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Week of Dec. 22 - Dec. 28
Tue December 24, 2013
This Week in the Civil War - 729
By the end of 1863 it was obvious that Jefferson Davis’ policy of withholding all sales of Southern cotton to Europe was a failure. This policy of “King Cotton Diplomacy” was designed to force the European nations—particularly England and France—to intervene in the American Civil War in order to procure Southern cotton.
However, Europe had seen in the late 1850’s the deteriorating relations within the American nation, and England and France had wisely purchased a year’s worth of surplus Southern cotton from the 1859 and 1860, bumper crops.
Before that surplus could be consumed, both nations also began cultivating cotton in their respective, worldwide empires. Thus the Europeans were never harmed economically to the extent that they would have to intervene in America’s civil war. Davis’ diplomatic gamble failed.