Great Britain and the American Civil War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 680 pages of information about Great Britain and the American Civil War.
willingly made by Bright’s friends.  “Young men of energy with a taste for agitation but little money” reveals a source of support somewhat dubious in persistent zeal and requiring more than a heavy list of patrons’ names to keep up a public interest.  Nevertheless, Spence succeeded, for a short time, in arousing a show of energy.  November 24, 1863, Mason wrote to Mann that measures were “in progress and in course of execution” to hold public meetings, memorialize Parliament, and form an association for the promotion of Southern independence “under the auspices of such men as the Marquis of Lothian, Lord Robert Cecil, M.P., Lord Wharncliffe, Lord Eustace Cecil, Messrs. Haliburton, Lindsay, Peacocke, Van Stittart, M.P., Beresford Hope, Robert Bourke, and others[1130]....”  A fortnight later, Spence reported his efforts and postulated that in them, leading to European intervention, lay the principal, if not the only hope, of Southern independence—­a view never publicly acknowledged by any devoted friend of the South: 

“The news is gloomy—­very, and I really do not see how the war is to be worked out to success without the action of Europe.  That is stopped by our Government but there is a power that will move the latter, if it can only be stirred up, and that, of course, is public opinion.  I had a most agreeable and successful visit to Glasgow upon a requisition signed by the citizens.  The enemy placarded the walls and brought all their forces to the meeting, in which out of 4,000 I think they were fully 1,000 strong, but we beat them completely, carrying a resolution which embraced a memorial to Lord Palmerston.  We have now carried six public meetings, Sheffield, Oldham, Stockport, Preston, Ashton, Glasgow.  We have three to come off now ready, Burnley, Bury, Macclesfield, and others in preparation.  My plan is to work up through the secondary towns to the chief ones and take the latter, Liverpool, Manchester, London, etc., as we come upon the assembling of Parliament....  By dint of perseverance I think we shall succeed.  The problem is simply to convert latent into active sympathy.  There is ample power on our side to move the Cabinet—­divided as it is, if we can only arouse that power.  At any rate the object is worth the effort[1131].”

In the month of November, The Index began to report these meetings.  In nearly all, Northern partisans were present, attempted to heckle the speakers, and usually presented amendments to the address which were voted down.  Spence was given great credit for his energy, being called “indefatigable”: 

“The commencement of the session will see Parliament flooded with petitions from every town and from every mill throughout the North.  A loud protest will arise against the faineant policy which declines to interfere while men of English blood are uselessly murdering each other by thousands, and while England’s most important manufacture is thereby ruined....  It
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Great Britain and the American Civil War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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