of South Carolina
, in a speech in the Senate on March 4, 1858, had said:
But if there were no other reason why we should never have war, would any sane nation make war on cotton?
Without firing a gun, without drawing a sword, should they make war on us we could bring the whole world to our feet.... What would happen if no cotton was furnished for three years? I will not stop to depict what everyone can imagine, but this is certain: England would topple headlong and carry the whole civilized world with her, save the South.
No, you dare not make war on cotton.
No power on earth dares to make war upon it.
I firmly believe that the slaveholding South is now the controlling power of the world — that no other power would face us in hostility.
This will be demonstrated if we come to the ultimate . . . cotton, rice, tobacco, and naval stores command the world, and we have sense enough to know it.
With such views, and they were practically the views of the whole South
, it is not surprising that, with the belief that to withhold cotton would bring the world to terms, the South
was slow to adopt such ideas as those put forth by Stephens
It was soon to be reduced largely to its own resources.
“Buttons were made of persimmon seeds; tea of berry leaves; coffee of a variety of parched seeds; envelopes and writing-paper of scraps of wall-paper; shoes of wood and canvas.”
The South, however, aided by adventurous British merchants and her own able Secret Service
abroad, of which Captain Bulloch
, formerly of the United States navy, was the head, displayed a wondrous energy.
Notwithstanding the blockade, the advent of very fast shallow-draft steamers, built principally on the Clyde
and specially for the purpose of running the blockade, did much to alleviate the situation for the Confederacy
until the Federal
navy's hold on the coast gradually tightened.