Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 66
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 66
        “That with the South we’ve stronger ties,
Which are composed of cotton.
And where would be our calico
Without the toil of niggers?”
Then “the North keeps Commerce bound”; thus we perceive “a divided duty.” We must choose between “free-trade or sable brothers free.” 1 But, so Adams wrote, “Our brethren in this country, after all, are much disposed to fall in with the opinion of Voltaire that, ‘Dieu est toujours sur le côté des gros canons.’” 2
  For our standing in England it was unfortunate that we did not win the battle of Bull Run, as our defeat caused a marked revulsion of feeling. The aristocracy and upper middle class made no secret of their belief that “the bubble of democracy had burst in America.” By the autumn of 1861 the commercial and manufacturing people began to realize the disaster with which they were menaced by our cutting off the supply of cotton. Ordinarily the new crop came forward during the early autumn; now practically none was being received. Stocks of cotton were rapidly sinking. “A manufacture,” said the London Times, “which supports a fifth part of our whole population, is coming gradually to a stand.” 3 Mills were working short time; manufacturers were reducing wages; mill owners and laborers were dismayed at the prospect of a cotton famine. The blockade stood between them and a supply of cotton, threatening the owners with business derangement, and the workmen with starvation. The self-interest of the manufacturers and the sentimental predilections of the aristocracy were forces which, sometimes merging, sometimes reacting on one another, gave rise to a desire amongst these classes
Note 1. III, 433. [back]
Note 2. III, 434 n. [back]
Note 3. III, 503, n. 1. [back]


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