by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
Over the years it has been noted, at least in some quarters, how strongly the communist and socialist radicals in Europe supported the Northern cause during the War of Northern Aggression. Marx, Engels, and all their socialist ilk literally drooled with their desire for a Yankee victory. Marx warmly congratulated Lincoln on his re-election in 1864 to a second term. Lincoln warmly thanked him. It was almost as if there was a Marx-Lincoln Mutual Admiration Society at work. Bakunin, the Russian revolutionary, as well as other European socialists of various stripes, all supported the Northern cause. In fact they supported Lincoln and the Northern cause just as much as some Southern folks do today that have been taught to feel guilty about their Southern heritage. You may have known some folks like that. I have.
Socialists that took part in the socialist revolts in Europe in 1848 flocked to this country from 1849 on through the 1850s after they were run out of their own countries as well as other European countries that did not want revolutionaries on their soil. Many of these jointed the Union armies, thousands of them, in fact. There is ample documentation for that which has been studiously ignored for decades by our establishment (Deep State) “historians.” Oh they will mention one or two of these people briefly in articles or books but never give you enough information to tell you what they were really all about and why they were over here. Donnie Kennedy and I dealt with this in our book Lincoln’s Marxists. Judging by some of the book reviews we’ve gotten from the supporters of the establishment they have been less than enthused by our exposure of their favored icons. All I can say is that if some of them hate our book that much then we must have done something right!
However, putting aside the radicals and 19th century pinkos, we might ask if there was any support in Europe for the Confederate cause. There was indeed. And at least in England, that support came from ordinary, everyday working folks.
Mary Ellison, who has been a lecturer in the Department of American Studies at Keele University, wrote a book called Support For Secession–Lancashire And The American Civil War (University of Chicago Press). In this book she demolished the myths that have persisted for well over a hundred years, that, during the War of Northern Aggression, the British working class, and in particular, the Lancashire cotton workers, dutifully supported the Northern cause. In most cases the exact opposite was true. The fact that most working people, at least in Lancashire, supported the Confederacy has been very carefully muffled. Ellison wrote: “The war was unquestionably shattering in its impact on the country (Great Britain). The combustible mixture of ideological complexities and tough economic repercussions detonated an explosion of sympathy for the Southern cause wherever unemployment was extensive.”
All across Lancashire there were meetings, held mostly by pro-Confederate groups, though the pro-Unionists did hold some, but with little success. Ellison continued: “The actual evidence proves that the cotton interests of the country were united in seeking official British assistance for the abortive struggle of the Confederacy for independent life…Demands for pro-Confederate intervention were encased in orderly public meetings and carefully worded petitions that were sent to the government…Simultaneously the national press overlooked the massive number of spontaneous meetings in support of the South and noted only the organized few that were attended by such noted Northern sympathizers as Cobden and Bright.” Does that sort of media blind spot sound rather familiar in our own day? The gentleman, Richard Cobden, here mentioned, had some interesting reasons for supporting the North. Turns out he was one of the prominent foreign stockholders of the Illinois Central Railroad, and he also had irons in the fire in other Northern companies. So his support for the North was hardly charitable–unless charity begins at home!
When it was issued, the Emancipation Proclamation was viewed by British working people with somewhat less charity than we may have been led to believe. Ellison noted: “The Emancipation Proclamation was rejected as nothing more than a military maneuver that hypocritically and ineffectually freed the Southern slaves while leaving those in the North in bondage.” Ellison, noting that British pro-Confederate supporters seemed unable to exert influence on the British government, stated that this did not mean that pro-Southern support wasn’t there, but rather, that it lacked political clout. It was somewhat akin to an earlier version of our “silent majority” of recent years. And it’s not that the silent majority is really so silent in many instances, but rather our prostitute press makes sure they get almost no notice. And when they get to the point they have recently where they are really starting to be noticed then those that control our media seek to censor them and de-platform them so they can’t reach a public that, for all these efforts, is starting to wake up.
Even English clergymen, speaking at meetings, recognized that Northern military strategy was really what dictated emancipation measures. Emancipation, contrary to popular, contemporary propaganda, was NOT the humanitarian gesture we have been told it was.
It should be noted that many of the British, while personally opposed to slavery, felt that an independent South would eventually free the slaves, and that slaves would be better off that way than being used as political pawns by the North. One British newspaper editorialized on “the whole Northern attitude that saw Negroes as ‘catspaws and cannon fodder’.” That was not too inaccurate an assessment.
One speaker in England maintained that, to save the Union, the North “would rivet the chains of the Negro still faster, and bind the slaves in chains of eternal bondage to gain their purpose.” Almost sounds as if he had read The Corwin Amendment! He was totally correct. That was, and is, the real reason for all the “civil rights” legislation we’ve seen in the years since the War of Northern Aggression. The real name of the game was not emancipation, but rather the transferal of control–from the private ownership of the plantation to the public control and oversight of Washington, D.C.
In conclusion, bear in mind that support for the Yankees came from European radicals and socialists and other assorted anti-Christ types. Support for the Confederacy came from ordinary working people. That fact is seldom mentioned. And for good reason–at least good for the media and their fake news promoters. It should tell us a little something about whose cause was (and is) worthy of support and whose cause was (and is) open to suspicion. Think about that.