The matter of ministerial and general British attitude toward democracy as affecting British policy during the American Civil War will be considered in a later chapter. In the spring of 1861 it had not become a clear-cut British opinion and did not, so far as historical evidence can determine, affect early governmental policy toward America. The outstanding feature of the British Government in 1861 is that it was made up of various so-called “Liberal” elements, the representatives of each of which carried on the business of his own department much as he pleased. Palmerston’s was, of course, the deciding opinion, whenever he cared to express it, but this he did but rarely. His great concern was to keep his all-star associates running smoothly together and thus to give no occasion for parliamentary criticism and attack. It followed that Russell, eight years the junior of Palmerston, was in foreign affairs more powerful and independent than is customary. Indeed the Government was at times spoken of as the “Palmerston-Russell Ministry.” These two were the leaders of the team; next came Gladstone and Cornewall Lewis, rivals of the younger generation, and each eager to lead when their elders should retire from harness. Gladstone’s great ability was already recognized, but his personal political faith was not yet clear. Lewis, lacking his rival’s magnetic and emotional qualities, cold, scholarly, and accurate in performance, was regarded as a statesman of high promise. Other Cabinet members, as is the custom of coalitions, were more free in opinion and action than in a strict party ministry where one dominating personality imposes his will upon his colleagues.