The fountains of discontent . . . are many.
-- William H. Seward, June 19, 1861
British Neutrality and the Rules of Modern Civilized Warfare
The Palmerston ministry planned to stay out of the Civil War by maintaining neutrality and adhering to international law. Russell referred to the law of nations and relied on advice from the crown's law officers, making certain that England followed accepted rules of behavior in foreign affairs. At least four great legal theorists--Emmerich de Vattel, Henry Wheaton, John Austin, and Hugo Grotius--had earlier examined and expounded upon nearly every issue that troubled Anglo-American relations during the Civil War. Available to Russell were volumes of information pertaining to insurrections, rebellions, and civil wars; neutrality and the nature of belligerent status; intervention and