James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
made towards a restoration of the Union. The most significant and touching feature of the situation was that the operatives of the North of England who suffered most from the lack of cotton, were frankly on the side of the United States. They knew that their misery came from the war, and were repeatedly told that it would cease in a day if the North would accept an accomplished fact; but discerning, in spite of their meagre intelligence, that the struggle was one of democracy against privilege, of freedom against slavery, they resisted all attempts to excite them to a demonstration against its continuance. They saw their work fall off, their savings dwindle, their families in want and threatened even with the lack of bread, yet they desired the North to fight out the contest.
If the indictment which Americans bring against the governing classes of England for their sympathy with the South is maintained at the bar of history, it will be because they sympathized with a slave power, and thereby seemed to admit their own government and people to have been wrong on the slavery question for a generation past. The attempt of Englishmen to persuade themselves that slavery was not the issue of the war was a case of wilful blindness. For the truth was patent to all observers: The South held slaves, the North was free. Lincoln had been elected President for the reason that he represented the opposition to the extension of slavery, and his election was the cause of the secession and the war. If the North won, slavery would certainly be restricted, would perhaps be abolished; if the South gained her independence, slavery would be ratified and extended and the African slave trade would probably be revived. The nature of the conflict and its possible consequences were stated to the English by Professor Cairnes and John Stuart Mill in logic impossible of