Richmond (VA) Dispatch, "England and America," May 14, 1857

    Source citation
    "England and America," Richmond (VA) Dispatch, May 14, 1857, p. 2: 1.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Richmond Daily Dispatch
    Newspaper: Headline
    England and America
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    England and America.

    Whenever the slightest difficulty occurs in negotiations between England and America, it is amusing to see the irritated and bellicose tone which at once characterizes the press of both countries.  The unexpected refusal of the English Government to accept the Senate's amendment to the Dallas Claredon treaty, and the very proper attitude of neutrality adhered to by Mr. Buchanan in reference to the Chinese question, have given rise to a regular newspaper war, which is about the only war that is likely to occur for a long time between England and America.  A short time ago the London journals were speaking in the most honeyed terms of their American cousins; now we are all rascally Yankees.  Whenever John Bull gets out of humor  with Brother Jonathan he inevitably calls him a slab-sided, shad-bellied, filibustering Yankee, a term indiscriminately applied to North and South.  On the other hand, we are not slow in reciprocating the compliments of our amiable kinsman.  We remind him of his East India filibustering, of the manner in which the French took the shine out of his red jacket to the Crimea, and the abject, ludicrous figure he  cuts, waddling with his roast beef countenance and rotund paunch at the coat tails of his gaunt, and Imperial master, Napoleon 3d.

    No other war will grow out of the Central American troubles than war of words and billingsgate.  Neither country can afford to go to war with the other.  England would sooner help the United States to take possession of Cuba and all Central America, than lose her cotton and her custom.  The United States cannot afford to lose the English cotton market.  We have seen a powerful letter published in the New York Herald, and ascribed to a high political personage, setting forth many benefits which would flow to the United States from a war with England.  Among others, it would strengthen the manufacturing interest and preserve the Union.  We trust that this letter does not represent the opinions of any but the writer.  The country is not prepared to plunge into a bloody and interminable strife for the purpose of building up any interest.  Nor is a foreign war necessary to avert a civil war.

    That seems to be the idea of the writer, and a grand idea it is! Even if a foreign war could save us from disunion, upon what principle of ethics can such an expedient be justified? -  A sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and hundreds of millions of property, deliberately proposed upon the pretext of the conservative influence of war upon our domestic relations! Besides, in all probability, we should become just as hostile to each other, within five years after the war had terminated, as we were before it began.  This war could not remove slavery or demagogues from the country, and as long as they remain, we may look for a chronic internal inflammation, which all the blisters of battle will never eradicate.  There is only one aspect in which we can view a foreign war with any degree of complacency, or see any possible hope of its preserving the harmony of the country.  If the free soil demagogues who straddle the slavery hobby to ride into power, will enlist in the United States army, and be at once organized into a forlorn hope for the purpose of storming Quebec, or some other fortress of equal capabilities, the probability is that the country will have a period of repose, at least for some time.  Will the Herald's great war hawk of a correspondent be persuaded to mount a pair of epaulettes in the same cause, and lay down his own valuable life for the sake of Manufactures and the Union?

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