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From its inception, the Confederacy sought international recognition from European nations. Support from Europe would help persuade the North to accept Southern independence, and, more immediately, secure a source of manufactured goods needed for the war effort. Southern efforts to gain recognition focused on England, the largest purchaser of southern cotton. This 1862 cartoon from the northern satirical weekly, Vanity Fair, presented the Confederacy’s president trying to gain diplomatic recognition from a skeptical Great Britain. “I hardly think it will wash, Mr. Davis,” Britannia commented in the cartoon’s caption, “We hear so much about your colors running.”

Source: Howard, Vanity Fair, July 12, 1862—American Social History Project