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 The first extract in itself contains a fiction. If the Queen's proclamation possessed such force as to raise the Confederate States to an equality with the United States as a belligerent, perhaps another proclamation of the Queen might have possessed such force, if it had been issued, as to have lifted the Confederate States from the state of equality to one of independence. This is a novel virtue to be ascribed to a Queen's proclamation. This idea must have been borrowed from our neighbors of Mexico, where a pronunciamiento dissolves one and establishes a rival administration. How much more rational it would have been to say that the resources and the military power of the Confederate States placed them, at the outset, on the footing of a belligerent, and the Queen's proclamation only declared a fact which the announcement of a blockade of the Southern ports by the government of the United States had made manifest!—blockade being a means applicable only against a foreign foe. Nevertheless the government of the United States, although refusing to concede belligerent rights to the Confederate States, was very ready to take advantage of such concession by other nations whenever an opportunity offered. The voluminous correspondence of the Secretary of State of the United States government, relative to the Confederate cruisers and their so-called ‘depredations,’ was filled with charges of violations of international law which could be committed only by a belligerent, and which, it was alleged, had been allowed to be done in the ports of Great Britain. On this foundation was based the subsequent claim for damages, advanced by the Government of the United States against that of Great Britain; for the pretended lack of ‘due diligence’ in watching the actions of this Confederate belligerent in her ports, she was mulcted in a heavy sum by the Geneva Conference, and paid it to the government of the United States. It is a remarkable fact that the government of the United States, in no one instance from the opening to the close of the war, formally spoke of the Confederate government or states as belligerents. Although on many occasions it acted with the latter as a belligerent, yet no official designations were ever given to them or their citizens but those of ‘insurgents,’ or ‘insurrectionists.’ Perhaps there may be something in the signification of the words which, combined with existing circumstances, would express a state of affairs that the authorities of the government of the United States were in no degree willing to admit, and vainly sought to prevent from becoming manifest to the world. The party or individuality against which the government of the
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