A WORLD ON FIRE: BRITAIN’S CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR” by Amanda Foreman
Submitted by E. W. Stevenson, M.D. Hoover, AL
I have often wondered why Jefferson Davis did not foresee the inevitable defeat of the Confederacy after Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and begin peace negotiations “to stop further effusion of blood”.
This book goes into great detail about the inner workings of the English government; and the work of the Federal and Confederate diplomats in London. Two mighty forces were at work in the English population, bringing immense pressure on their government. One was the English workers, responding to the severe economic depression caused by the federal blockade of the CSA southern cotton ports; and the other was the substantial antislavery movement in the English population. The English government simply elected to do nothing.
Obviously, the English navy could have broken the blockade, had they entered the war on the side of the Confederacy, as well as interdicted federal trade at sea. In which case, the northern population would have pressured Lincoln to cease his campaigns of “Southern aggression”.
I highly recommend that any serious student of the Civil War read this book, which fills in a gap in our usual understanding of “The War”. The book is an 807-page scholarly and well-researched study, written in an easy-to-read style.