The Trent Affair was a diplomatic incident in 1861 during the American Civil War that threatened a war between the United States and the United Kingdom. The U. S. Navy illegally captured two Confederate diplomats from a British ship, the UK protested vigorously, the United States closed the incident by releasing the diplomats. The envoys were bound for Britain and France to press the Confederacys case for recognition and to lobby for possible financial and military support. Public reaction in the United States was to celebrate the capture and rally against Britain, in the Confederate States, the hope was that the incident would lead to a permanent rupture in Anglo-American relations and possibly even war or at least diplomatic recognition by Britain. Confederates realized their independence potentially depended on intervention by Britain and France, in Britain, the public disapproved of this violation of neutral rights and insult to their national honor. The British government demanded an apology and the release of the prisoners, and took steps to strengthen its forces in Canada.
President Abraham Lincoln and his top advisors did not want to risk war with Britain over this issue, after several tense weeks, the crisis was resolved when the Lincoln administration released the envoys and disavowed Captain Wilkess actions without a formal apology. Mason and Slidell resumed their voyage to Britain but failed in their goal of achieving diplomatic recognition, Relations with the United States were often strained, and even verged on war when Britain almost supported the Confederacy in the early part of the American Civil War. British leaders were constantly annoyed from the 1840s to the 1860s by what they saw as Washingtons pandering to the democratic mob, even stronger the Civil War was viewed upon in Britain as a slavery issue with the North opposing slavery and the South upholding the institution. This constituency rejected war and slavery, forcing London to appease the Americans. During the Trent affair of late 1861, London drew the line, historian Charles Hubbard, Davis left foreign policy to others in government and, rather than developing an aggressive diplomatic effort, tended to expect events to accomplish diplomatic objectives.
The new president was committed to the notion that cotton would secure recognition, the men Davis selected as secretary of state and emissaries to Europe were chosen for political and personal reasons—not for their diplomatic potential. This was due, in part, to the belief that cotton could accomplish the Confederate objectives with little help from Confederate diplomats, the Unions main focus in foreign affairs was just the opposite, to prevent any British recognition of the Confederacy. Notwithstanding a relatively minor incident in the Pacific Northwest, Anglo-American relations had steadily improved throughout the 1850s. The issues of the Oregon territory, British involvement in Texas, British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston urged a policy of neutrality. His international concerns were centered in Europe, where he had to watch both Napoleon IIIs ambitions in Europe and Bismarcks rise in Prussia, during the Civil War, British reactions to American events were shaped by past British policies and their own national interests, both strategically and economically.
In the Western Hemisphere, as relations with the United States improved, as a naval power, Britain had a long record of insisting that neutral nations honor its blockades of hostile countries. From the earliest days of the war, this perspective would guide the British away from taking any action that might have been viewed in Washington as a challenge to the Union blockade
Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majestys Government, commonly referred to as the UK government or British government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The government is led by the Prime Minister, who all the remaining ministers. The prime minister and the other most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, the government ministers all sit in Parliament, and are accountable to it. After an election, the monarch selects as prime minister the leader of the party most likely to command a majority of MPs in the House of Commons. Under the uncodified British constitution, executive authority lies with the monarch, although this authority is exercised only by, or on the advice of, the prime minister, the Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. They exercise power directly as leaders of the Government Departments, the current prime minister is Theresa May, who took office on 13 July 2016. She is the leader of the Conservative Party, which won a majority of seats in the House of Commons in the election on 7 May 2015.
Prior to this and the Conservatives led a government from 2010 to 2015 with the Liberal Democrats. A key principle of the British Constitution is that the government is responsible to Parliament, Britain is a constitutional monarchy in which the reigning monarch does not make any open political decisions. All political decisions are taken by the government and Parliament and this constitutional state of affairs is the result of a long history of constraining and reducing the political power of the monarch, beginning with the Magna Carta in 1215. Parliament is split into two houses, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the House of Commons is the lower house and is the more powerful. The House of Lords is the house and although it can vote to amend proposed laws. Parliamentary time is essential for bills to be passed into law, Ministers of the Crown are responsible to the House in which they sit, they make statements in that House and take questions from members of that House. For most senior ministers this is usually the elected House of Commons rather than the House of Lords, since the start of Edward VIIs reign, in 1901, the prime minister has always been an elected member of Parliament and therefore directly accountable to the House of Commons.
Under the British system the government is required by convention and for reasons to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons. It requires the support of the House of Commons for the maintenance of supply, by convention if a government loses the confidence of the House of Commons it must either resign or a General Election is held. The support of the Lords, while useful to the government in getting its legislation passed without delay, is not vital, a government is not required to resign even if it loses the confidence of the Lords and is defeated in key votes in that House. The House of Commons is thus the Responsible house, the prime minister is held to account during Prime Ministers Question Time which provides an opportunity for MPs from all parties to question the PM on any subject
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
A paddle steamer is a steamship or riverboat powered by a steam engine that drives paddle wheels to propel the craft through the water. In antiquity, paddle wheelers followed the development of poles and sails, modern paddle wheelers may be powered by diesel engines. The paddle wheel is a steel framework wheel. The outer edge of the wheel is fitted with numerous, regularly-spaced paddle blades, the bottom quarter or so of the wheel travels underwater. An engine rotates the wheel in the water to produce thrust. More advanced paddle wheel designs feature feathering methods that keep each paddle blade closer to vertical while in the water to increase efficiency, the upper part of a paddle wheel is normally enclosed in a paddlebox to minimise splashing. There are two ways to mount paddle wheels on a ship, either a single wheel on the rear, known as a sternwheeler, or a paddle wheel on each side. Both sternwheelers and sidewheelers were used as riverboats in the United States, some still operate for tourists, for example on the Mississippi River.
Sidewheelers are used as riverboats and as coastal craft and this extra maneuverability makes sidewheelers popular on the narrower, winding rivers of the Murray-Darling system in Australia, where a number still operate. European sidewheelers, such as the PS Waverley, connect the wheels with solid drive shafts that limit maneuverability, some were built with paddle clutches that disengage one or both paddles so they can turn independently. However, wisdom gained from experience with sidewheelers deemed that they be operated with clutches out. Crews noticed that as ships approached the dock, passengers moved to the side of the ready to disembark. The shift in weight, added to independent movements of the paddles, could lead to imbalance, in a simple paddle wheel, where the paddles are fixed around the periphery, power is lost due to churning of the water as the paddles enter and leave the water surface. Ideally, the paddles should remain vertical while under water and this ideal can be approximated by use of levers and linkages connected to a fixed eccentric.
The eccentric is fixed slightly forward of the wheel centre. It is coupled to each paddle via a rod and lever, the geometry is designed such that the paddles are kept almost vertical for the short duration that they are in the water. One of the drawings of the Anonymous Author of the Hussite Wars shows a boat with a pair of paddle-wheels at each end turned by men operating compound cranks. In 1704, the French physicist Denis Papin constructed the first ship powered by his steam engine and this made him the first to construct a steam-powered boat
Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was a British shipping company founded in London in 1839 by a Scot, James MacQueen. The lines motto was Per Mare Ubique, after good and bad times it became the largest shipping group in the world in 1927 when it took over the White Star Line. Queen Victoria granted the initial Royal Charter of Incorporation of The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company on 26 September 1839. Fourteen new steam vessels were built for the purpose, Medway and Isis, Severn and Avon, Clyde, Teviot and Solway, Tay and Medina. In reference to their destination, these vessels were known as the West Indies Mail Steamers, the West Indian Mail Service was established by the sailing of the first Royal Mail Steam Packet, PS Thames from Falmouth on 1 January 1841. A Supplemental Royal Charter was granted on 30 August 1851 extending the sphere of the Companys operations, in 1864, the mail service to the British Honduras was established. A further Supplemental Royal Charter was granted extending the sphere of the Companys operations on 7 March 1882.
In the decade before the First World War the RMSP modernised its fleet, each had a name beginning with the letter A, so collectively they were called the A-liners or the A-series. The first was RMS Aragon in 1905, followed by sister ships Amazon and Avon in 1906, Asturias in 1908, Arlanza in 1912, Andes and Alcantara in 1913 and Almanzora in 1915. Earlier members of the series, from Aragon to Asturias, had twin screws, the final four members of the series, from Arlanza to Almanzora, had triple screws, with the middle one driven by a low pressure Parsons steam turbine. After the First World War RMSP faced not only existing foreign competition, Lord Vesteys Blue Star Line had joined the South American route and won a large share of the frozen meat trade. Then in 1926–27 Blue Star introduced its new luxury five ships Almeda, Arandora and Avila to both increase refrigerated cargo capacity and enter the passenger trade. At the same time RMSP introduced a pair of new 22,200 GRT liners, RMS Asturias in 1926 and RMS Alcantara in 1927, although these were the biggest and most luxurious UK ships on the route, RMSP Chairman Lord Kylsant called Blue Stars quintet very keen competition.
The company ran into trouble, and the UK Government investigated its affairs in 1930. In 1931 Lord Kylsant was jailed for 12 months for misrepresenting the state of the company to shareholders, so much of Britains shipping industry was involved in RMSPC that arrangements were made to guarantee the continuation of ship operations after it was liquidated. Royal Mail Lines Ltd was created in 1932 and took over the ships of RMSPC, the new company was chaired by Lord Essendon. RML was a cruise ship operator. RMSs largest vessel was the 25,895 GRT turbine steamship RMS Andes and she was designed as an ocean liner but when launched in 1939 was immediately fitted out as a troopship
Northfleet is a town in the Gravesham Borough of Kent. It is located north west of Gravesend and its name is derived from being situated on the northern reach of what was once called the River Fleet. There is a village at the end of the river named Southfleet. It has been the site of a settlement on the shore of the River Thames adjacent to Gravesend since Roman times and it was known as Fleote by the Saxons c.600 AD, Flyote c.900 AD, and Flete c.1000 AD. It was recorded as Norfluet in the Domesday Book, and Northflet in 1201, by 1610 the name of Northfleet had become established. A battle took place during the war at the Stonebridge over the Ebbsfleet river. Northfleet became a town in 1874 with the Northfleet Urban District Council being established c, in 1974 it was merged with the adjacent Borough of Gravesend. The first council offices were off the Hill, but the council moved to Northfleet House. Northfleet House was once the home of Mr. Sturges a local landowner, Northfleet was in the lathe of Aylesford and the hundred of Toltingtrough.
Romans lived in the now known as Springhead, which they called Vagniacae. A Roman road, which forms the basis of the A2 Watling Street, in 1815 the first steamboat started plying between Gravesend and London, an event which was to bring much prosperity to the area. The number of visitors increased, and in the course of the next ten years several new. The regular service given by the steam packets led entrepreneurs to establish amenities for the entertainment of visitors, george Jones laid out the gardens in 1837 in one of the disused chalk pits, covering an area of 17 acres. Their full title was the Kent Zoological and Botanical Gardens Institution and they occupied an area in what was to become Rosherville New Town. Robert Hiscock, in his A History of Gravesend describes them thus, They were a place of surpassing beauty and a favourite resort of Londoners. Adorned with small Greek temples and statuary set in the cliffs, there were terraces, and archery lawn, Bijou theatre, and Baronial Hall for refreshments, at night the gardens were illuminated with thousands of coloured lights and there were fireworks displays and dancing.
Famous bands such as the American Sousa were engaged during the season, in 1857 as many as 20,000 visitors passed through the turnstiles in one week. By 1880 the gardens had reached the peak of their popularity, during a brief revival 1903–1911, they were used in the making of early films
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to March 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of France, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, the French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. While the churches eventually worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas issued an ultimatum that the Orthodox subjects of the Empire be placed under his protection. Britain attempted to mediate and arranged a compromise that Nicholas agreed to, when the Ottomans demanded changes, Nicholas refused and prepared for war. Having obtained promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October 1853.
The war started in the Balkans, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities, until under Ottoman suzerainty and now part of modern Romania, led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege. Fearing an Ottoman collapse and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli and they moved north to Varna in June, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a skirmish at Köstence, there was little for the allies to do. Karl Marx quipped that there they are, the French doing nothing, after extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 and fought their way to a point south of Sevastopol after a series of successful battles. The Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, a second counterattack, ordered personally by Nicholas, was defeated by Omar Pasha. The front settled into a siege and led to conditions for troops on both sides.
Smaller actions were carried out in the Baltic, the Caucasus, Sevastopol fell after eleven months, and neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued and this was welcomed by France and Britain, as their subjects were beginning to turn against their governments as the war dragged on. The war was ended by the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856, Russia was forbidden from hosting warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became largely independent, Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, and the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute. The Crimean War was one of the first conflicts to use technologies such as explosive naval shells, railways
Royal Mail Ship
Royal Mail Ship is usually seen in its abbreviated form RMS, a designation which dates back to 1840. It is the prefix used for seagoing vessels that carry mail under contract to the British Royal Mail. Any vessel designated as RMS has the right to fly both the pennant of the Royal Mail when sailing and to include the Royal Mail crown insignia with any identifying device and/or design for the ship, originally the Admiralty operated these ships. The designation RMS has been used since 1840, in 1850 contracts were awarded to private companies. Having the title RMS was seen as a mark of quality, the most valuable route, with the highest volume, was between Kingstown, in Ireland, and Holyhead in Wales. The City of Dublin Steam Packet Company won the contract and they bought RMS St Columa and RMS Llwywllyn from the Admiralty to supplement their Prince Arthur. In the CDSPCo contract, in 1860, there was a penalty clause of £1 1s 4d for every minutes delay, the RMS designation was used on the ships White Star Line, P&O and the Cunard lines of the 19th and 20th century.
QM2 was conferred RMS by Royal Mail when she entered service in 2004 on the Southampton to New York route as a gesture to Cunards history, the Royal Mail continues a form of this tradition on modern day airliners. The UKs flag carrier airline, British Airways, is contracted to carry mail on some of its scheduled long-distance routes, aircraft operating these routes with the facilities to carry mail are allowed to display the Royal Mails logo and crest on their fuselage, usually alongside their registration markings. The less-common designations RMMV for Royal Mail Motor Vessel and RMMS for Royal Mail Motor Ship, were used for a period when RMS was restricted to steam-ships, Motor Vessel and Motor Ship indicated that propulsion was provided by diesel rather than steam. The RMV Scillonian III carries the designation RMV for Royal Mail Vessel and is the only active RMV and those highlighted are still in service with the status of Royal Mail Ship. Union-Castle Line Mail steamer Steamboat Kennedy, John, OCLC3553860 RMS Caronia Green Goddess Time-Line Titanic Archive
American Civil War
The American Civil War was an internal conflict fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, the Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U. S. history. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U. S. fortress of Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to eleven states, it claimed two more states, the Indian Territory, and the southern portions of the western territories of Arizona. The Confederacy was never recognized by the United States government nor by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal, including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North, the war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the dissolution of the Confederate government in the spring of 1865. The war had its origin in the issue of slavery. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, but before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.
The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, the first seven with state legislatures to resolve for secession included split majorities for unionists Douglas and Bell in Georgia with 51% and Louisiana with 55%. Alabama had voted 46% for those unionists, Mississippi with 40%, Florida with 38%, Texas with 25%, of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession, outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincolns March 4,1861 inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war, speaking directly to the Southern States, he reaffirmed, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed, the Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on King Cotton that they would intervene, but none did, and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.
Hostilities began on April 12,1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, while in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaigns into Maryland and Kentucky failed, dissuading British intervention, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, much of their western armies, the 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lees Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grants command of all Union armies in 1864