In my paper I plan on doing a collected biography or posiography of the confederate lobby in parliament during the American Civil War. I plan on examining what drove these men to support slavery. From what I was able to find nobody has examined before what was the common element among the lobby. In this paper I plan on showing how having family or having served in some role in the British Empire was the tie that bound them together and thus influenced them to support slavery. The members of the lobby were William H. Gregory, John A. Roebuck, William S. Lindsay, James Spence and Thomas C. Grattan. This paper would shed new light on the role of Britain during the Civil War and show how there was not a monolithic approach to the conflict in England as is often presented in history textbooks. If you would publish my paper and give me ten thousand dollars, which will cover the cost of airfare to England and housing, which will be required to complete the project it would be greatly appreciated. As a result of my efforts you will receive a paper that will radically reinterpret history.
The significance of this paper is that nobody has ever done a paper, which examines the element that drew the supporters of slavery in parliament together. The reason that I was able to determine from my research was that they all come from families that worked in the British Empire or that they were able to make their wealth by working in the empire. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that they were interested in protecting the interests of the British Empire and were hence supporting slavery in the United States because they thought that it would be protecting their interests in preserving the empire. The support can also be seen through the lens of them supporting slavery because they came from families that benefited from the slave trade until the British Empire abolished it in the early part of nineteenth century. However the prevailing view that is presented in the media is that it was because of the members’ economic interests. Yet nobody has described the members connection to the empire and what this mean. Hence the significance will be in asserting new evidence about these people, which has not been looked at before. The approach that is taken when looking at the British Empire’s approach to the Civil War was that they supported the Union but this is not the complete story. In actuality there was a power struggle in parliament between supporters of the Union and the Confederacy. This power struggle and the ties of the competing union and confederate lobbies have not been explained fully. I plan on showing the significance of the confederate lobby and what role it played in influencing the course that England took during the civil war. The underlying element of the confederate lobby is that of all them come from families that worked within the empire or benefited from the empire. The research method of a collected biography or posiography has never been used to examine these individuals and put them into context. The influence of preserving the empire has never been mentioned before as the reason for support of the continuation of slavery rather it has been mentioned as personal wealth and gain: However these member of the confederate lobby were very interested in maintaining slavery because they believe that it benefited the empire. All of the members of the lobby were public servants and served in parliament so they would look to put the good of the empire instead of themselves. By coming from families that served the British Empire they were endowed with a mission to look out for the interests of the empire. The aspect of duty to empire has not been seen in studying these men. Despite being unsuccessful in not being able to convince the government about the position of the confederacy these men have significance to the time period that we live in. These men were not motivated by morals rather protecting the interest of the British Empire motivated them. An examination of them should be done because it shows how leaders operate without morals, which can happen in any age. The posiography would also show how self-interest tends to win out over morality.
During the Civil War England was officially neutral but this did not mean that it did not play a role. Both the confederacy and Union wanted the support of the most powerful country in the world. The Confederacy tried especially hard to get British support through aggressive diplomacy. The man who led the Confederate strategy was James Murry Mason who had previously served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The strategy that Mason adopted after the failure of the previous strategy, which was that of ” King Cotton” was to get England declare the naval blockade illegitimate . Through this strategy the Confederate lobby was able to get a debate in Parliament regarding the blockade of southern ports, which the Confederacy was worried about. The goal of the confederacy was to get recognition in Parliament and Europe, which they thought would be able to turn the war in their favor. In order to do so they came up against the Union Lobby, which were effective in rallying support against the confederacy. The main British concern was that of the naval blockade that the union imposed on the confederacy. The British government was very concerned about the effect of the blockade on hampering the cotton trade but also because it would set a example regarding international law. What the British government was worried about was the use of naval power by belligerents and the rights of neutral commercial shipping . As was mentioned before the primary view is that self-interest motivated these men to participate in supporting the confederacy but it was more complex than that. For example William Lindsay was a wealthy ship-owner who traded with both the north and south and was a big proponent of reforming the British Navigation laws and wrote extensively on the subject. Lindsay was determined to remove all limitations on trade, which he thought would benefit the empire . Another man who joined the Confederate lobby was James Spence who supported the confederacy in order to promote his political concept of representative but limited government. So as one can see the view of the members of the lobby supported the confederacy for more than self-interest. Yet in the end the members of the confederate lobby were unable to win out in the battle for control of policy and the union was able to defeat the confederacy. Even thou England had outlawed slavery by this time the context of the period meant that England could not decide whether to support the Union or Confederacy on the basis of morality but rather that of national interest and the members of the Confederate lobby thought that they were acting out of the best interests of England. They rarely thought of the moral implications of supporting slavery, which was banned by their own country. The Confederate Lobby contained very influential men who were all bound together by coming from families that served the British Empire in some role.
I have managed to collect biographies for my individuals through using the Oxford National Dictionary and Proquest. My posiography will be made up of six individuals who served in the British Parliament as was mentioned before these men will be William H. Gregory, John A. Roebuck, William S. Lindsay, James Spence and Thomas C. Grattan.
James Spence was a noted author, financier and industrialist who came from an industrialist family that worked in the British Empire. In 1863 he was appointed by Jefferson Davis the President of the Confederacy to represent southern financial interests. This ultimately led to people misinterpreting why he supported the Confederate cause. The reason why he supported the Confederacy was because he thought it promoted his concept of representative but limited government .
John A. Roebuck
John A. Roebuck was born in Madras India on December 28, 1802 as the fifth son of an employee of the East India Company. After the death of his father his mother remarried and moved to Canada. Roebuck returned to England in 1824 and become a lawyer. He became a friend of John Stuart Mill and was introduced to the ideas of Bentham who followed the utilitarian philosophy of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In 1832 he was elected to Parliament representing the district of Bath. Roebuck was very interested in reforming the parliament using Benthanite principles. Roebuck was adamantly opposed to the aristocracy, the church and unreformed municipal corporations as sinister interest groups, who were only looking out for themselves. He also pushed for a system of national education and for greater autonomy for Canada. Roebuck spent the rest of his life in and out of government. His support of the Confederacy can be seen through his belief in laissez-faire economics. He died in 1879 and remained independent in his political beliefs until the end of his life .
William Gregory was born in Dublin Ireland on July 13, to the family of the British under-secretary but was educated in England. He attended Oxford but dropped out due to a lack of interest. He entered politics in 1842 running as a conservative for the seat representing Dublin. His main role in the next few years was to protect the landed elite in Ireland from the chaos caused by the potato famine. He was unable to win reelection in 1847 and was appointed High Sheriff of Galaway. He suffered heavily from the potato famine but managed to return to Parliament in 1857 as a member of the Liberal- Conservative party representing the district of Galway. During his second term in Parliament he became a champion of the Confederacy. Gregory’s support of the Confederacy can be explained by his opposition to rule by a democratic mob, which is what he thought the United States was. He believed that the breakup of the democratic mob was inevitable and that a Confederate victory would be in the interest of England and the world. Coming from an aristocratic family in Ireland influenced his view on slavery, which he would most likely support because it kept the aristocrats in Ireland in power. Gregory later became Governor of Ceylon and served in that role for five years. After that he became a critic of government policy especially regarding the giving of land to peasants. Gregory died in London in 1892.
William Lindsay was born in 1816 in Ayr as the third son of Joseph Lindsay. Lindsay became orphaned early in life and grew up with his uncle. At the age of fifteen he left home in order to go to Liverpool to pursue a career as a sailor. He served the next few years as a sailor rising to the rank of Master at age twenty. In 1840 he left the sea and became a fitter for the Castle Eden Coal Company in Hartlepool. Through his marriage Lindsay became connected with the family firm of iron-founder and went to London in 1845. In addition to his activities of coal-fitting and ship broking activities he became one of the largest ship owners in the world with at one point having 220 vessels in its fleets. He became a member of parliament in 1854 as a representative for Tynemouth and South Shields. He left parliament because of physical impediments in 1864 and turned his energy to writing about reforming the navigation laws and writing about his life as a sailor. He died in 1877. Lindsay’s support of the Confederacy, which caused consternation among his supporters, was because he believed in having open shipping laws, which he thought would be good for the British Empire . His affinity for the empire and its economic prosperity, which he thought was dependent upon the trade industry lead him to support the Confederacy.
Thomas C. Grattan
Thomas Grattan was born in Dublin in 1791. His father was a second cousin of the Irish parliamentary leader Henry Grattan and he was also related to the Duke of Wellington. He studied law in Dublin before dropping out to serve a commission in the non-combat Louth militia. Grattan was particularly known for being a journalist and writer of history. However he was not successful at being a novelist so he turned to being a writer of history. He first wrote extensively about the history of the Netherlands. During this period he tried to resurrect his writing career and was promoted as the Flemish Sir Walter’. During this time period he became interested in the long running boundary dispute between Canada and the United. He then went to Brussels where he became the correspondent for the Times of London. In his writings he expressed a sympathetic view of King Leopold. He later became a Consul in Boston for the British Empire in Massachusetts before returning to England where he later became editor of the Times. He was very instrumental in gathering support among the public for the Confederacy . His support can be influenced by background as coming from a family that benefited and worked for the empire. However he was not an influential member of the lobby.
I plan on using primary along with secondary source material in order to get to the bottom of my question. Most of my research will take place in England where I will able to get my hands on the secondary source material and be able to fill out the biographies on my individuals. These methods of inquiry will include looking through newspapers of the time period including the Times of London and the Parliamentary papers in order to get to the bottom of the debate. I also plan on looking at the writings of members of parliament including William Lindsay. Besides looking at writings of the group members I will also look at primary writings of opponents of this group and unbiased observes. In order to complete my research I will also look at general articles and book examining England’s response to the Civil War. I plan on reading the secondary articles and books in order to give my self a greater background of the issues of the time. Also my research will include interviews with experts on this time period.
• November 28 submit rough draft of my posiography proposal.
• December 5 submit posiography proposal.
• January-June complete posiography research in England.
• September- December, 2008 turn my proposal and research into paper examining the Confederate Lobby.
If you would be willing to fund my posiography it would be greatly appreciated. My research will shed new light on Confederate relations with foreign powers. The significance of this as was mentioned before is that nobody has ever done a posiography on the Confederate Lobby. I plan on showing how these men from disparate backgrounds were drawn together in order to pursue the goals of the confederacy. I also plan on proving that the contemporary view that these people were motivated by wealth is wrong and that instead of wealth protecting British national interest motivated them. Finally this paper would give lessons that policy makers could use in the present day. So if you would fund this paper you would not be disappointed. I am also attaching a bibliography for you to see the sources that I have currently collected.
“IN BRIEF – the Rebel Raiders – the Warship “Alabama”, British Treachery and the American Civil War – James Tertius DeKay.” TLS, the Times Literary Supplement no. 5329 (2005): 28.
Blackett, Richard. “The Alabama, British Neutrality, and the American Civil War.” Civil War History 52, no. 2 (Jun, 2006): 201.
Crawford, Martin. The Anglo-American Crisis of the Mid-Nineteenth Century : The Times and America, 1850-1862. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.
Davis, David Brion. Inhuman Bondage : The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World. Oxford, England ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Dubrulle, H. “”we are Threatened with…Anarchy and Ruin”: Fear of Americanization and the Emergence of an Anglo-Saxon Confederacy in England during the American Civil War.” Albion 33, no. Part 4 (Winter, 2001): 583-614.
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. “House of Commons Parliamentary Papers. Cmnd.” (.
Hubbard, Charles M. “James Mason, the “Confederate Lobby” and the Blockade Debate of March 1862.” Civil War History 45, no. 3 (Sep, 1999): 223.
Jansson, Maija, William B. Bidwell, England and Wales, Parliament, and Yale Center for Parliamentary History. Proceedings in Parliament, 1625. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.
Noll, Mark A., D. W. Bebbington, and George A. Rawlyk. Evangelicalism : Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles, and Beyond, 1700-1990. Religion in America Series; Variation: Religion in America Series (Oxford University Press). New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Phillips, Kevin P. The Cousins’ Wars : Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America. New York, N.Y: Basic Books, 1999.
Train, George Francis. Union Speeches Delivered in England during the Present American War. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & brothers; etc., etc., 1862.
Wiener, Joel H. and Mark Hampton. Anglo-American Media Interactions, 1850-2000. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.