Which nations helped the North during the American Civil War?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With the exception of some token gestures, no nations actively helped the Union during the Civil War. Russia under Tsar Alexander II was perhaps the most vocal in its support for the Union cause, but never offered anything beyond moral support. One might argue that Great Britain and France helped the Union (and indeed guaranteed its ultimate victory) by their refusal to recognize the Confederacy, to challenge the Northern blockade of the South, or to try to broker a mediated peace. But this would be overlooking the fact that both nations supplied the Confederacy with money, weapons, and other war materiel throughout the early years of the conflict. The Civil War was followed intently throughout the world, and many nations sent military observers to watch the conflict up close, a common practice at the time. But no nation provided significant material or military assistance to the North during the conflict.