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sels would always be waiting to take advantage of these golden opportunities. It would seem probable, therefore, that the number of cargoes that would escape unseen, or that even, if chased, would evade capture, must in the end be considerable.
Then it is to be considered that the stricter the blockade the stronger are the pecuniary motives to break or run it, the greater the risks that merchants are willing to encounter, and the more numerous the captures they are able to bear. The same interruption to the regular course of trade-the same effective blockade-which raises the price of cotton at Liverpool, where it is thirsted for, lowers the price at New Orleans, where it is a drug. In ordinary times, perhaps, the article is worth 4d. a pound in America and 6d. a pound in England, and leaves a good profit at those rates. The blockade may make the same article worth ls. in England, and only 2d. in America. In that case it is obvious that the profits upon a successful venture would be so enormous as to compensate for the loss upon two unsuccessful ones, as in the case of the Cuban slave-trade. The moment the relative prices on the two sides of the Atlantic reach any thing like the figures we have named, we may be perfectly sure that every bale of cotton that can will endeavour to run the blockade, and will sometimes, perhaps often, succeed in doing so. And, whether it succeeds or not, the result, as far as the supply of our markets is concerned, will be the same. Whether the cargo gets away uncaptured, or is seized by the United States cruisers, does not signify a straw to us. It is equally available for manufacture. In the one case we purchase it from the exporter, in the other case from the captor; that is all. It either comes to Liverpool, or it prevents an equal quantity going from Liverpool to Boston. If, therefore, prices give a sufficient inducement for English ships to endeavour to run into, and run out of, the blockaded harbours, cotton in certain quantities will reach us through some channel or other.
There is yet another consideration to be noted. The Federal squadron will have no motive for preventing the egress of vessels from the ports they are watching. They want prizemoney, and their fellow-citizens want cotton. If they hermetically seal the ports, they deprive themselves of both. They injure their enemies, but they do not benefit themselves. If, on the other hand, they connive at the vessels coming out, and capture them when they appear, they effect all three objects : they spoil and harm their antagonists more thoroughly than by merely shutting up their produce; they supply the Northern manufactures with the raw material they want; and they realise rich pickings for themselves. Can we doubt which course shrewd and hungry Yankees will pursue? We are greatly mistaken if the blockading squadron do not ere long exchange the tedious occupation of the gaoler for the wild excitement of the chase. Cotton will come forward as before, though in scantier quantities, and at prices enhanced by enormous premiums paid to the insurance-offices, which will encounter gambling risks, and pocket gambling profits. The only mode, as it seems to us, by which this issue can be prevented, is by the Confederate Government really doing as they threaten, and insisting on all produce being retained on the plantations ; but this, in vulgar phrase, would be (as we have shown) "cutting off their nose to spite their face.” The cotton, whether captured or not, if sold, would be paid for by English merchants or by English insurers, and the proceeds would be equally available for the needs of the Secessionist Government.
It now only remains to consider the last question, viz. “What is the prospect of an early termination of the war ?" This offers a wide field for conjecture, but for conjecture only. No one-perhaps not even the leaders on either side-knows any thing upon the subject. No prudent man will give a confident opinion of any sort. All we can do is to state dispassionately the conflicting probabilities. In favour of an obstinate continuance of the struggle, it may be urged that the passions of both parties are fearfully exasperated; that the South believes itself to be fighting for independence and for safety; that the North feels itself to be fighting for empire and to avoid humiliation; and that the slavery question is beginning to exacerbate the strife by the fanaticism of abolition on the one side, and the phrensy of personal peril and menaced proprietorship on the other. The Southerners are confident, contemptuous, and have no dream of yielding one iota of their demand. The Northerners have only been stimulated to renewed and more serious efforts by the disaster of Bull's Run—the disgrace and mortification of which must be wiped away before terms of accommodation can even be listened to. The war-party in the North, too, are swelled and strengthened, and their antagonists silenced, by a large number of active, energetic, rascally politicians, who have vast sinister and pecuniary interests in the prolongation of hostilities. There may be a large peace-party ; but if so, it is cowed most effectually for the present. Lastly, the very magnitude and difficulty of the questions which would have to be settled by negotiation, tend to discourage the first proposals for accommodation. The mighty and complicated issues in reference to the division of the territory, and the apportionment of money obligations, could be arranged with comparative facility
if either party were decidedly victorious, and in a position to dictate terms; but seem almost to defy a settlement when each belligerent is, or fancies itself, fully a match for its antagonist.
On the other hand, and in order to show that a compromise would be wise and is very probable, considerations as numerous, and apparently more cogent, are alleged. The conquest of the South by the North would seem to be impossible, and we believe is felt to be so by all whose passions have not blinded their perceptions. Any thing short of conquest will not meet the ostensible purpose of the war; and for no other or minor purpose does it seem rational or decent that so deplorable a conflict should be prolonged. The resources of the North, however wasted or mismanaged, are incomparably and incontestibly greater than those of their antagonists, whom they may injure and impoverish frightfully, but cannot subdue. Now to injure and impoverish gratuitously twelve millions of men who were recently fellow-citizens, and who have hitherto been, and must again become, clients, customers, and debtors, appears too foolish a course for any but men irrationally angry to pursue. The South ask only to be suffered to secede in peace, and to govern themselves in their own way; and will of course be ready to lay down their arms as soon as this privilege is granted : in the North there must be thousands--and these amongst the richest and the wisest men-who see that it must come to this, and think it much the best that it should be allowed to come to this at once. The expenses of the war are frightful; the taxation that it will necessitate must be burdensome in the extreme; and the Western States abominate a protectionist tariff nearly as much as the Eastern ones abhor direct imposts. The losses and sufferings of the merchants of Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, and of those who are dependent upon them, are grievous and unparalleled, and must continue so while the war lasts. In addition to these considerations, there are two contingencies which may any day bring about a crisis and an abrupt termination of hostilities. A series of discomfitures so vexatious and disheartening as to discourage the Federalists, yet not so signal or disgraceful as to infuriate them and goad them to persistence, or a series of operations, or a period of feeble and tedious inaction, which shall impress on the public mind a general and disgustful conviction of the incapacity of the Federal Government or the gloomy prospects of the Federal cause,-may give courage to all the malcontents to speak their minds and to show their strength; and it may then appear that those really inclined for peace are in fact, and have long been, more numerous than those virulently bent on war, but have been bullied and terrified into acquiescence until now. Or, the proclamation of General Fremont, of unconditional emancipation to the slaves of rebel masters (that is, to nine-tenths of the whole number), if ratified and adopted by the Federal authorities, may awaken such Northern citizens as are still cool enough for reflection and regret to a conviction that the conflict is now assuming the gigantic dimensions, and involving the tremendous and incalculable consequences, of an Anti-Slavery struggle,—a situation which they did not foresee, and for which the great majority of them are assuredly not yet prepared. The recoil consequent upon finding themselves, by the mismanagement of incapable rulers and eager partisans, thus suddenly brought face to face with the immediate prospect of Negro insurrection, servile war, suspended cultivation, desolated territories, and the possibility of even worse calamities contingent upon the anarchy that would ensue, - may give them spirit to speak out at once, and compel the Government to offer terms of accommodation, before the policy just inaugurated can have spread, and while the probable issues of it are still preventible.
All these considerations seem to render the long continuance of the civil conflict extremely problematic. There is yet one other contingency to be adverted to, which is not wholly out of the question. The Washington Government from the very outset have spoken and acted towards this country with a degree of arrogance which almost implied that they had lost their heads, and were well enough inclined to provoke a quarrel. Hitherto we have made great allowance for natural irritation and excitement, and, we trust, shall continue to do so. But it may well be that the commanders of the United States navy, if they remain actuated by the same spirit, and proceed in the same cavalier fashion as heretofore in their blockading operations and their behaviour to British merchant-ships, may overstep the usages and amenities of civilised international practice in a measure which neither we nor France can overlook. In this case, though nothing would induce either Government to break or prohibit the blockade merely for their own convenience, both may find it necessary, for the protection and due rights of their own subjects, to place the blockading squadron under severe restrictions and under strong coercion, if not even to exact prompt reparation for unquestioned wrong. We sincerely trust that nothing of the sort may occur ; but it would be idle to exclude such an event from our review of possible contingencies.
To sum up the whole "situation,” as our neighbours would say,—there is not much certainty and not much brightness in the prospect before us; but neither is it as gloomy as some would paint it. We do not believe the war will last long, and
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we do not believe that the blockade will be strict. We expect that much cotton will filter through, and that all will be liberated before many months are over. Even if no American cotton reached this country, yet if we are convinced that none will reach us, high prices will attract sufficient quantities from other quarters to relieve us from an actual famine,-provided, that is, no artificial proceedings on the part of other Governments shall extract from us the supply we have secured. And if our manufacturers work short time soon enough and universally enough, there will be an ample amount of employment on the whole to afford two-thirds wages to the operative population. But if, relying on indefinite hopes, they should defer this needful precaution, and should use up their stock too rapidly, or disseminate it too unequally, we may endure much misery and some starvation. And if the Americans shall continue their strife with inveteracy and with obstinacy, and succeed among them in sealing up their production for the year, yet should be unable to persuade our merchants that such will be the case,prices will advance too slowly to attract from India the million of bales that we require. And if, in addition to all this, France and America, or either of them, should, in defiance of political economy and regardless of cost, adopt contrivances and bounties to drain away from us a portion of our scanty stocks, then our condition may become very serious indeed. Such a combination of unfavourable possibilities, however, we feel bound to say, we see no reason for anticipating. But every thing is harassingly uncertain.
Art. X.--THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION AT THE
PRESENT CRISIS. Causes of the Civil War in America. By J. Lothrop Motley. Man
waring: It is not at first easy for an ordinary Englishman to appreciate adequately the favourite arguments which the most cultivated and best American writers use at the present juncture. It seems to him that they are arguments befitting lawyers, not arguments befitting statesmen. They appear only to prove that a certain written document, called the Constitution of the United States, expressly forbids the conduct which the Southern States are consistently pursuing, and that therefore such conduct is culpable as well as illegal. Very few Englishmen will deny either the premiss or the conclusion considered in themselves. It is certain that the Constitution does forbid
that a cred States, e consistently Pillegal. Version considerheid