Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/378

This page has been validated.
Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

lina, and Georgia have recently given expression to the popular sentiment, and like manifestations may be anticipated from all the States. Whatever obstinacy may be displayed by the enemy in his desperate sacrifices of money, life, and liberty in the hope of enslaving us, the experience of mankind has too conclusively shown the superior endurance of those who fight for home, liberty, and independence to permit any doubt of the result.

Foreign Relations.

I regret to inform you that there has been no improvement in the state of our relations with foreign countries since my message[1] in January last. On the contrary, there has been a still greater divergence in the conduct of European nations from that practical impartiality which alone deserves the name of neutrality, and their action in some cases has assumed a character positively unfriendly.

You have heretofore been informed that by common understanding the initiative in all action touching the contest on this continent had been left by foreign powers to the two great maritime nations of Western Europe, and that the Governments of these two nations had agreed to take no measures without previous concert. The result of these arrangements has, therefore, placed it in the power of either France or England to obstruct at pleasure the recognition to which the Confederacy is justly entitled, or even to prolong the continuance of hostilities on this side of the Atlantic, if the policy of either could be promoted by the postponement of peace. Each, too, thus became possessed of great influence in so shaping the general exercise of neutral rights in Europe as to render them subservient to the purpose of aiding one of the belligerents to the detriment of the other. I referred at your last session to some of the leading points in the course pursued by professed neutrals which betrayed a partisan leaning to the side of our enemies, but events have since occurred which induce me to renew the subject in greater detail than was then deemed necessary. In calling to your attention the action of those Governments, I shall refer to the documents appended to President Lincoln's messages, and to their own correspondence, as