War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1218 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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assistance or for alliances, defensive and offensive. They ask nothing which can endanger the peace or prosperity of those who may grant it. They desire only to be placed in a position in which their intercourse with the rest of the world may be conducted with the sanction of public law and under the protection of agents whose authority is recognized by nations. They seek the moral influence which the act of recognition may give them and nothing more. If it be manifest that the war of conquest now waged against them cannot succeed then the act of recognition is a mere question of time. If the fact be as stated the tendency of the act of recognition would be to prevent the further continuance of an unnecessary war and the useless effusion of blood. It may well be doubted if under such circumstances the nation which thus refuses to throw the moral weight of its influence in the scale of peace does not share in some of the responsibilities for the continuance of an unnecessary war which it might have done something to conclude without risk or injury to itself.

Indeed it may be said without exaggeration that France has a deep material and political interest in the establishment of the independence of the Confederate States. It is the event of all others which would give the most satisfactory solution to the great question of cotton supply for the manufacturing nations of Europe. That the great source of the production of this raw material which enters so largely into the manufacturing industry of Europe has been found in the Confederate States of America is an undoubted fact. That this will continue to be the case for a long time to come is in every way probable, for no other country presents the same combination of soil, climate and trained labor which is all essential to the successful production of cotton.

If our country is to be the great source for the supply of this article so indispensable to the manufacturing industry of the worldthe earth have the deepest interest to the distribution of the raw material for which the demand is so immense. If any one country is to have a virtual monopoly of the supply of raw cotton then the world would have the deepest interest in opening it to the easy and equal access of all mankind. Such would be the case if the depository of this great interest should be found in a country on the one hand strong enough to maintain its neutrality and independence and on the other committed by its interests to the policy of free trade and an untrammeled intercourse with all the world.

Such would be the precise position of the Confederate States when once their independence was achieved, and as a proof that this would be the natural tendency of their policy we have only to look to their early legislation which reduced the duties on imports to the lowest rate consistent with their necessities for revenoue and opened their coasting trade to the free and equal competition of all mankind. Nor is cotton the only great staple of which the Confederate States are likely to become not the sole but one of the chief depositories upon terms of equality to all the world. Tobacco, sugar, rice and naval products. Nature has thus made it to their interest to buy where they can purchase cheapest and to sell in as many markets as possible. To do this, as they will deal more in raw produce than in manufactures, they will seek to take in return the commodities of the rest of the world on the payment of the lowest duties consistent with their revenue wants. They will then virtually stand as the customers and not as the rivals of the commercial and manufacturing nations of Europe.