It is natural enough that a people contending against an army three times their number, and having a vast exchequer and enormous military means and appliances at command, should manifest some solicitude for the cooperation of those nations whose interests are equally involved with our own in the success of Southern independence.
In the American Revolution
, there was not only a universal desire among a struggling people for foreign aid, but distinguished agents were sent abroad and large same appropriated for the purpose of enabling them to operate upon the public opinion of Europe
, and enlist the sympathies, and if possible, the assistance, of these Governments in behalf of our cause.
It is known that much good was accomplished in this manner, and that France
, in particular, did assist us secretly long before she became our acknowledged and most valuable ally.
It is, therefore, no proof, as the Yankees
pretend, of the inability of a people to maintain their own rights, that they should be anxious to secure foreign assistance.
The American Revolution would have been successful if France
had never interfered, and the Yankees
, notwithstanding their numerical superiority, have shown even more solicitude to secure friends in Europe
than the people of the South
Having no navy, and with our ports Blockaded, we may naturally enough desire foreign intervention to relieve us from this disadvantage, and that is all we have ever asked.
We never expected England
to fight our battles on land.
If we had needed or desired help of that kind, France
, the great military power of Europe
, was the empire whose and we should have at once sought.
But the world must see by this time that we can fight our own battles, and all we require is an opportunity of commercial communication with the rest of mankind.
But even that is not absolutely indispensable, and there are some respects in which it would be even injuries as. We are now learning to manufacture for ourselves, and to diversify our own industry; but, with a speedy opening of the ports, we should become dependent for all the articles which we need, and which we ought to make ourselves, upon foreign aid.
The South is a world in itself; it can dispense with the cultivation of cotton, and raise more than enough provisions of every kind for its own supply; it can clothe itself; it can become independent in every sense of other nations.
Whilst, then, we have little doubt that Great Britain
will be compelled in the end to intervene, we see no necessity for despondency and discouragement if the blockade is not raised for a year to come.
Still less should we permit our convictions as to the ultimate result of the present struggle to be in any degree affected by the contingency of a European alliance.
We have always maintained that the recognition of our independence abroad depends upon our own demonstration of our ability to maintain it by our own arms, and that independence achieved by our unaided exertions will be infinitely more valuable than that which is the result of European
Independence gained in that way would only be dependence upon the power by whose assistance it is gained; we should be taunted continually by the North
with the fact that we were unable to cope with her without the aid of a foreign ally; and, unless we were so lost to national dignity as to throw ourselves at once under a protectorate of the power by whom we were assisted, which would be equivalent to becoming again a European province, we should only exist hereafter by the sufferance and mercy of the North
, and fall a prey at last to her jealousy and revenge.
There is no royal road to greatness, either among individuals or nations.
It is a law of Providence
, as well as of Nature, that which lasts long grows slowly, and often painfully.
No really groat character was ever formed among men, except by long years of discipline and trial, and no nation drops full armed from the womb of destiny.
We must learn to endure, as well as to conquer, to suffer, as well as triumph before we shall ever know ourselves how to appreciate the boon of National independence.
Thus far, we have had more reasons for encouragement than despondency.
Thus far, we have demonstrated our ability to defend ourselves, beyond what any one had dreamed of, whether in the South
, the North
, or in Europe
Thus far, we have had evidence of an alliance with the Southern
cause in the manifest benediction of that Providence
which is the ‘"only Giver of all Victory,"’ and which can ‘ "abate the pride, assuage the malice, and confounds the services"’ of the strongest adversary.
From the beginning of the war to the present hour, there has been a series of Providential interpositions in our behalf, which ought to cheer and animate the most despondent with the assurance of ultimate triumph.
Without recognition from Europe
, without the aid of a foreign gun, we have achieved all the great victories of this war, and prevented the enemy, in a whole year of invasion, from advancing one foot into loyal Southern territory.
Let us look to the past as a guarantee of the future, let us look to Heaven, and to our own strong arms and devoted hearts, and we shall not only triumph, but our triumph will be permanent and glorious.