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.

[Footnote 118:  Russell, My Diary, I, p. 398.]

[Footnote 119:  The Times, May 30, 1861.]

[Footnote 120:  Westminster Review, Vol. 76, pp. 487-509, October, 1861.]

[Footnote 121:  Bright to Sumner, September 6, 1861.  Cited in Rhodes, United States, Vol.  III, p. 509.]

[Footnote 122:  A meeting held in Edinburgh, May 9, 1861, declared that anti-slavery England ought never to recognize the South.  Reported in Liberator, May 31, 1861.]

[Footnote 123:  F.O., Am., Vol. 762, Nos. 141 and 142.]

[Footnote 124:  Ibid., No. 146.]

[Footnote 125:  See ante, pp. 50-51.]

[Footnote 126:  Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol.  XXV.  “Correspondence on Civil War in the United States.”  Nos. 24, 25 and 26.]



In June, 1859, a short-lived Conservative Government under the leadership of Lord Derby had been replaced by a “coalition” Liberal Government, at the head of which stood Palmerston, but so constituted that almost equal influence was attributed to the Foreign Secretary, Lord John Russell.  Both men had previously held the Premiership, and, as they represented different wings of the Whig-Liberal party, it was prophesied by political wiseacres that personal friction would soon lead to a new disruption.  Nor were the possible elements of discord confined to these two.  Gladstone, formerly a Peelite Tory, and for a time uncertain whether to return to the Tory fold or to join the Liberals, had yielded to Palmerston’s promise of a free hand in financial matters, and had joined the Ministry as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Opposed to him in a certain sense, as the rival claimant for political leadership among the younger group, was Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Home Secretary until July, 1861, thereafter until his death in April, 1863, Secretary for War.  Acting in some degree as intermediary and conciliator between these divergent interests stood Lord Granville, President of Council, then a “Conservative-Liberal,” especially valuable to the Cabinet for the confidence reposed in him by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

In 1861 Palmerston was seventy-seven years old.  Long before this he had built his popularity upon a vigorous British “patriotism,” assertive of England’s honour and jealous for British advantage.  Now, however, as head of a Government requiring the most delicate handling to maintain itself, he devoted his energies to details of political management in which he had great skill.  His ambition was, primarily, to retain office, and in this purpose he was fortunate because, unknown to his ministerial colleagues, he had received an indirect pledge from Lord Derby, the Opposition leader, that there would be, for a time at least, no determined effort to unseat

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