was not coming from the European countries ,it came from the Coast of Africa in the ships that supplied this needed labor.This labor is mentioned by Jefferson but was removed due to the sensitivity of the issue among certain colonies .both North and South.The question is then can one say that due to change in the method of producing cotton /British investments in the product and production of said ,that this did contribute of the eventual turn to events ,Southern dependence on that one product resulted in the system which provided the wealth that they of an European aristocrate. To explain and support the system a social and political philosophy based on the writings of famous men from Virgina and S. Carolina was created,STATES RIGHT.Jefferson gave the responsibility for the establishment of this system of labor to the British government ,aka Declaration of Independence. But due to the sensitivity of certain colonies both north and south ,this was removed.Once this system was introduced into a system which would require the class of labor that the white European would not tolerate ,then would it not become a part of acceptance on those who profit even with the investment that it cost to maintain,both financial and even more mental .
 

leftyhunter

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This may be off topic,but there is one issue of the British that has been overlooked,The industrial revolution brought about a change in British economic investment.One of the major results was the invention and the development in the process of manufacturing of cotton and cotton cloth,first with use of water mill then with the more rapid method of steam power/coal.This resulted in more demand of cotton materials on a wider bases than previous Cotton for the British was first from India,and Egypt.The Southern plantation produced more and cheaper cotton for theBritish But the labor was not coming from the European countries ,it came from the Coast of Africa in the ships that supplied this needed labor.This labor is mentioned by Jefferson but was removed due to the sensitivity of the issue among certain colonies .both North and South.The question is then can one say that due to change in the method of producing cotton /British investments in the product and production of said ,that this did contribute of the eventual turn to events ,Southern dependence on that one product resulted in the system which provided the wealth that they of an European aristocrate. To explain and support the system a social and political philosophy based on the writings of famous men from Virgina and S. Carolina was created,STATES RIGHT.Jefferson gave the responsibility for the establishment of this system of labor to the British government ,aka Declaration of Independence. But due to the sensitivity of certain colonies both north and south ,this was removed.Once this system was introduced into a system which would require the class of labor that the white European would not tolerate ,then would it not become a part of acceptance on those who profit even with the investment that it cost to maintain,both financial and even more mental .
Leftyhunter
Interesting although complex arguments so let see if I can break them down one by one.
So by the early Nineteenth Century the British switch to more efficient coal fired energy which allows for increased efficiency which in turn requires more cotton. At first the British relied on cotton from British India and Egypt however American cotton is cheaper and better so American cotton replaces cotton from British India and nominally independent Egypt.
Southern Plantation Owners become arguably over dependent or addicted to the easy money of cotton exports to the UK. Actually cotton was also exported to cotton mills in France and Russian occupied Poland.
The Southern Plantation Owners cited Jefferson et all to justify owning slaves. Of course said Plantation Owners freely cited the Bible as well.
Not sure about white European's not accepting slave labor.Yes the Royal Navy certainly had as anti slave patrols post 1837. On the other hand the UK as well as other European countries enjoyed full diplomatic and trade relations with Brazil and Spain which had legalized slavery well after the ACW.
West European nations had no problems allowing weapons sales to the Confederacy and also the Union with some partial exceptions I.e. the Laird Rams Affair.
European nations per se had no problems with slavery amongst their trading partners. On the other hand no European nation was interested in engaging it's military in the ACW.
Let me know if I didn't address any questions you had.
Leftyhunter
 

wausaubob

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The references are diverse, but by 1852, the Canadian, US and British economies were interlocked. By 1861 there was a very large number of former British subjects living in the northern US. British investors owned most of the Illinois central railroad, and British investors were making money on soaring freight rates for shipping wheat from Chicago to New York and on to Liverpool. Britain was in the process of switching from Russia to the US as a vendor for wheat, and MPs were most likely reluctant to remind the powerful landowners that US wheat was under cutting British wheat production.
At the same time, the Cotton Supply Association was trying to get as much unginned US cotton and bagged US cotton seed as possible.
So while the MPs and the press might be thinking in terms of honor and reparations, the Cotton Supply Association was thinking about what was going to happen if little of the Confederate 1861 cotton crop made it to Liverpool between December 1861 and August of 1862.
Starting a big naval war up and down the Atlantic coast was going to be disruptive, at a minimum.
 
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John S. Carter

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Leftyhunter
Interesting although complex arguments so let see if I can break them down one by one.
So by the early Nineteenth Century the British switch to more efficient coal fired energy which allows for increased efficiency which in turn requires more cotton. At first the British relied on cotton from British India and Egypt however American cotton is cheaper and better so American cotton replaces cotton from British India and nominally independent Egypt.
Southern Plantation Owners become arguably over dependent or addicted to the easy money of cotton exports to the UK. Actually cotton was also exported to cotton mills in France and Russian occupied Poland.
The Southern Plantation Owners cited Jefferson et all to justify owning slaves. Of course said Plantation Owners freely cited the Bible as well.
Not sure about white European's not accepting slave labor.Yes the Royal Navy certainly had as anti slave patrols post 1837. On the other hand the UK as well as other European countries enjoyed full diplomatic and trade relations with Brazil and Spain which had legalized slavery well after the ACW.
West European nations had no problems allowing weapons sales to the Confederacy and also the Union with some partial exceptions I.e. the Laird Rams Affair.
European nations per se had no problems with slavery amongst their trading partners. On the other hand no European nation was interested in engaging it's military in the ACW.
Let me know if I didn't address any questions you had.
Leftyhunter
Thank you for the response. The question that I would like to ask is did not the British and French not establish the plantation systems first in the islands with sugar being the main crop,Then move the system into the colonies with Virginia tobacco plantation and into the other colonies with cotton ? Why did Jefferson state in the DI that it was the British government that was being held responsible for the import of blacks to work on these colonies and which then Northern ships began to realize the profit from the trade and that is why they demanded that the issue was removed from the document.Was it guilt that they and the masters desired its removal since they profited from the trade and use of slavery ?I read a book ,"Empire of COTTON,a Global History ", Sven Beckert,that gives the history of cotton from ancient days to present,very interesting book.Have you heard of the term "War Capitalism"? There were minute steps and events that lead to the war not one bold one as is taught .From the first introduction of the slave system to the election of Lincoln ,minute steps/events which man not understanding or knowing the final result ,only as the forefathers understood ,lead to the final result by the unseen HAND/FATE/EYE/FORTURN .
 

leftyhunter

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Thank you for the response. The question that I would like to ask is did not the British and French not establish the plantation systems first in the islands with sugar being the main crop,Then move the system into the colonies with Virginia tobacco plantation and into the other colonies with cotton ? Why did Jefferson state in the DI that it was the British government that was being held responsible for the import of blacks to work on these colonies and which then Northern ships began to realize the profit from the trade and that is why they demanded that the issue was removed from the document.Was it guilt that they and the masters desired its removal since they profited from the trade and use of slavery ?I read a book ,"Empire of COTTON,a Global History ", Sven Beckert,that gives the history of cotton from ancient days to present,very interesting book.Have you heard of the term "War Capitalism"? There were minute steps and events that lead to the war not one bold one as is taught .From the first introduction of the slave system to the election of Lincoln ,minute steps/events which man not understanding or knowing the final result ,only as the forefathers understood ,lead to the final result by the unseen HAND/FATE/EYE/FORTURN .
No doubt African slavery was introduced to Latin America and the Caribbean prior to North America. In the British Colonial era there were no Northeners just British subjects lawfully engaged in commerce.
It does seem a bit hypocritical for a British subject named Thomas Jefferson to object to British importation of slaves which Jefferson more then benefited from their labor and even in the romantic sphere.
The US Constitution did outlaw the importation of slaves after 1803 although smugglers had little problem in evading US Revenue Cutters. Keep in mind Cuba is only ninety miles from the US and Revenue Cutters where few and far between. Without night vision,radar and aircraft capturing a slave runner was close to a miracle.
Nonetheless one was caught and President Lincoln had one executed.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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Thank you for the response. The question that I would like to ask is did not the British and French not establish the plantation systems first in the islands with sugar being the main crop,Then move the system into the colonies with Virginia tobacco plantation and into the other colonies with cotton ? Why did Jefferson state in the DI that it was the British government that was being held responsible for the import of blacks to work on these colonies and which then Northern ships began to realize the profit from the trade and that is why they demanded that the issue was removed from the document.Was it guilt that they and the masters desired its removal since they profited from the trade and use of slavery ?I read a book ,"Empire of COTTON,a Global History ", Sven Beckert,that gives the history of cotton from ancient days to present,very interesting book.Have you heard of the term "War Capitalism"? There were minute steps and events that lead to the war not one bold one as is taught .From the first introduction of the slave system to the election of Lincoln ,minute steps/events which man not understanding or knowing the final result ,only as the forefathers understood ,lead to the final result by the unseen HAND/FATE/EYE/FORTURN .
Arguably all of history is based on minute events I.e. A certain German private first class decided to have lunch by himself rather then in that part of the trench with his fellow soldiers. Another is a certain Confederate deserter twice enlisted in a Mississippi Cavalry Regiment stole the horses and lived to tell the tale.
Leftyhunter
 
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wausaubob

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So what your saying it was European money that built the USA?! :smile:
Between 1844 and 1861 British, Welsh and Scottish investors undertook numerous experiments in US investing. The questions at issue were whether the US managers were competent and honest, and would the railroad bonds perform, or would the earlier experiences of default in Pennsylvania be repeated? In 1857-1858, the issues were pretty dicey. But after 1858, the potential of using US wheat to keep the price of bread down in British cities looked pretty good.
 
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