American Affairs in Europe.
‘"Inefficient and Contemptible"’--How England
feels towards the Belligerents — The New York Herald Predicts a War with England
We publish on the first page of to-day's paper copious extracts from English journals on American Affairs.
The London Herald
, from which we copy an editorial, in another portion of the article denominates the blockade of the Southern
ports‘"thoroughly inefficient and contemptible,"’ while other English papers call on both France
to unite in action for its annihilation if it is not effective, as they assert it is not.
We continue our extracts:
[From the London Times, August 1.]
Work, and not display, is now the order of things in the United States
The real business of war has begun, and men have already forgotten the phase of speech-making and flag-waving, of calls for universal sympathy, and anger at not obtaining it. It is a relief to find that the captiousness and irritability with regard to this country which marked the first weeks of the war have almost passed away.
The course taken by the British Government
is now recognized as most just and fitting, and even the comments of British society are taken in good part.
The Northerners seem at last to understand that when two adverse communities are in arms, sympathy with the one involves antipathy to the other.
When an army enters a hostile territory to conquer its defenders and coerce its inhabitants, it is impossible to desire the success of the invaders without desiring the defeat of the invaded.
Now, we having no quarrel with the people of the Confederate States
, did not think it our duty to cheer on their enemies.
In any misfortune caused by famine, or pestilence, or fire, or even barbarous foes like the Indians of the frontier, any American community would have the sympathy of Englishmen; but, as the North
now tacitly acknowledges, any display of partisanship on our part against the South
would have been most ungenerous and offensive.
The change in feeling, however, which has evidently taken place, is due less to reflection on the matter itself than to the absorption of men's thoughts by more earnest business.
In the first days of the war, as in the first days of all wars, there was nothing but excitement and speculation, enthusiasm and apprehension.
It was a time of vague passion, which had not yet been concentrated.
has now its army, and feels the greatness and responsibility which an army brings with it. Embarked in earnest on a great war, it has no time to trouble itself about the opinions of its neighbors, which, as in private life, are usually the study of idleness.
Since the meeting of Congress the bills for the financial support of the war have been the chief subjects of discussion.
The liberality of Congress has been as unprecedented as its unanimity.
Indeed, so enormous have been the armaments and the supplies voted in a few days that one is almost disposed to fancy Congress has determined on a ‘"sensation"’ budget, in order to strike terror into the Secessionists by a display of endless dollars.
The Northern legislators plainly feel that the whole power of their States must be used, and all their credit pledged, if the rebellion is to be crushed.
The expenditure of a vast sum may be a good investment, while a smaller outlay will only be money thrown away.
Accordingly, millions of dollars are voted with an alacrity to which even the British Parliament has hardly attained.
But if Congress votes large sums, and the Executive
spends them, the Northerners will certainly want something for their money.--President Lincoln
and General Scott
will be expected to prosecute the war vigorously, and, if report is to be believed, the hour of action was approaching.
The march and victories of Gen. McClellan
have filled the Unionists with joy, and the ill-fortune of one or two former encounters is quite forgotten in the hopes which this brilliant opening of the campaign inspires.
Whether the advance be made from the Potomac
, or the campaign begin from the direction of Fortress Monroe
, it cannot be doubted that the fighting will be desperate on both sides.
The Secessionist chiefs — mostly officers of the regular army — may be said to fight with halters round their necks, and all that their vigor, their ascendancy over the multitude, and their undoubted military skill can do will be done to carry on the war with success.
The chief obstacle to efficiency on the Southern
side seems to be the laxity of discipline, the men who have been reared in a slave country having a kind of incapacity for that ready and mechanical obedience which is necessary to keep a regiment from degenerating into a band of free companions.
On this gipsy-like independence, the Government
relies much for the ruin of the Secessionist cause.
Effect of the war on the trade of France
[Paris (July 27) correspondence of London Times.]
Trade is dull.
There is no demand and much uneasiness prevailing among the manufacturers.
This state of things is attributable to the cessation of orders from America.
The official returns from the General Directory
give the following facts as the result of the civil war on the American
continent: In the first half year of 1861, wine, exported to America
, 1,280,000 gallons, against from 2,500,000 to 2,560,000 in former years; alcohol, 325,000 gallons against 666,675 in 1860, and 1,130,450 in 1859. The other articles of exports present the same, and, in some instances, a greater proportion of decrease.
During the month (July) business with the United States
seemed to have come to a dead stop.
The New York Herald Sounds an alarm.
In connection with our extracts from European
journals, we add the following editorial from the New York Herald of the 15th instant:
There is a prospect of renewed complications with Great Britain
In the House of Commons, on the 29th of July, Mr. Gregory
, who may be considered the agent of the rebels in the British Parliament, asked whether the Government
had received any information to the effect that goods contraband of war, including a battery of artillery, had been conveyed from Liverpool
to New York in the steamer Kangaroo
, and that a loan for the United States Government had been opened upon the Stock Exchange
If so, was this in accordance with British principles of nonintervention?
The reply of Lord Palmerston was distinguished by a studied ambiguity, which, however, is capable of a somewhat definite interpretation.
He said that he was not personally cognizant of the matters referred to, but that, should they arise, they would of course be dealt with by the Government
There would be less doubt of the exact meaning of the words of Lord Palmerston's reply if the goods contraband of war had not been associated with the loan in the question asked by Mr. Gregory
But, not withstanding, it is obvious that he meant as soon as the loan was opened on the London Stock Exchange
would interfere to prevent its negotiation, as an infringement of British neutrality.
Were it not so, the reply would have been couched in very different terms.
This, therefore, plainly shows the real sentiments of the British Government
towards this country.
When we warned the American
public of the secret hostility of England
to the United States
, and of her desire to promote the cause of the rebels, and even elevate the insurgent States to the dignity of an independent nationality, we were assailed by nearly the whole press of England
for what was said to be our wilful misrepresentation of a friendly Government.
Does not this one act alone show that we were right in our estimate of the character of the British Cabinet
Even the newspapers that formerly veiled their own and the Government
hostility to us now come out boldly and proclaim it. Not the slightest encouragement, we are told by one London
journal, should be given to the negotiation of an American loan in that market, and although endeavors may be made to raise the money, it is not believed they will be successful.
We trust that the British
public will offer no encouragement, even to the most speculative money broker, to embark in such an enterprise, says another journal, and the most decided ill will is manifested in the matter.
If this is friendship, what is hostility?
Hitherto the London
money market has been opened to all the world — to establish alike with revolutionary governments — and the negotiation of loans has proceeded without restriction.
But now when the great republic of the New World steps, in the doors are insultingly shut in our faces.
Thus it is that every link in the chain of events connected with this war demonstrates the necessity there is for the Government
subduing this rebellion with a strong arm, and restoring the country to peace as soon as possible.
Not only do the results of our battles, but our relations with foreign powers teach us this.
Every week our affairs abroad are becoming more complicated and critical, and unless we see more energy and determination on the part of the Administration; matters will soon arrive at such a crisis that we shall not only have to fight the rebels, but the allied fleets of England
The American Crisis considered.
[from the Liverpool mercury, Aug. 2d.]
The doctrine of secession is a third instance in which Europe
(and the North
too, in this case) holds views contrary to American, though not to European
, ideas of government.
Here, again, if we would purane truth and arrive at correct conclusions, American political questions must be judged by American principles.
As every one knows, those principles were laid down three-quarters of a century ago, in the Declaration of Independence
, and every year since that period this famous statement of rights has been read in every city, town, and village of the Union
; and it has been proclaimed to the whole world amid the firing of guns, pistols, &c, that ‘"we hold these truths to be self-evident — that all government is derived from the consent of the governed, and that this right is inalienable."’All this was fought for and secured.
Let us examine the case as well as we are
able. Nine millions of people demand, for some cause or other, the right, so clearly announced, and once fought for, of governing themselves.
It is denied; but the diversity and weakness of the reasons for the denial afford clear proofs of the perplexity of a people conscious of doing a dishonest thing.--One great statesman, for instance, wishing to drink at the same moment ‘"at the fountain and mouth of the Nile
,"’ asks how the North
can give up the Gulf of Mexico
to a foreign Power?
He would have the great lakes of the North
and the great Gulf
of the South
; and why not the St. Lawrence
This is that selfish view of the case, which supposes that all other nations are forever to be penned up in their present limits, while the States are to spread over and own illimitable territory.
Another urges as a reason for war, the ‘"stolen"’ forts, &c; forgetting that the North
retains, in forts, custom-houses, mints, and other public buildings, property of perhaps ten times the value of that taken by the South
on its own soil, to say nothing of the whole United States navy, now turned against those who have helped to build it.
Another cites the firing of the first gun by the South
, forgetting that that gun was not fired until an armed squadron left New York harbor, after Mr. Lincoln
's express declaration that he would collect the revenue in the South
and retake the forts, arsenals, &c. A man does not usually wait until the blow descends, if he sees his enemy approaching him with raised bludgeon; the approach constistitutes the attack.
Besides, if the South
were in earnest in secession, it would have been folly to wait until the whole navy had arrived from the Pacific
and the East
to throttle them at their doors.
Another statesman seems only desirous of showing Europe
how strong a Government republicanism may have, and that it is no failure; forgetting that the exercise of that power in such a way is simply despotism, and proves the failure, and that a war for Union
implies in itself disunion.
* * *
But we pass by all this to consider the point most strongly urged by the President
, namely, as to what would happen if the doctrine of Secession were acknowledged as a right.
We answer, just that would happen which would happen by acknowledging the right of self-government.
The last logically implies the first.
An attempt is made to evade this in the North
by saying that they acknowledge the right of revolution, which is an absurdity, as a Government cannot allow or acknowledge what it forbids; besides, if the revolution be overcome, then the conquered--one or twenty millions, as the case may be — are immediately denied the right of self-government.
Thus we arrive at the same conclusion; and the United States Government, in attempting coercion, have clearly abandoned their own principles.
Indeed, we might say that certain Northern States were the first seceders, since many of them enacted laws making obedience to United States
laws a penal offence.
This was partial secession; and it might have been supposed that the whole North
would have been the party desiring to secede from the South
, since they have so long urged their desire to be ‘"disconnected from the guilt of slavery,"’ and the doctrine of self-government and secession would have allowed them to obey these dictates of conscience without bloodshed.
But Mr. Lincoln
also aims to protect, as he terms them, ‘"the majority of Union men"’ in the South
--a solicitude which reminds us strongly of that displayed by the Emperor
towards the non-Magyar population in Hungary
, except that in the latter case there is such a population; but in the former there is not to be found in the South
anything that could ever be termed a small minority of Union men.
In fact, this abandonment of the fundamental idea, on the part of the North
, upon which the whole Government was founded, has thrown the ruling powers into inextricable confusion, and given rise to all those anomalies which so much surprise Europe
They term those who correspond precisely with their heroic ancestors ‘"rebels."’ They call those ‘"pirates"’ who are carrying out a mode of warfare insisted upon by themselves so late as 1857. They are doing to their own ports in blockading them what they only lately declared the Sicilians had no right to do. They appeal to Europe
for countenance as of a free Power against a slave, and yet declare that they intend to perpetuate that slavery according to the constitution. * *
In whatever light we view the case, the position of the North
is most unfortunate.--If, after a fearful expenditure of life and money, they succeed in subjugating the South
, it will still require an immense army to hold them in subjection.
If, on the other hand, the Union
be patched up again, Abolitionists and others will immediately commence their agitation, and there will be, in a short period, a re-enactment of all the present troubles.
But if, in the third place, the South
is successful in her resistance, of which we have no doubt, the North
will have expended her blood and treasure merely for the sake of creating a hating and hated rival.