During the Civil War, the Union started a blockade of Confederate ports in order to prevent the confederacy from obtaining money, weapons, or any war supplies from European nations, specifically Great Britain and France. The Union also constricted the trade of cotton between the south and Europe which destroyed any hope of the South gaining currency. This was significant because now the Union can produce more money, trade, and weapons than the Confederacy, which would give the north much more power and chance at winning the war. However, without cotton from the south, it harmed French and British textile economies and this caused frustration with the Union. Fun Fact- The Union did not realize until later that some Confederate traders could travel to Mexico or the Caribbean Islands to trade with European traders.