Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 262
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 262
refutation, yet a majority of the million voters remained unconvinced. 1 Nothing could be less candid than many of the current expressions. In 1861 when the avowed object of the war was the restoration of the Union, it was said, Make your war one against slavery and you will have the warm sympathy of the British public; yet Lincoln’s plan of compensated emancipation was pronounced chimerical and its proposal insincere, as being for the purpose of affecting European opinion. Gladstone, a friend of the North in January, was later swayed by the sentiment of the powerful classes. On April 24, 1862, he told the men of Manchester that the “deplorable struggle” was the cause of their misery, but that if the heart of the South were “set upon separation,” she could not be conquered and Englishmen should therefore be careful not to alienate her 6,000,000 or 10,000,000. He argued against the call of sympathy for the North on the ground that the contest was between slavery and freedom, declaring, “We have no faith in the propagation of free institutions at the point of the sword.” When William E. Forster said in the House of Commons that he believed it was generally acknowledged that slavery was the cause of the war, he was answered with jeers and shouts of “No, no!” and “The Tariff.” When he insisted, “Why Vice-President Stephens said that the South went to war to establish slavery as the corner stone of the new republic,” his retort was apparently looked upon as only the usual House of Commons repartee.  3
  The government of Great Britain was guilty of culpable negligence in permitting in March the sailing of the Florida, a vessel equipped for war, which had been built in Liverpool for the service of the Confederates. Sincere and diligent
Note 1. The number registered at the last election, that of 1859, was 370,000, but probably a million had the right of suffrage. [back]

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