Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/518

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

of mother country and dependent colony; not, as in our case, that of coequal States united by Federal compact. It has ever been considered the proper function and duty of neutral powers to perform the office of judging whether in point of fact the nation asserting dominion is able to make good its pretensions by force of arms, and if not, by recognition of the resisting party, to discountenance the further continuance of the contest. And the reason why this duty is incumbent on neutral powers is plainly apparent when we reflect that the pride and passion which blind the judgment of the parties to the conflict cause the continuance of active warfare and consequent useless slaughter long after the inevitable result has become apparent to all not engaged in the struggle. So long, therefore, as neutral nations fail, by recognition of our independence, to announce that in their judgment the United States are unable to reduce the Confederacy to submission, their conduct will be accepted by our enemies as a tacit encouragement to continue their efforts, and as an implied assurance that belief is entertained by neutral nations in the success of their designs. A direct stimulus, whether intentional or not, is thus applied to securing a continuance of the carnage and devastation which desolate this continent and which they profess deeply to deplore.

The disregard of this just, humane, and Christian public duty by the nations of Europe is the more remarkable from the fact that authentic expression has long since been given by the Governments of both France and England to the conviction that the United States are unable to conquer the Confederacy. It is now more than two years since the Government of France announced officially to the Cabinets of London and Saint Petersburg its own conclusion that the United States we're unable to achieve any decisive military success. In the answers sent by these powers no intimation of a contrary opinion was conveyed; and it is notorious that in speeches, both in and out of Parliament, the members of Her Britannic Majesty's Government have not hesitated to express this conviction in unqualified terms. The denial of our rights under these circumstances is so obviously unjust and discriminates so unfairly in favor of the United States that neutrals have sought to palliate the wrong of which they are conscious by professing to consider, in opposition to notorious truth and to the known belief