American nationalism during the Civil War was redefined in its comparison with mid-Victorian Britain eliciting sharp responses. The outwardly domestic political issues of the Civil War were in fact universal ones, Lincoln insisted, concerning fundamentally the rights of the people. That Europe and especially Great Britain might have a vested interest in the outcome of the war was never openly acknowledged by Lincoln, only that Monarchy itself was sometimes hinted by the South as a possible refuge from the power of the people. Secretary of State for War Sir George Cornewall Lewis promising: We shall soon iron the smile out of their face. The English did not give us time to turn around, Lincoln later related. Thousands of imperial troops were promptly dispatched to Canada, while the Royal Navy drew up plans for an attack upon the Northern blockade, Northern commerce and Northern coastal cities like New York the crown jewel of the North.