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 It is curious how long the idea of the causelessness of the strife prevailed in Europe. As late as April, 1863, Bismarck wrote to Motley in a familiar letter: ‘Do you all know exactly why you are waging furious war with each other? Certainly all do not know, but they kill each other con amore, that is the way the business comes to them. Your battles are bloody; ours are wordy.’ This query was, perhaps, half humorous, but the Times was in dead earnest in its opinion that the war was unjustifiable. It went further, after a little, and declared that the spirit of George III had passed into Seward and that his reluctance to let the South go its own way was couched in language quite as tyrannical as that of the British monarch to his colonies when they desired ‘secession.’ Under the stimulus of these daily reiterations, Motley wrote two long letters, to which the Times gave prominent space, on The causes of the Civil War. They appeared on Thursday, 23 May, and Friday, 24 May, and were reprinted in New York within a few weeks. The line of argument followed was that the United States was no confederacy from which a part could be lopped and both parts continue to live. A confederation of sovereign bodies had been tested and found wanting; then a more perfect government had been formed by the people themselves, at large, not in states as units. The government to which the Constitution of the United States gave birth was different in kind from its predecessor. It could not be divided any more than Scotland could be severed from the British Empire. It was a plea for the sacredness of the Union as an organic, vitalized whole. The tariff, as an irritating cause of division, was discussed, while slavery was touched on very lightly. The Queen's Proclamation of Neutrality had already checked the press in its references to President Davis as precisely on a par with President Lincoln, and Motley's words were allowed to be worth noting, as coming from one already recognized as an historian of European reputation. For a time, at least, the English newspapers changed their tone, while in America there was warm appreciation of Motley's statement of the case. Shortly after this incident, Motley returned home and was in Boston when the first Massachusetts regiments left their
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