Reconstruction: Political & Economic, 1865-1877

By William Archibald Dunning | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
A CRITICAL PERIOD IN FOREIGN RELATIONS (1865-1873)

T HE problems of internal readjustment after the war were large and difficult enough to justify every effort to escape foreign complications. Two aspects of public sentiment in the North conspired, however, to render the period following the close of hostilities one of grave tension and great activity in diplomacy. The most serious factor was the universal resentment felt towards France and Great Britain on account of the course of their governments during the war. Louis Napoleon and the leading English politicians had, as Lord Salisbury once cynically phrased it, put their money on the wrong horse in that conflict; they had staked much on the success of the Confederacy, and they had lost. The settlement that was due they sought to evade, or at least postpone, while a powerful element of American opinion, confident in the resources and reputation of a successful army and navy, demanded an immediate and even a humiliating submission.

Closely involved with this influence was that of the never extinct yearning in the United States for

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