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[236] with a nation which leads so largely, as does that of Great Britain, in the progress of Christian civilization. That the British people have a deep political and commercial interest in the establishment of the independence of the Confederate States must be obvious to all. Their real interest in that event is only a little less than our own. The great question of cotton supply, which has occupied their attention so justly and so anxiously for some years past, will then be satisfactorily settled. Whilst the main source of cotton production was in the hands of such a power as that of the late United States and controlled by those who were disposed to use that control to acquire the supremacy in navigation, commerce and manufactures over all rivals, there was just cause for anxiety on the part of nations who were largely dependent upon this source of supply for the raw material of important manufactures. But the case will be far different when peace is conquered and the independence of the Confederate States is acknowledged. Within these States must be found for years to come the great source of cotton supply. So favorable a combination of soil, climate and labor is nowhere else to be found. Their capacity for increased production has so far kept pace with the increased demand, and in time of peace it promises to do so for a long while to come. In the question of the supply of this great staple there is a world-wide interest, and if the nations of the earth could choose for themselves a single depository for such an interest, perhaps none could be found to act so impartially in that capacity as the Confederacy of Southern States. Their great interest is and will be, for a long time to come, in the production and exportation of the important staples so much sought by the rest of the world. It would be long before they would become the rivals of those who are largely concerned in navigation, manufactures and commerce. On the contrary, these interests would make them valuable customers and bind them to the policy of free trade. Their early legislation, which has thrown open their navigation, foreign and coasting, to the free competition of all nations, and which has imposed the lowest duties on imports consistent with their necessary revenue wants, proves the natural tendency of their commercial policy. Under such circumstances, the supply of cotton to Great Britain would be as abundant, as cheap and as certain as if these States were themselves her colonies. The establishment of such an empire, committed, as it would be, to the policy of free trade by its interests and traditions would seem to be a matter of primary importance to the progress of

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