When is UK/France most likely to recognize the CSA?

I was recently at the Antietam site, and the movie that played there claimed largely that if the Union strategically as well as tactically lost Antietam, Britain and France were likely to attempt to mediate the American conflict, and recognize the CSA, giving the South its independence.

How likely is this? What would the effects of such a decision be realistically upon Anglo-American relations later on? Finally, are there any other points in time at which the UK would recognize the CSA?
 

67th Tigers

Banned
I was recently at the Antietam site, and the movie that played there claimed largely that if the Union strategically as well as tactically lost Antietam, Britain and France were likely to attempt to mediate the American conflict, and recognize the CSA, giving the South its independence.

How likely is this? What would the effects of such a decision be realistically upon Anglo-American relations later on? Finally, are there any other points in time at which the UK would recognize the CSA?
Very, very likely, and after the delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation (perceived as a cynical attempt to ferment a servile war in the south) things came to a head.

In summer '63 John Roebuck had a private members bill before the house recognising the Confederacy, but the bill was withdrawn when news of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg arrived. Lee did not have to win Gettysburg, he only had to not be defeated for several more weeks to achieve Anglo-Franco-Russian intervention on behalf of the Confederacy. Luckily he failed in this. This was the last time the British seriously considered intervention, and in 1864 they started a drawdown of their forces in North America.
 
I'm afraid I am going to have to contradict the previous poster and say not likely at all. Some of the aristocracy sympathised with the CSA but among everyone else they were disliked. The only way would be for the union to be completely defeated.
 
I think it's clear that 1) Britain's not going to do it unless the CSA looks like it might win; 2) that a private member's bill is irrelevant, as they rarely pass; 3) that Lincoln is not going to issue the Emancipation Proclamation until it DOESN'T look like a cynical attempt to foment insurrection (he was sitting on it waiting for the appropriate moment, IIRC); and 4) that British recognition would be just that, not an alliance, not entering the war, unless the US was incredibly stupid. Yes, Seward threatened to be that stupid, but surely saner minds would prevail.

As for point 1. I have no idea what it would take for it to look like the CSA would win. I'm not sure any single battle of OTL would suffice. You might need a deeper PoD.
 
I think it's clear that 1) Britain's not going to do it unless the CSA looks like it might win; 2) that a private member's bill is irrelevant, as they rarely pass; 3) that Lincoln is not going to issue the Emancipation Proclamation until it DOESN'T look like a cynical attempt to foment insurrection (he was sitting on it waiting for the appropriate moment, IIRC); and 4) that British recognition would be just that, not an alliance, not entering the war, unless the US was incredibly stupid. Yes, Seward threatened to be that stupid, but surely saner minds would prevail.

As for point 1. I have no idea what it would take for it to look like the CSA would win. I'm not sure any single battle of OTL would suffice. You might need a deeper PoD.
So would you saw that Lord Lyons conversation with Lincoln about British intervention in Turtledoves TL-191 is pretty far fetched?
 
Very, very likely, and after the delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation (perceived as a cynical attempt to ferment a servile war in the south) things came to a head.

In summer '63 John Roebuck had a private members bill before the house recognising the Confederacy, but the bill was withdrawn when news of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg arrived. Lee did not have to win Gettysburg, he only had to not be defeated for several more weeks to achieve Anglo-Franco-Russian intervention on behalf of the Confederacy. Luckily he failed in this. This was the last time the British seriously considered intervention, and in 1864 they started a drawdown of their forces in North America.
No, make that very, very unlikely unless the CSA showed a clear ability to win the war and there was a pressing economic motivation. And a CSA that sent Mason and Slidell to represent itself was never going to go anywhere diplomatically anyhow.
 
I was recently at the Antietam site, and the movie that played there claimed largely that if the Union strategically as well as tactically lost Antietam, Britain and France were likely to attempt to mediate the American conflict, and recognize the CSA, giving the South its independence.

How likely is this? What would the effects of such a decision be realistically upon Anglo-American relations later on? Finally, are there any other points in time at which the UK would recognize the CSA?
Eh, what's required is both Lee's offensive going well *and* something like a Super-Perryville where Bragg exploits the command-collapse of the Army of the Ohio to win a victory that superficially would be the biggest rout of the war. Lee winning a victory on Union soil is all but impossible given his problems of improvising battles on the offensive and little likelihood that in a straight up fight in the open with the superior mass and weight of McClellan's army that even McClellan wouldn't bash his way through Lee's army and reduce it to a disorganized mob.
 
It's also very important that the recognition happen before the emancipation made the war explicitly about slavery. Pulling some nationalist mythos out of thin air and pushing the slavery aspect under the rug might work, but the British public and Parisian mob are not going to accept a government fighting to preserve slavery.
 
Very, very likely, and after the delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation (perceived as a cynical attempt to ferment a servile war in the south) things came to a head.

In summer '63 John Roebuck had a private members bill before the house recognising the Confederacy, but the bill was withdrawn when news of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg arrived.
Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. Nine months later, on June 30th, backbencher John Roebuck made a motion to recognize the Confederacy.

It was not a success. As Foreman's "A World on Fire" shows, Roebuck self-destructed. "The undersecretaries from the Home and Foreign offices were scathing in their criticism" of Roebuck. Henry Adams recorded that John Bright "caught and shook and tossed Roebuck, as a big mastiff shakes a wiry, ill-conditioned, toothless, bad-tempered Yorkshire terrier". A Southerner present called it "the most deliberate and tremendous pounding I have ever witnessed."

Roebuck tried to take up the motion again on July 10th, but it was blocked by his friends. Southerners begged Roebuck to withdraw the motion before it could be voted down. A Time editorial joined the chorus for withdrawal on July 13th. Roebuck did just that that very evening, after which Palmerston publicly hoped no such motion would be made in the future.

Roebuck withdrew his motion without it being voted on, four days before news of a battle at Gettysburg reached Britain, and six days before the British knew the Confederacy had lost the battle.
 
It's also very important that the recognition happen before the emancipation made the war explicitly about slavery.
Except the British public didn't believe the emancipation proclamation made the war about slavery. "The principle asserted is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States" (Spectator, 11 October 1862). The proclamation was created "as a weapon against the foes of the United States' Government, rather than a frank but tardy exposition of what is just between man and man" (Illustrated London News, 11 October 1862). There are a number of reasons for believing this, most significantly the number of times that Lincoln disclaims that the war is about slavery. ("If Jefferson Davis wishes...to know what I would do if he were to offer peace and re-union, saying nothing about slavery, let him try me", Lincoln to Charles D Robinson , 17 August 1864.) However, the contemporary attitude was very much that both sides were as bad as the other and there wasn't much to gain from being involved- an attitude that Palmerston shared.
 
Except the British public didn't believe the emancipation proclamation made the war about slavery.
They may not have at first, but that changed. Foreman's "A World on Fire" says "support for the North was growing. The London consul, Freeman H. Morse, whose duties had expanded to include propaganda and public agitation, told Seward that there had been a 'revolution' since Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Despite the initial skepticism and the best efforts of The Times to portray it as a cynical ploy to encourage race riots - or at the very least force Southern soldiers to return to their homes to protect their families - the message that the war had a moral purpose seemed to be reaching the British public."

Foreman mentions several pro-Union books an pamphlets put out and an increase in the number of British volunteering for service with the Union. The workingmen of Manchester wrote to Lincoln in support. The previously pacifist British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society began to actively support the Union.
 
Foreman mentions several pro-Union books an pamphlets put out and an increase in the number of British volunteering for service with the Union. The workingmen of Manchester wrote to Lincoln in support. The previously pacifist British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society began to actively support the Union.
Interesting. I wonder what the repercussions would have been if the British joined the Union in putting down the CSA and ended the war early.
 
Foreman's "A World on Fire"
Thanks for the paraphrase of pp394-5, but I don't particularly rate Foreman. I don't see how you can properly explain British attitudes to the Union with a single line about the boarding dispute of 1858- in which the US nearly went to war to prevent the British stopping slave ships- and no mention of the Anderson case of 1860- in which the state of Missouri tried to extradite a fugitive slave from Canada to have him burned alive- and I don't see how either of those two are less valuable than Trollope's views, which get almost a full page, or the Prince of Wales's visit, which gets a chapter.

Foreman mentions several pro-Union books an pamphlets put out
Most likely due to the £6000 Thomas Bayley Potter invested in founding the Union and Emancipation Society in early 1863- again, something which Foreman doesn't seem to think was worth mentioning.

The workingmen of Manchester wrote to Lincoln in support
Mary Ellison showed back in 1972 that that meeting was a sham. It was supposedly set up by two working-men, but the mayor of Manchester was there in his full regalia along with such middle-class dignitaries as John Watts, Samuel Pope, W.A Jackson and Thomas Bayley Potter. The Manchester Courier called it "a very artfully contrived enterprise on the part of the friends of Messrs. Cobden and Bright and the peace-at-any-price party", and other editors did the same. It's hard to see whether you can place any reliance on the meetings held at this time given Freeman H Morse's own admission that "It has cost much labor [sic] and some money to get it [mass meetings] well started but I think both have been well spent and are producing results far better than had any reason to hope" (Morse to Seward, Jan 17th 1863).
 
Except the British public didn't believe the emancipation proclamation made the war about slavery. "The principle asserted is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States" (Spectator, 11 October 1862). The proclamation was created "as a weapon against the foes of the United States' Government, rather than a frank but tardy exposition of what is just between man and man" (Illustrated London News, 11 October 1862). There are a number of reasons for believing this, most significantly the number of times that Lincoln disclaims that the war is about slavery. ("If Jefferson Davis wishes...to know what I would do if he were to offer peace and re-union, saying nothing about slavery, let him try me", Lincoln to Charles D Robinson , 17 August 1864.) However, the contemporary attitude was very much that both sides were as bad as the other and there wasn't much to gain from being involved- an attitude that Palmerston shared.
Except that you're making a claim about the British public from newspapers in an era that still predated true mass politics in the British isles, and when newspapers were emphatically not so much voices of the masses as miniature political machines in their own right. Lincoln disclaimed the war was about slavery because his priority was to secure the territorial continuity of the USA uninterrupted, and because he really didn't object to slavery where it already existed from a legal viewpoint.

And claiming Palmerston as some voice of reason is rather hilarious, we're talking a guy who waged a narco-war on a society just because it didn't want anything the British Empire was offering it, on the basis that "uppity foreigners" shouldn't back-talk their "British superiors".
 

frlmerrin

Banned
Except that you're making a claim about the British public from newspapers in an era that still predated true mass politics in the British isles, and when newspapers were emphatically not so much voices of the masses as miniature political machines in their own right.
This seems to be a somewhat less than fair statement Mr. Featherstone. The 1832 Reform act was a long time ago. Chartism has been and gone but the Reform league is going strong and in 1859 the Liberals were formed. Marx found it possible to write and publish the Manifesto in Britain, could the same have been said of the USA in this period. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were released in 1836 and Unionism (real Unionism not support for the USA) is growing. The franchise in the USA covers no greater percentage of the population than it does in Britain. So I suggest your argument that this period predates true mass politics does not really hold water.
 

67th Tigers

Banned
The franchise in the USA covers no greater percentage of the population than it does in Britain.
Actually it does. In the UK ca. 1/30th of the population had the vote vs about 1/7th of the US population. However, there is far greater corruption in US elections, ultimately leading to Lincoln deploying the army to gerrymander the 1864 election.
 

frlmerrin

Banned
Actually it does. In the UK ca. 1/30th of the population had the vote vs about 1/7th of the US population. However, there is far greater corruption in US elections, ultimately leading to Lincoln deploying the army to gerrymander the 1864 election.
Do you have a reference for this please? If so to what period does it refer. Does it for example include blacks in the American calculations? Looking at the figures you presented it seems to me that they may refer to the period before the Reform act?
 
Snake, Remember your thread of November 9th 2010? Much the same questions asked, but relating particularly to GB I posted:

"In Manchester in Queens Square, there is a statue of Lincoln and around it's base is a transcript of the speech he gave in thanks to the people of Manchester and the North West.
This was because of the blockade stopping the supplies of cotton reaching the UK. The workers were laid off from the mills, and a great famine was felt by those reliant on the cotton trade. People actually died of starvation!
Lincoln thanked them for their fortitude and understanding because the greater evil raised by the CSA was borne by the inocent workers of the North West.
You want a more beligerant England? Simply stir up this tragedy with a few great orators and philanthropists, and the English church will demand retribution! Not to mention the hungry masses understanding that this was a war for the right to survive, the right to work and the overthrow of the greater evil of the meglomaniac Northern States!!!!!
Well not really, but it's a starter for someone"?

I know that Food was similarly affected, but there are no memorials to that!

 
Actually it does. In the UK ca. 1/30th of the population had the vote vs about 1/7th of the US population. However, there is far greater corruption in US elections, ultimately leading to Lincoln deploying the army to gerrymander the 1864 election.
The problem with this particular statistical gerrymandering itself is that slaves could not vote, and they were a major part of the US population that created this. If we go by white male suffrage the USA had universal male suffrage long before the UK did.
 
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