The Trent Affair leads to war 1861


Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
There is an American meme, a bit like Paul Revere's ride and Washington's cherry tree, that the British upper classes were "pro-Confederate" for various specious reasons. This seems to be taught in grade school and is often trotted out by public figures (Sometimes inflated to "pro-slavery")
A few years ago we had such a debate on this site--I researched the correspondence of Palmerston and his colleagues and much correspondence of the time, including the Commons and Lords Hansard records . There was surprisingly little support for the confederate cause anywhere and non by anyone with any real influence. Almost all the "support" quoted by American sources came from confederate funded propaganda newspapers published in the Uk--"The Index", "The Southern Register" and the "British Confederate". Then as now politicians gave speeches for cash--the young Benjamin Disraeli, champion of the "serfs and slaves" of the Russian Empire was quite happy to give a pro-confederate speech for twenty pounds to an audience of hard-pressed mill owners. Reports of such "support" were fed back to the US as propaganda--and the best propaganda endures--even for 160 years.
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