One hundred fifty years ago today the Chicago (IL) Tribune reported on the recent announcement that the United Kingdom would not intervene in the struggle between the United States and the Confederacy. “The only crumb of comfort for Jeff. Davis…[is] that the Southern Confederacy will be recognized, not as a power, not as a Government, but simply as a “belligerent,” as the Tribune noted. As a result, “Jeff Davis’s privateers [would] not be seized” unless they interfered with English merchant ships. Some Confederates had predicted that the United Kingdom would immediately intervene in the Civil War, but the Foreign Secretary’s announcement had dashed those hopes. “The wild idea that England will send out a naval force to break through the blockade established by the United States Government, is not mentioned as a thing which has ever been dreamed of in Downing street,” as the Tribune explained. You can read more about this issue in Howard Jones’ Union in Peril: The Crisis Over British Intervention in the Civil War (1992), Blue & Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations (2010), and Amanda Foreman’s A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided (2010).