N the preceding chapter we have shown the internal measures adopted by each of the belligerents to sustain the conflict— recruiting, both voluntary and enforced, loans, issues of treasury notes, taxation and restrictions upon personal liberty; we now propose to speak of their external policy.
We shall begin with their intercourse with neutrals—a subject we discussed in the first volume down to the peaceful settlement of the Trent
affair in the early part of 1862.
We shall then proceed to treat of the relations that the war itself established between the combatants, of the policy pursued by the Federal
government toward the hostile populations of the South
, and, above all, of the progress made on the question of slavery during the eighteen months in which the fierce struggle had been raging.
We have shown in the first volume how slavery was the sole cause of the war. It will now be seen how that great word abolition
, at first spurned in the North
, came by degrees to form a part of her programme, and found its true formula in the famous proclamation with which President Lincoln
inaugurated the year 1863.
In one word, the subject of this chapter may be summed up thus: foreign relations; then exchanges of prisoners, reprisals and requisitions; finally, confiscations, emancipation by indemnity and immediate enfranchisement.
During the first year of the war the foreign powers had, on the one hand, recognized the character of belligerents claimed by the Confederates
, and, on the other hand, the blockade of Southern ports established by the Federals
Each of the two parties had energetically protested against the one of these two measures which seemed to favor the other; but the Trent
affair, by placing before both worlds the prospect of immediate war, had made