Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/78

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great danger, and both might have been avoided. The calamity was the Crimean War. You know what were the consequences of the Crimean War: a great addition to your debt, an enormous addition to your taxation, a cost more precious than your treasure—the best blood of England. Half a million of men, I believe, perished in that great undertaking. Nor are the evil consequences of that war adequately described by what I have said. All the disorders and disturbances of Europe, those immense armaments that are an incubus on national industry and the great obstacle to progressive civilization, may be traced and justly attributed to the Crimean War. And yet the Crimean War need never have occurred.

The great danger is the present state of our relations with the United States.[1] When I acceded to office, I did so, so far as regarded the United States of America, with some advantage. During the whole of the Civil War in America both my noble friend near me[2] and I had maintained a strict and fair neutrality. This was fully appreciated by the government of the United States, and they expressed their wish that with our aid the settlement of all differences between the two governments should be accomplished. They sent here a plenipotentiary, an honorable gentleman, very intelligent and

possessing general confidence. My noble friend

  1. In the matter of the Alabama Claims.
  2. Lord Derby, then Lord Stanley.