previous next

American Affairs in Europe.

Condemnation of the American Blockade-- France and England Likely to Interfere — Manchester and the Supply of Cotton — Opposition to the Negotiation of the American Loan — The Confederate Commissioners, &c.

The Persia, at New York, sailed from Liverpool before the news of the battle near Manassas arrived out. She, however, passed the Canada, with the news on board, near Queenstown, so that the next arrival will report its effect in Europe.

England and the blockade — a serious Threat.
[from the London Shipping Gazette, Aug. 1]

The blockade of the Southern States and the manner which it is effected by the Federal squadron are circumstances which have begun to attract considerable attention in this country, and can hardly fail to lead to some decided course of action on the part of the Governments of England and France, and possibly of Spain. The principle that a blockade to be a blockade must be effective has been fully recognized by the American Government, and it is the plain duty of the leading maritime States of Europe, whose commerce is everywhere, to see that it is adopted on the American seaboard. Several complaints have reached us of boardings and searchings of British vessels by the cruisers of the Federal Government. occasionally, if we may believe the complainants, accompanied by conduct on the part of the American officers which seems to be hardly justifiable. Two British vessels with their cargoes — namely, the Tropic Wind and the Hiawatha — have been condemned by the District Courts of the States, on the coast of which they were captured, and so questionable have the decisions of the judges of these Courts appeared that these cases have been referred to the Supreme Court of the Union. with what result does not as yet appear.

The Federal Government is bound by the existing law of maritime blockade, and they will be expected to conform to it by the European powers. If not, it will be the duty of those powers to see that the commercial fleets which claim the protection of their flags are neither molested or interfered with on the pretence of a breach of blockade.

It has been said that Admiral Milne. commanding on the West India station, finding himself placed in a position of difficulty, and in the neighborhood of operations, the propriety of which he does not exactly comprehend, has written home for instructions. We are not, as yet, aware what may be the decision of the Government in reference to the very important question raised by Admiral Milne's dispatches; but this we will venture to say, that there will be no retreat on the part of our Government from the principle laid down in the declaration of Paris relative to the effectiveness of blockades, and we have every reason to believe that Ministers will have, in the enforcement of this policy, the hearty co-operation of the French Government. Less than this cannot be expected from the Government of States who lead the maritime commerce of the world, and are bound to see that no impediment shall be cast in the way of the operations of that commerce, except such as is natural to a state of war, and sanctioned by the usages of nations.

If the naval resources at the disposal of Mr. Lincoln and his colleagues enable them to establish and maintain an effective blockade along the vast seaboard of the seceding States, well. No foreign flag has a right to break such blockade, and no such violation of a recognized right will be sanctioned by the European powers and especially by England and France. But if it shall appear that the Southern coast is not effectively blockaded, but that, nevertheless, seizures are made on the high seas of British or French vessels and their cargoes, on pretence of having broken a blockade never fairly established, then it will be the duty of France and England, at whatever hazard. to maintain with all their power the freedom of the seas, and to cast the responsibility of any collision that may occur on those who wantonly provoke it by disregard of those obligations which the code of international law imposes on all maritime States. We do not say that the necessity has actually arisen for action so prompt and decided on the part of England. We have strong hopes that the conflict in the United States will not be prolonged. But we cannot disguise from ourselves that events have occurred and acts have been committed which, if they be repeated, will render a decisive movement on the part of the English or the French Government, or of both combined, imperative; and if the occasion arises, we believe neither Government will be found to hesitate in the course it should adopt.

Another view of the blockade.
[from the London Herald, Derby organ.]

If it can be made out that any blockade is inefficient, not a single prise can be condemned; but it suits the purpose of the Federal Government to make captures, although the ships must ultimately be released. This policy, however. does not suit our purpose, for the risk of capture and detention has practically for the moment destroyed our American trade, and knowledge of this, and the conviction of a grave diplomatic blunder, which may involve fearful consequences during the recess, has very likely more to do with Lord John Russell's retirement from the House of Commons than is generally supposed. Lord John Russell has not been a match for the wily Western lawyer into whose hands the destinies of the United States have fallen, and he has, in plain English, been shamefully overreached.

With a stoppage of the American supply of cotton, Manchester, from sheer necessity, must fall to pieces no matter what the supply of cotton from India, or the Cape, or Jamaica may be in the meantime; and were so great an interest to be destroyed, the stability and credit of the nation, we need hardly say, would be put to a trying test. American cotton gives to Manchester what no other cotton gives--it gives it credit; and the credit given has, as a rule, been stretched to its widest limit. Ten thousand pounds worth of American cotton may be spun and woven in one Manchester factory in a day, and the spinning and weaving are no sooner over than the yarn or cloth is sold and drawn for and the proceeds placed to the cotton spinner's bank account Further, if the raw material is well bought, there is a clear credit of sixty days on every lot purchased, and if ten thousand pounds worth of cotton is spun daily, at the end of sixty days the spinner has a cash capital in hand of £100,000. This extraordinary system of credit which has grown up between the cotton States and Manchester is what Lord John Russell and others have overlooked; and when the usual supply of American cotton and credit fails, Manchester, we fear, will have no choice but to succumb. Cotton, supplied in large quantities, and on convenient terms of credit, can alone sustain the fabric. A more accurate knowledge of the cotton trade and a course of American policy in harmony with precedent and the law of nations, would have averted such alternatives, and perhaps checked the progress of the civil war; but now we must trust to chance. Lord John Russell's American policy must now bear its fruits, and a cessation of the war, or the intervention of other Powers, seem at the moment our only prospect of escape from serious social and commercial trials.

England and France United and in Accord on the American question.
[Paris correspondence of the London post--August 1.]

The civil war in America, it is believed, is about to consolidate and cement still closer the alliance between England and France. The British Cabinet, it is to-day announced, is in close and constant correspondence with that of the Tuileries. The alleged object is the establishment or the ‘"inauguration"’ of a combined action on the part of the two governments towards that of America This co-operation is to be prosecuted on both sea and land, and it is added that a perfect understanding on the subject has already been arrived at.

Opposition to the American loan.

Most of the London journals are vehement in their opposition to the idea of negotiating a United States loan on the Stock Exchange They affect to dreed that, should the Federal Government and the Jeff Davis Confederate leaders become reconciled, a general repudiation of foreign debts will immediately ensue.

[from the London Herald. Derby organ.]

Not the slightest encouragement should be given to the negotiation of an American loan in this market, and although endeavors may be made to raise the money, it is not believed they will be successful The losses incurred from State and other securities, which have from time to time been floated here, are enormous, and it is probable that the currency of bonds and railway shares will be further depreciated before the influence of the secession movement shall have been fully exhausted — Whatever may be the advantages offered or the terms proposed for assisting the Federal authorities to raise supplies, capitalists will do well to weigh the prospective results of the business before they enter into it.

[from the London Chronicle, July 31.

The new loan required by the Northern section of the dis United States of America will, we are told, be negotiated in London, if possible, within the ensuing fortnight. The negotiators on both sides of the Atlantic will, of course, take care of themselves. Their ‘"biddings"’ will be determined simply upon the prospect that may offer for their transferring the scrip at a satisfactory premium to other parties, who will accept the risk of obtaining neither interest or principal for their invest

ment. We trust that the British public will offer no encouragement even to the most speculative money broker to embark in such an enterprise. If they do, it must be thoroughly understood that the transaction is risked entirely upon their own responsibility. In any case, it must be fully understood that the English nation and its responsible Government cannot be asked to put themselves out of the way in order to collect debts which a fern Englishmen have allowed the United States Government to incur for their own profit and at their own risk.

[from London Herald, (city article) Aug. 3.]

Any attempt to raise money for the Federal Government should be resisted, and the feeling among capitalists is certainly averse to supporting such an operation. The agents of powerful banking firms in New York have already arrived in this country, and others, it is stated, will follow, with the express object of endeavoring to negotiate terms for placing a part of stock to be created. If the public, however, will only do themselves justice, they possess now a most brilliant opportunity of resenting the injuries they have suffered in a pecuniary point of view at the hands of American speculators and American adventurers. Repudiation in its worst form might ensue, if, after the loan were negotiated, an arrangement between the North and South for an amicable adjustment should be effected The best way to avoid any difficulty in this respect will be to refuse financial assistance either to the Federal authorities or the representatives of the Confederate States.

Rifled cannon and a United States loan as contraband of war.

In the House of Commons, on the 29th of July, Mr. Gregory asked whether the First Lord of the Treasury had received any information that goods contraband of war, among other things a battery of artillery, had been conveyed from this country to New York, in the steamship Kangaroo, and that a loan for the United States Government had been placed upon the Stock Exchange? If so, was this in accordance with our principles of non-intervention?

Lord Palmerston replied that he personally cognizant of the matters to the honorable member referred, but, that, should they arise, they would, of course, be dealt with by the Government.

Kingston, Canada, to be made a naval station.
[from the London post, Government Organ]

Advices from Canada, of the 19th ult, mention that Kingston, in addition to being a military station, is soon to be made a naval one also. It is said that an army and flotilla (consistent with treaty stipulations) will be employed upon Canadian waters. This contemplated measure appears to afford satisfaction there. Several vessels of war are preparing to leave England for the American coast.

German anxiety respecting the war issue.

A Berlin correspondent, writing on the 31st of July, states that the anxiety in the Prussian capital respecting the war news from America was intense. The probable movements of Gen. Scott and the tactics of Beauregard were canvassed in every place of general resort, and the geography of the United States has been studied in all well-informed circles most attentively. The people sympathized with the Union cause.

Hopes of the Confederate Commissioners in Europe.

The Paris correspondent of the Independence Bulge states that the Jeff. Davis commissioners in Europe had still hopes of the ultimate recognition of the independence of the Southern States by England and France. He adds that these gentlemen may be too sanguine in this respect, but that still they have grounds for the opinion in the feeling caused in both countries by the inconveniences of the blockade of the ports of the South

The writer adds that the study of the actual situation of affairs in America engages attention every day more and more, on the continent of Europe, where this grave question has already been treated in every point of view. Mr. Ernest Bellot, of the Minories, in a pamphlet just published, proves that if the war in America is prolonged it will cause heavy losses to the Powers of Europe, more particularly to France and England, on account of the intimate commercial relations existing between the countries, particularly with the Southern portion of the United States, which furnishes these two powers with the greater part of the cotton and tobacco necessary for their manufactories.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Russell (4)
Milne (2)
Derby (2)
Wingfield Scott (1)
Paris (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Kingston (1)
London Herald (1)
Gregory (1)
English (1)
Ida Davis (1)
Ernest Bellot (1)
Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January, 8 AD (2)
July 31st (2)
March, 8 AD (1)
July 29th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: