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|England was in a quandary about helping the Confederacy. Slavery was illegal in England and had been for quite some time. But the factions in power then were divided over helping the CSA and war with the US. The Battle of Antietam basically decided the question for them. The South had to prove it was a nation fighting for its freedom and not just a group of rebellious states against a lawful government. By not gaining a clear cut victory the south pretty much helped the British decide.