Great Britain and the American Civil War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 825 pages of information about Great Britain and the American Civil War.

And for Russell also the affair spelled a certain disillusionment, not, it is true, in the good faith of Adams, for whom he still preserved a high regard.  Russell felt that his policy of a straightforward British neutrality, his quick acquiescence in the blockade, even before actually effective, his early order closing British ports to prizes of Confederate privateers[317], were all evidences of at least a friendly attitude toward the North.  He may, as did nearly every Englishman at the moment, think the re-union of America impossible, but he had begun with the plan of strict neutrality, and certainly with no thought of offensive action against the North.  His first thought in the Declaration of Paris negotiation was to persuade both belligerents to acquiesce in a portion of the rules of that Declaration, but almost at once he saw the larger advantage to the world of a complete adherence by the United States.  This became Russell’s fixed idea in which he persisted against warnings and obstacles.  Because of this he attempted to recall the instruction to approach the South, was ready even, until prohibited by Palmerston, to depart from a policy of close joint action with France, and in the end was forced by that prohibition to make a limiting declaration guarding British neutrality.  In it all there is no evidence of any hidden motive nor of any other than a straightforward, even if obstinately blind, procedure.  The effect on Russell, at last grudgingly admitting that there had been a “trap,” was as unfortunate for good understanding as in the case of Adams.  He also was irritated, suspicious, and soon less convinced that a policy of strict neutrality could long be maintained[318].


[Footnote 236:  VII., pp. 568-583.]

[Footnote 237:  Ch. 8.]

[Footnote 238:  Ibid., p. 181.]

[Footnote 239:  Henry Adams, Historical Essays, p. 275.]

[Footnote 240:  Text as given in Moore, Digest, VII, p. 562.]

[Footnote 241:  Ibid., p. 563.]

[Footnote 242:  U.S.  Messages and Documents, 1861-2, p. 94.  Adams to Seward, May 21, 1861.]

[Footnote 243:  Text given in Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol XXV.  “Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law.”  No. 18.]

[Footnote 244:  Ibid., No. 25.]

[Footnote 245:  Ibid., No. 26.]

[Footnote 246:  U.S.  Messages and Documents, 1861-2, p. 124.  Adams to Seward, Aug. 2, 1861.]

[Footnote 247:  Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol.  XXV, “Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law.”  No. 28.]

[Footnote 248:  Ibid., No. 31.]

[Footnote 249:  Ibid., No. 32.]

[Footnote 250:  Moore, Digest.  VII, pp. 578 and 581.]

[Footnote 251:  The point of Russell’s Declaration was made very early in the London press.  Thus the Saturday Review.  June 8, 1861, commenting on the report that America was ready to adhere to the Declaration of Paris, stated that this could have no effect on the present war but would be welcomed for its application after this war was over.]

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