Lord Palmerson, the British Prime Minister, advises Queen Victoria to declare war. Now there was an opportunity to relieve the massive unemployment caused by the blockade of Confederate cotton to British mills. It was his belief that, with the Union having fired the first shot on the Atlantic, that international favor would be with the British. Despite the massive opposition to alliance and recognition of the slave-holding Confederates among the pro-abolitionist British, on December 1st, 1861, British foreign secretary Lord Russel announces simultaneously the declaration of war with the the Union, the recognition of the Confederate States of America as an organization of sovereign states, and the British intention to relieve the Confederacy from the Union Blockade.
Abraham Lincoln sits speechless for hours after reading the telegram.
Later that night, he confides to his cronies that there was now to be no mercy to Britain. All those citizens of Britain within the United States borders were to be arrested as spies, and their financial assets seized. He also said that all British investments in American securities were to be seized, and as many as fifty thousand volunteers called up and assembled on the Canadian border to begin the invasion of the last British possession in North America.
The next day, recovered, he announces the call up of another fifty thousand volunteers.