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[316] government with the conduct of officials who conducted successfully the delicate transaction confided to their charge.

These solemn declarations of principle, this implied agreement between the Confederacy and the two powers just named, were suffered to remain inoperative against the menaces and outrages on neutral rights committed by the United States with unceasing and progressing arrogance during the whole period of the war. Neutral Europe remained passive when the United States, with a naval force insufficient to blockade effectively the coast of a single state, proclaimed a paper blockade of thousands of miles of coast, extending from the Capes of the Chesapeake to those of Florida, and encircling the Gulf of Mexico from Key West to the mouth of the Rio Grande. Compared with this monstrous pretension of the United States, the blockades known in history under the names of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, and the British Orders in Council, in the years 1806 and 1807, sink into insignificance. Those blockades were justified by the powers that declared them, on the sole ground that they were retaliatory; yet they have since been condemned by the publicists of those very powers as violations of international law. It will be remembered that those blockades evoked angry remonstrances from neutral powers, among which the United States were the most conspicuous, and were in their consequences the chief cause of the war between Great Britain and the United States in 1812; they also formed one of the principal motives that led to the declaration of the Congress of Paris in 1856, in the fond hope of imposing an enduring check on the very abuse of maritime power which was renewed by the United States in 1861 and 1862, under circumstances and with features of aggravated wrong without precedent in history.

Repeated and formal remonstrances were made by the Confederate government to neutral powers against the recognition of that blockade. It was shown by evidence not capable of contradiction, and which was furnished in part by the officials of neutral nations, that the few ports of the Confederacy before which any naval forces at all were stationed were invested so inefficiently that hundreds of entries were effected into them after the declaration of the blockade; that our enemies admitted the inefficiency of their blockade in the most forcible manner, by repeated official complaints of the sale to us of goods contraband of war—a sale which could not possibly have affected their interests if their pretended blockade had been sufficient ‘really to prevent access to our coasts’; that they alleged their inability to render their paper blockade effective as the excuse for the odious barbarity of destroying the entrance

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