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Stephens waives the great questions of international law involved, as to the furnishing of ships to a belligerent by a neutral, and takes no note of the stringent blockade which came so soon to prevent the sending abroad of cotton. His remarks, however, illustrate the enormous financial advantage which the South would have had, had it been able to send its cotton abroad, and to bring in freely the many things which go to make an army efficient and without which, in so large degree, the South waged the war until it came to the extremity of want.

Christopher G. Memminger (aforetime Confederate Secretary of the Treasury) wrote Stephens, September 17, 1867,

As for the notion, since promulgated, of shipping cotton to England early in the war and holding it there as the basis of credit, that is completely negatived, as you know, by the fact that at the early stage of the war no one expected the blockade or the war to last more than a year.1

The South itself thus helped the North by its want of grasp of the situation. The North, in the former's view, driven by European command that cotton must not be interfered with, was to yield quickly to the Southern demands. The South did not recognize that, in the rapidly developing events, to hesitate was to lose all. The quick grip of the navy was to be the Union's salvation. Though England's weekly consumption of cotton was reduced in a year from fifty thousand to twenty thousand bales of cotton, the people of Lancashire stood by the North. Recognition of the Confederacy did not come. The South attempted a change of policy, but the chance to exploit its cotton was gone.

At the basis of the South's belief in the quick ending of the war, was the profound conviction of most of the Southern leaders that Europe's deprivation of cotton would quickly bring European intervention. Senator James H. Hammond,

1 M. L. Avary. Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens. His diary, etc., 1910.

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