Independence and recognition.
Recognition by Europe
is not a necessity to the Confederate States
; and is no further desirable than as a prelude to peace.
The world is interested in the trade of the South
to the extent of its purchases from us and its sales to us. It is not only thus materially interested in the restoration of peace, to the extent of from seven to eight hundred millions of dollars per annum; but it is morally interested in suppressing the thousand and one evils that result to all Christendom from the wars of great nations; and it is politically interested in putting an early stop to a conflict which, as all conflicts do, endangers the peace of neutral nations.
The nations of the earth constitute a great family and enjoy a community of interests.
This is the case in fact, however obstinately some of them may deny the great truth and resist the consequences of it. The vices of one nation indirectly affect the moral health of all others; and the material losses of two belligerent powers are losses in which all nations must more or less participate.
These truths are recognized and inculcated by the law of nations, and that law, therefore, authorizes neutral powers, after a decent period of attainment from the quarrel, to interfere for the separation of combatants and the pacification of their disputes.
The right of bystanders to separate the belligerents in a fracas between individuals, is recognized by all citizens; and it is on the same principle that nations interfere to settle the quarrel of hostile powers engaged in war. The recognition of the Southern Confederacy as a distinct nationality of the earth by European
powers, will be but the prelude to the further step of interfering for the pacification of North and South.
In this point of view, recognition is desired by the Confederacy
; in any other point of view, not much of direct and immediate benefit is expected from it.
That the South
is a power possessing all the elements of independence, is self-evident.
Considered with reference to the political structure of the late Federal Government
, the South
is legally and constitutionally independent.
This view of the subject and the facts and arguments to demonstrate it, have not been sufficiently presented to the European
Our Government has sent over men to argue the abstract question of slavery, and to exhibit the commercial resources of the South
; but the great fact
of the legal and constitutional independence of the South
has not been exhibited in Europe
Doubtless, Messrs. Slidell
, thoroughly conversant with the whole argument as they are, will present it and make it plain to the cabinets of Europe
; but it would have greatly advanced our cause abroad, if the argument had been popularly and familiarly presented to the popular mind through their public journals.
We have loss the advantage of the fact of our legal and constitutional independence, upon the European
mind; and are driven to rely exclusively upon the conviction that may have been established there, that in material resources and power our Confederacy presents indisputable claims to recognition.
Happily for our cause, there are great leading facts conclusive on this subject, that are apparent to the European
We are no longer obliged to go into a painful and careful enumeration of our agricultural productions, and our mineral, manufacturing, and commercial resources.
These have been exhibited in conspicuous and imposing figures.--The great fact independently of these arguments is, that although it has been necessary to bring an army of seven hundred thousand men into the field, to create a navy of many hundred vessels, to incur an expenditure of a thousand millions of dollars, and although this immense force has been employed against us for the greater part of a year, still we have beaten the enemy, with but one or two exception, on every field, and are as far from subjugation now as we were at the beginning.
The stupendous effort which the enemy has found it necessary to put forth for our subjugation, affords the best evidence that could possibly be adduced of the stalwart energy and the self-reliant prowess of our new Republic.
The case is clearly made out; the enemy himself is our witness, and the fact of recognition, if there be a just purpose, a magnanimous sentiment, and a fair-dealing spirit actuating the nations, is fixed, determined, and concluded.