What best explains why Liverpool and Manchester supported different sides in the American Civil War?


by Tom Vallely
Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
Liverpool
Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
Confederate Embassy

The Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861-65 had a profound impact on the region’s two great cities, Liverpool and Manchester. Yet their reactions to severe economic hardship, triggered by the American Civil War, was entirely contrasting. Liverpool – through which the cotton was imported – overwhelmingly supporting the Confederacy. Manchester – the commercial centre of Lancashire’s cotton manufacturing industry – seemed much more pro-Union. Early historians like Adams, Jordan, and Pratt[1] generally took the view that Liverpool followed its economic self-interest, whereas the stance of “moral Manchester”[2] and the rest of Lancashire was governed by higher ethical considerations; a conclusion which they drew from the contemporary accounts of Cobden, Bright, Marx and Gladstone. Revisionist historians in the 1970s, most prominently Ellison and thereafter d’A Jones and Longmate[3], argued instead that Lancashire was predominantly pro-Confederacy.  I will argue that Ellison & Co overstate their case and fail to make sufficient distinction between Manchester and the surrounding mill towns. The subsequent accounts of Blackett and Campbell[4] suggest a more nuanced picture. My own research, in the archives of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, suggests that while support for the Confederacy was indeed very strong in Liverpool the picture was much more complicated in Manchester. In both cities a complex interaction of factors came into play including commercial self-interest, attitudes to free trade versus protectionism, radical versus conservative politics, and established versus dissenting religion. Attitudes to slavery become significant, but only after the Emancipation Proclamation. But all this, rather than a simple dichotomy of selfishness versus social solidarity, accounts for the choices the two cities made.

Economic self-interest might be assumed to be the deciding factor in which side the two cities supported.  Both were seriously impacted by the cotton famine which resulted from the Confederate embargo then the Union blockade. Cotton was then a major component of the British economy; almost 4 million people – one sixth of the population[5] – depended on the cotton industry for their livelihoods. Longmate correctly points out important context here, that “Slavery and cotton had long provided a bond between the southern states of America and the North-West counties of England”[6]. In the 1790s Liverpool was Britain’s main slaving port, controlling 80% of the British trade and over 40% of Europe’s slave trade. It made the city rich and prosperous. Virtually all the leading inhabitants of the town, including the mayors, town councillors and MPs, invested in the slave trade and profited from it. At least 25 of Liverpool's Lord Mayors, between 1700 and 1820, were heavily involved. Liverpudlians spoke in favour of the slave trade at parliamentary abolition inquiries[7]. When the trade was abolished many Liverpudlians feared that “the sun of Liverpool’s prosperity had set”[8]. But the switch from trading slaves to trading slave-grown cotton increased the city’s wealth and strengthened its ties with the ante-bellum South. A willingness to overlook morally dubious business developed. This explains why Liverpudlians, both poor[9] and rich[10], supported the Confederacy together, rather than being divided by class as a Marxist view might suggest. In addition to direct cotton-trading the city built and manned blockade-running ships which brought cotton back to Britain. These were supported by “the whole town”[11] with people refusing to testify in court against them[12].
Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
CSS Banshee
Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
CSS Alabama
For young men unemployed in the cotton famine, blockade-running was a way to make large amounts of money. Over the course of the war over $200 million worth of cargo was smuggled into the Confederacy in exchange for nearly 1.25 million cotton bales - not enough for Lancashire’s mills, but creating huge profits for the ships’ crews
[13] and funders, like Spence[14] sometimes in excess of 700%[15]. It was also seen as an opportunity for noble adventure, and to take revenge on the Union for causing Liverpool such hardship.[16] So well-known and widely-supported was Confederate shipbuilding that when local official Edward Haycock launched a new ship supposedly bound for Australia in August 1863, in his speech he openly joked about the possibility of it ending up “going on a Confederate cruise”, for which he was cheered and applauded by the audience.[17] At the same time, the elite of Liverpool used their considerable wealth to make their own contribution, knowing they had much to lose – in terms of cash and connections – if the Confederacy collapsed. Fraser, Trenholm and Co., which acted as the Confederacy’s European bank[18], was an offshoot of a long-established Charleston business; its manager Charles K. Prioleau, who used his own personal funds to help the Confederates buy British firearms, was born in South Carolina [19]. Similarly, James Spence, author of The American Union (1861), and the one-man “indefatigable”[20] organiser of the pro-Confederate propaganda effort in Britain, was a leading Liverpool businessman and member of the Liverpool Exchange[21]. He planned the three-day Grand Southern Bazaar in October 1864, where 10,000 of Liverpool’s high society raised over £20,000 (£2,320,000 in today’s money[22]) for Confederate prisoners of war; an event so popular that 2000 had to be turned away on the final day. Every level of society was involved in some capacity in helping the war effort because everyone in Liverpool was, to some extent, invested in the cotton trade. This “deep involvement with cotton and shipping”[23] which stretched back decades potently suggests that economic self-interest best explains why Liverpool “from the first day”[24] supported the Confederacy. However, in Manchester things were very different. It is true that many in Lancashire did call for the government to break the Union blockade in order to stop the “morass of destitution” [25] created as more and more mills became unable to function due to lack of cotton[26]. Ellison argues, with partial success, that those areas hit hardest by the shortage of cotton, such as smaller Lancashire mill-towns reliant solely on cotton-related employment, were “almost an exact match”[27] with the places most in the support of the secessionists[28]. But Ellison firstly fails to analyse the ownership of the press which she uses for evidence, and how this may affect the reliability and biases of newspaper accounts. Secondly, she also fails to take account of the fact that mill-owners set up pro-Confederate events themselves and bribed or otherwise encouraged their workers to attend them[29]. In any case, the Lancashire towns she investigates cannot be considered part of Manchester, as the idea of a Greater Manchester conurbation did not exist until much later. By comparison to Liverpool, Manchester’s economy was much more diversified and therefore could endure the cotton famine better than Liverpool. Although it was home to the country’s biggest cotton-spinning industry, it also engaged in distributive trading, goods manufacturing, food processing, chemicals, engineering, retail and service industries – sectors less affected by the shortage of cotton[30]. Even during the height of the crisis fewer than 500,000 of the 4 million people in the region dependent on cotton for their living, were relying on relief[31]. Contrary to Ellison’s thesis, a surprising number of cotton manufacturers in Manchester and Lancashire (27 out of 62) actually backed the Union[32]; a division which went against their own economic self-interest, and which Blackett more convincingly[33] instead puts down to “exclusively…politics”[34]. For Liverpool, economic considerations [outweighed] abstract political arguments”[35] but in Manchester the political dimension prevailed. Although economics can explain Liverpool’s support of the Confederacy, it cannot easily explain why in Manchester the situation was much more complicated and eventually more pro-Union. Because of this, we must look elsewhere to other factors to explain why the two cities took different sides.

Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
Manchester Famine

Manchester and Liverpool espoused different views on free trade. Between 1857-1860, America had one of the lowest tariff rates in the world (17-21%) and was seen as one of the most pro-free-trade nations in the world[36]. The British public was increasingly in favour of free trade, especially Liberals to whom “free trade was as much a moral as a commercial issue”[37]. But Liverpool’s popular politics throughout the 1840s and 1850s had been highly protectionist[38], rooted partly in a Protestant hostility to Irish Catholic immigrants who would work for lower wages [39]. The popular acceptance of free trade did not gain as much traction in Liverpool as in the rest of the country[40], and after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 Liverpool’s protectionist views became even more extreme[41]. In 1850, the Liverpool Shipwrights Association went so far as to tell city officials “We should be a good deal better off if you never let a foreign ship come into this port, for they do us no good”[42]. Whereas Manchester’s views were more Liberal, Liverpool’s were rooted in Toryism. Liverpudlian merchants like Rev. Dr. Hugh McNeile claimed that free-traders “idolise cheapness, and exalt it as a motive for action, far beyond all moral, social and political principles”[43]. Protectionist candidates stood in Liverpool in the 1847 general election, and the following year local Tories formed the Liverpool Constitutional Association dedicated to “securing… that fair reward for his labour which English men have been used to enjoy”[44], prioritising them over their foreign competitors. In 1850 it condemned "the reckless pursuit of cheapness and competition” which “threatened to undermine [Britain’s] hard-won constitutional liberty and prosperity"[45]. In contrast, Manchester had a strong pedigree of favouring free-trade and laissez-faire economics; it was said that “Free trade Manchester could sniff out monopolies as pigs could truffles[46]. The campaign against the Corn Laws[47], led by MPs John Bright and Richard Cobden set its headquarters not in London, but in Manchester. To mark the end of mercantilism in Britain, after the Corn Laws were repealed, Manchester in 1852 built the Free Trade Hall in commemoration[48]. This goes a large way to explain why Lincoln’s protectionist Morrill Tariff in 1861 went down so badly, making Manchester so anti-Union at the start of the war[49]. The measure set import duties at 40%[50], and increased the duty on foreign cotton imports by a “prohibitive” 70%[51]  which “violated every principle of free trade”[52] the British held dear. The tariff, which targeted the British manufactured goods currently flooding the American market, caused “outrage”[53] all over Britain but especially in “Free Trade Manchester”. Even Cobden and Bright – who had been so enamoured with America that they were derisively referred to in parliament as “The Members for the United States”[54] – became temporarily disillusioned with the Union[55]. There is complete consensus among historians that the new tariff was a “public relations disaster”[56] for the Union. During the early years of the war, it was the “one serious flaw”[57] which pushed away groups, like Mancunian Liberals, who would otherwise have supported the Union. Pro-Confederates, such as Spence, tried to turn the mistake to their advantage, emphasising the Confederacy’s commitment to free trade principles.[58] Some in Manchester were persuaded by this; a letter to a local paper in November 1861 signed “Power Loom Weaver”, argued that “no country that had fought for the establishment of free trade could turn its back on a nation committed to the same principles”[59].  However, while many free-traders expressed anti-Union opinions, this did not necessarily turn them pro-Confederate; dislike for one side did not mean affection for the other. Were free trade the main factor then Protectionist Liverpool would have supported the Union and Free Trade Manchester would have supported the Confederacy; but the opposite was true. That suggests that factors other than free trade and protectionism were at play in deciding who Manchester and Liverpool supported in the war.

"The sides people took in the war determined to a measurable degree their commitment to political reform,” writes Blackett[60]. What he says of people is also true of cities. Though Campbell insists that for Liverpool economic considerations [outweighed] abstract political arguments”[61], there was a distinct Conservative High-Church political philosophy[62]which undergirded the city’s economic self-interest. Liverpudlians were not simply worried that the United States’ economic and trading power could one day rival the British Empire; they also saw in the Union a fulfilment of their fears about the excesses of democracy. This view is reflected in James Spence’s pro-Confederate best-seller The American Union[63], which articulated conservative philosophical doubts on the shortcomings of Republican democracies. Spence insisted that federal forms of government were successful only if undertaken on a small scale, and that secession placed useful restraints on uncontrolled democracy. He also referenced the two sides’ social and cultural makeup: The Confederate states he saw settled by a genteel aristocracy traceable all the way back to Britain, while throughout recent decades the free states in the Union had attracted large numbers of poor immigrants from among “the residuum of Europe”[64]. Due to the electoral college, the Northern Free states were rapidly becoming more politically powerful in Congress than the Southern Slave states, and Spence argued this would inevitably lead to the promotion of those less skilled in the art of government. With the French Revolution and the European Revolutions of 1848 still in living memory, this played effectively into conservative anxieties about popular democracy. The abolitionist Richard Webb called Spence’s 400-page tract one of the ablest, crafty and most dishonourable books I have ever met with. It is studiously suited to the English taste, being moderate in tone, lucid in style and free from personalities"[65]. No pro-Union propaganda could match it, and it became the seminal text on the Civil War for British readers. Not all conservatives agreed; to some, a greater threat than American democracy was the dangerous secessionist precedent the Confederacy set for Ireland to follow. Those who saw this as the prime risk accepted the Union’s right to use force against the secessionists to maintain its unity[66].
Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
Address Of Support
However, overall, most felt a Confederate victory would both curb the Union’s imperialist expansion and also prevent Britain’s adoption of a more democratic political system, which would come at the expense of their own privilege. By contrast, in Manchester, political radicals came to support the ‘free labour’ Union believing victory on the American battlefield could in time be converted into victories at the British ballot box, especially in political reform and widening the franchise.
When the son of the American ambassador visited Manchester in 1861, he was told that although its common people were “generally unfriendly and even hostile” to his cause, “the radical party, the Brights and Cobdens of Manchester, who have large influence” were for the Union[67].   Bright and Cobden both “spoke frequently and volubly for the Union” throughout the war[68]. The two men saw America’s successes in the aims of the Manchester School of politics – “democracy, low taxation, universal education, no government regulation, no military expenditure unless in self-defence, and free trade”[69] as a model for what Britain could achieve. “Can such intelligence, civilisation, and moral and material well-being be elsewhere found?” Cobden asked[70].  Over the next 18 months support for the Union steadily built. Though Manchester was numerically dominated by working men, in terms of its character, Longmate asserts, it was essentially a middle-class city[71]. This is important, as the middle class were generally more sympathetic towards the Union, possibly because they had the wealth to evade the hardship visited on the working class by the Morrill Tariff and the cotton blockade, but also because of their more Liberal and Radical politics. Manchester was a centre of social reform movements whose members saw similar movements gaining much greater traction in the Union than the Confederacy. Blackett, who is weaker than Campbell in his exploration of Confederate support but who is much more detailed in his investigation of pro-Unionists, demonstrates that ministers of the Unitarian church (and other Dissenting branches of Christianity) played a pivotal role in support for the Union[72].  Support for the Union was also “closely aligned with the co-operative movement” of which Manchester was the stronghold[73]. Enthusiasts for temperance, which was also popular in Manchester, tended to support the Union; Thomas H Barker, who drafted the 1862 Manchester address to Lincoln (see below), was also the Secretary of the United Kingdom Alliance for the Suppression of the Liquor Traffic. The Union was also backed by Manchester’s Chartists (never a strong force in Liverpool[74]). The majority of its many trade union leaders did the same[75].  Even 27 of Manchester’s prominent cotton manufacturers (those who were ardent political reformists) backed the Union[76].  Some radicals, however, found Lincoln insufficiently far-reaching for them both on slavery (see below) and on the politics of self-determination. John Watts, the first cotton famine historian[77]as early as 1866, argued that while Bright and Cobden saw the US as an example to follow, other Radicals had already lost faith in America as a useful political model because it had violated the “first doctrine of Radicalism…the right of a people to self-government”. [78]. Indeed, Campbell argues some of the staunchest supporters of the Confederacy were prominent radicals, like John Arthur Roebuck, William Schaw Lindsay and William Scholefield, whose opposition to slavery was trumped by their support of the right to self-government and the Southern people’s right to rebel against a tyrannical and oppressive Union[79]. That said, Blackett offers persuasive evidence that despite the ebb and flow of public opinion, by mid-1862 Manchester was overwhelmingly pro-Union, as will be made clear below.

Historical attitudes to slavery differed significantly in Liverpool and Manchester. As early as 1782, 20% of Manchester’s population, 11,000 people, signed a petition in support of abolition[80]. Abolitionist Thomas Clarkson’s 1787 speech denouncing slavery in Manchester Cathedral drew national attention, and “Moral Manchester” was instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade in 1807[81]. The City was home to the Anti-Slavery Society, the Manchester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society, the Constitutional Society, the Emancipation Society, and the Manchester Union[82]. One abolitionist group even funded runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad[83]. In contrast, when the abolition campaign began in the 1780s, Liverpool, which historically had fewer qualms about slavery, strongly opposed it. Several of the city’s MPs, who had personally invested in the slave trade, spoke strongly in its favour in Parliament[84]. Confederate slavery therefore raised more issues in Manchester than in Liverpool. Even so, in the early years of the war, slavery was not a determining issue but one among a host of others. As one English observer put it in 1861, "We cannot be very zealous for the North; for we do not like her ambition; we are irritated by her insolence; we are aggrieved by her tariffs; but we still have much feeling of kinship and esteem. We cannot be at all zealous for the South; for though she is friendly and free-trading, she is fanatically slave, and Slavery is the object of our rooted detestation"[85]. In August 1862, Mancunians organised a pro-Union meeting in nearby Ashton and asked those at the meeting in favour of slavery to put up their hands, only for locals to shout out: "it's not a question of slavery"[86]. Unemployed mill hands struggling to survive wanted a resumption of cotton imports, regardless of their anti-slavery views. In contrast, others condemned Lincoln during the first 18 months of the conflict for not being bold enough on the slavery issue. At the start of the war, courting the slave-holding border states of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri – which Lincoln believed were vital to the Union war effort – he avoided action on abolition for fear of pushing them into secession. But to many British abolitionists, his reluctance put the Union and Confederacy on a moral equivalency since neither held the ethical high ground[87].  Yet minds began to change in Manchester the following month. In September 1862 Lincoln announced that all slaves in rebelling states would, on the first day of the next new year, be declared free by the Union government. A Union victory would mean the end of slavery. This Emancipation Proclamation decisively shifted the balance of public opinion in Manchester, and elsewhere, towards the Union in a way which the pro-Confederates could not resist[88]. Obviously, there were exceptions[89], but Blackett argues compellingly that, these individuals aside, the Emancipation Proclamation brought even the most pacifist Britons to support of the Union war effort.[90]. By the end of 1862 Manchester emerged as a strong Union supporter[91], and the importance of the Proclamation’s role in bringing about this change of opinion cannot be overstated: the greatest pro-Union meeting of working men in Manchester, at the Free Trade Hall, was called on New Year’s Eve 1862, to celebrate its enactment next day. The meeting exalted Lincoln, claiming the erasure of that foul blot on civilisation and Christianity - chattel slavery - will cause [him] to be honoured and revered by posterity”. Ellison calls this “unrepresentative” of the wider region’s feeling and asserts that, though called by ‘working men’, the meeting was “probably” dominated by the middle class[92]. Her arguments here are thin. The main resolutions were proposed by a textile operative Edward Hooson. In the new year 3,860 clergy, gathered in the same building, similarly declared that an independent Confederacy "would put back the progress of Christian civilisation and of humanity a whole century"[93]. 
Liverpool and Manchester and the American Civil War
Lincoln Square
Once one side began offering total abolition, slavery became a significant factor in the war, and Manchester’s pedigree of anti-slavery sentiment kicked in. Support for the Confederacy became minimal, and
British supporters of the Confederacy tried even harder to adapt their pro-Confederate material to an anti-slavery audience. In 1863 the manifesto of the Southern Independence Association – written by James Spence himself – declared, “We regard slavery as repugnant alike to the reason and the sentiment of the present age. We believe it to be highly prejudicial to the real interests of the South…… we hold that the Independence of the South is the true and sure means of extinguishing slavery…”. This strong disavowal of slavery was unlike anything proclaimed in the actual Confederacy and was so far from true Confederate beliefs that the government in Richmond, Virginia sacked Spence, their finest propagandist, because of it. By now the efforts of Spence and his fellows were merely token. The creation of the Southern Independence Association was a last desperate attempt to pull Britain into the American Civil War as the tide began to turn against the South”[94]. My own research has unearthed the membership list[95] of the SIA, whose headquarters were on Market Street in Manchester. Though it claimed 588 members only 219 of them, and a mere one-sixth of its vice-presidents were actually from Manchester. According to Campbell its efforts were “paltry” and impact “virtually nil”; by the end of 1863 there were only 15 members left. [96] Slavery was the issue it could not counter. Eventually, says Blackett, almost all except the most conservative got behind the Union war[97]. Confederate supporters shied away from any public appearances in Manchester and Thomas Barker boasted that pro-Confederates now considered the city hostile territory [98], as private letters from James Spence in 1864 confirm[99]. Thus, the differing stances of the Manchester and Liverpool which were rooted in factors much wider than the issue of slavery were in the end, especially after the assassination of Lincoln, reduced to that in the popular imagination. Campbell concludes: “No issue… impacted upon English opinion on the American Civil War as much as did slavery. The existence of the institution caused far more damage to the reputation of the Confederacy than most historians have acknowledged[100].”.  

No single factor explains why Liverpool and Manchester supported different sides in the American Civil War. Economic self-interest and personal connections to the ante-bellum South were the biggest factors in Liverpool’s decision, undergirded by a conservative political worldview. In the case of Manchester, social and electoral reform, and increasingly emancipation, were the significant factors which, in their own way constituted Manchester’s own political self-interest. Both cities played to their own interests but since their priorities lay in different areas they were expressed as support for different sides.

 


 



[1] ED Adams two-volume Great Britain and the American Civil War 1925 and Donaldson Jordan's and Edwin J Pratt’s Europe and the American Civil War 1931, quoted in Duncan Andrew Campbell, 2003, English public opinion and the American Civil War, Royal Historical Society, Boydell press, Woodbridge UK and Rochester NY Campbell 2003.

[2] Terry Wyke, 2006, Manchester men and Liverpool gentlemen, unpublished talk delivered at a joint meeting of the Liverpool and Manchester history societies under the auspices of the Lancashire Local History Federation, emailed by Wyke to the author, Tom Vallely.

[3] Mary Ellison, 1972. Support for Secession: Lancashire and the American Civil War, Chicago 1972. Epilogue by Peter d’A Jones. Norman Longmate, 1973, The Hungry Mills, Temple Smith, London.

[4] RJM Blackett, 2001, Divided Hearts – Britain and the American Civil War, Louisiana State University Press. Duncan Andrew Campbell, 2003, English public opinion and the American Civil War, Royal Historical Society, Boydell press, Woodbridge UK and Rochester NY.

[5] Longmate, p43; Longmate, quoting The Times, 22 January 1861; and Duncan Andrew Campbell, 2007, Unlikely Allies: Britain, America and the Victorian origins of the special relationship, London, p146.

[6] Longmate, p28.

[7] Liverpool and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 2014, National Maritime Museum, Liverpool http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/archive/info-sheet.aspx?sheetid=3

[8]  John Watts, 1866. The facts of the cotton famine. London & Manchester, p97.

[9] Edwards and Burrows, A Civil War Tour of Liverpool, 'Crossfire' the magazine of the ACWRT (UK) No.68 http://www.acwrt.org.uk/uk-heritage_A-Civil-War-Tour-of-Liverpool.asp

[10] Blackett, p184.

[11] Campbell, 2003, p219, quoting Union consul Thomas Haines Dudley.

[12] James Dunwoody Bulloch, 1884, The Secret Service of the Confederate States, New York, quoted in Campbell, 2003, p219.

[13] Longmate, p228 & 235.

[14] Blackett, p92.

[15] Campbell, 2003, p238.

[16] William Watson, 1898, Adventures of a Blockade Runner, London, quoted in Longmate, p235.

[17] The Preston Pilot, 8 Aug 1863, quoted in Ellison, p159. The speaker was Edward Hardcastle, a prominent figure in the North West: The Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire and a trustee of the Manchester Grammar School.

[18] How British Businesses Helped the Confederacy Fight the American Civil WarMarch 7, 2016, Joe Kelly, Liverpool University http://theconversation.com/how-british-businesses-helped-the-confederacy-fight-the-american-civil-war-52517

[19] Amanda Foreman, 2010, A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided, London, p141. 

[20]  Longmate, p254.

[21] Foreman, p. xxxiv.

[22] http://inflation.stephenmorley.org/, correct as of 5/1/2018.

[23] Ellison, p14.

[24] Spence wrote this in August 1862: Victorian Society Liverpool Group Newsletter, 2013, http://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/regions/LI-Liverpool_newsletter_Dec_2012.pdf

[25] Ellison, p5.

[26] ibid.

[27] ibid.

[28] Ellison, p 5-32.

[29] Some workers were promised suits of clothes to attend, according to Blackett, p177.

[30] Martin Hewitt, 1996, The Emergence of Stability in the Industrial City: Manchester, 1832–67, Oxford. See Table 2.2 The Shape of the Manchester Business Sector 1846-60.

[31]  Watts, 1866, p227, totals the relief registers from 26 towns and district in Lancashire.

[32] Blackett, p102.

[33] What makes Blackett so persuasive is that his book is far the most comprehensive research to-date: as well as the usual pamphlet and newspaper sources, it studies the biographies of over 800 contemporaries of the war and from them draws trends of how political, economic, and social identities influenced people’s opinions. He also, unusually, includes information from contemporary graphics and illustrations. It achieves a much greater nuance than revisionists like Ellison, and Campbell, inexplicably, takes no account of him in either of his books.

[34] Blackett, p102

[35] Campbell, 2003, p219.

[37] Campbell, 2003, p147.

[38] Richard Price, 1999, British Society, 1680-1880: Dynamism, Containment and Change, Cambridge, p110.

[39] John Belchem, 1993, The Church, the Throne and the People: Ships, Colonies and Commerce': Popular Toryism in early Victorian Liverpool, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Vol 143 (1993), p36.

[40]  Graeme J. Milne, 2000, Trade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool: Mercantile Business and the Making of a World Port, Liverpool University Press, 2000, p169.

[41] cited in John Belchem, 2006, Merseypride: Essays in Liverpool Exceptionalism, Oxford, p167.

[42] Shipbuilding in Liverpool. Evidence taken before the Committee appointed by the Town Council to consider the present state of the Shipbuilding Trade in Liverpool, and the best means which can be adopted for encouraging it Liverpool, 1850, p113-150, quoted in Belchem, 1993, p53.

[43] “Slave Labor versus Free Labor Sugar”, speech by Rev. Dr. Hugh Boyd McNeile at a public meeting of the Liverpool Constitutional Association, 13 June 1848, quoted in John Belchem ,1998, Liverpool in 1848: Image, Identity and Issues, London.

[44] Belchem, 1993, p48.

[45] at a joint meeting with the National Association for the Protection of British Industry and Capital, Belchem, p49.

[46] Wyke lecture, 2006.

[47] Since 1815, parliament had enforced the Corn Laws, which put huge tariffs on foreign imported grain to avoid British farmers being undercut by foreign competitors.

[48] So well-known was the link between free trade and the city that free trade became one of the central tenets of the “Manchester School” of politics (term coined by Benjamin Disraeli in 1848) which was the political school Cobden and Bright supported (Longmate, p 38). When German socialist Ferdinand Lassalle wanted to describe rampant capitalist ideology, he invented the phrase “Manchesterism” as a term of abuse (Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century, Ralph Raico, 2005: https://mises.org/library/authentic-german-liberalism-19th-century)

[49] Campbell, 2003, p41.

[50] ibid.

[51] Longmate, p56.

[52] Blackett, p92.

[53] Campbell, 2007, p147.

[54] Foreman, p.xxxii.i

[55] Ellison p7 and Blackett p21. Bright wrote that the Morrill Tariff was "a stupid and unpatriotic act"

[56] ibid.

[57] Ellison p7.

[58] Blackett, p21 and p173.

[59] Ashton and Stalybridge Reporter, 30th November 1861, quoted in Blackett, p9.

[60] Blackett, p240.

[61] Campbell, 2003, p219.

[62] “The hegemony of popular Toryism in Liverpool is described as the deepest and most enduring Tory 'deviation' among Victorian workers” in J. R. Vincent, Pollbooks: how Victorians voted (Cambridge, 1967), p 61, quoted in Liverpool in 1848: image, identity and issues, John Belchem, 1998: https://www.hslc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/147-2-Belchem.pdf

[63] James Spence, 1861, The American Union; its effects on national character and policy with an enquiry into secession as a constitutional right and the cause of the disruption, London, 1861.

[64] Blackett, p 138.

[65] quoted in Blackett, p139, and Foreman, p160.

[66] Campbell, 2003, p6.

[67] Longmate, p252: Henry Adams visited Manchester in November 1861 where he was assured “There was not a man of position in Manchester who would venture to say to Lord Palmerston 'interfere for the cotton’…. nor would Manchester give any encouragement now to any party which made the infraction of the blockade its war cry. If such a party existed it was in Liverpool alone, and among the cotton factors and the persons connected immediately with the South".

[68] Duncan Andrew Campbell, Unlikely Allies: Britain, America and the Victorian origins of the special relationship, London, 2007.

[69]  Foreman, p45.

[70]  Cobden to George Combe, 17 July 1848, quoted in Ellison p7.

[71]  Longmate, p 252.

[72]  Blackett, p106.

[73]  All the prominent figures in the Co-op movement backed the Union, Blackett, p112.

[74]  Kevin Moore, 'This Whig and Tory Ridden Town: popular politics in Liverpool in the Chartist era', in Belchem,J, ed, 1992, Popular Politics, Riot and Labour: Essays in Liverpool History 1790-1840,  pp 38- 67.

[75] Philip S Foner, British labor and the American Civil War, New York, 1981, quoted in Campbell, 2003, p7. And Blackett, p119.

[76] Blackett, p102.

[77] Watts was a contemporary writer and member of the Central Relief Committee which met in Manchester during the famine to help those who had lost their jobs.

[78] Watts, p 105.

[79] Campbell, 2007, p164.

[81] Alcott, 2007.

[82] ibid

[83] Blackett, p114. The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape into free states and Canada in the early-to-mid 19th century.

[84] Archives of the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/slavery/europe/liverpool.aspx

[85] William Rathbone Greg, writing in the National Review, July 1861, p162, quoted in Campbell, 2003, p48.

[86] Longmate, p250.

[87]  Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh, 2003, Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War review Civil War History, Volume 49, Number 2, pp 188-189 https://doi.org/10.1353/cwh.2003.0039

[88]  Will Kaufman ed 2005, Britain and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History, ABC-CLIO, Vol 1, pp286-8. 

[89] The Oldham bookseller Joseph L Quarmby rejected Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as an effort to make "the nigger a stepping stone to Empire". He thought the Proclamation was a callous attempt "to free ‘sambo’ the better to enslave the white man in America and England".

[90]  Douglas Gardner, 2002, review of RJM Blackett, Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War, H-South, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=6501

[91] email from Prof Blackett to the author, Tom Vallely, 21 August 2017.

[92]  Ellison, p 81.

[93] quoted in Blackett, p163-4.

[94] Thomas E. Sebrell II (2014). Persuading John Bull: Union and Confederate Propaganda In Britain, 1860–65, p 137.

[95] List of “Southern Independence Association” members 1862, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Fraser Trenholm manuscripts, ref B/FT/6/34.

[96] Campbell, 2003, p183.

[97] Blackett:"All the indications are, however, that even in Lancashire [despite Confederate efforts] the friends of the Union carried the day" p 212.

[98] Blackett, p196.

[99] Blackett, p211.

[100] Campbell, 2003, p11.

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Anaconda Map
Anaconda Plan
Brief Timeline of ACW
Apr 1861 Confederate attack on Fort Sumter
Jul 1861 The First Battle of Bull Run
Mar 1862 First battle of ironclad warships
Apr 1862 At Shiloh Union forces rally from almost near defeat to drive back the Confederate army
Sep 1862 The battle at Antietam
Jan 1863 Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation
Jul 1863 Gettysburg Turning Point
Jul 1863 Fall of Vicksburg
Sep 1864 Sherman Captures Atlanta, Georgia
Apr 1865 General Lee Surrenders
Apr 1865 Lincoln Assassinated


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