Restricted Facts, Fables & History

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
The British price approximately quadrupled. The increase in the US was larger because of inflation.
An American who sold cotton in Liverpool at the high price point got $1.89 in Greenbacks per pound (less shipping costs), which was over fourteen times the amount he would have received in common US currency before the war. The documentation is repeated below.
Your prices in Pence above are only averages.

James L. Watkins' King Cotton (page 30) shows that the Liverpool price got as high as 31.5 Pence, which was in June 1864* when a Greenback dollar was worth only $0.35. ($2.85 Greenbacks = One Gold Dollar.) Each British Pound was worth about $5.00 in gold and there were 240 Pence in each Pound. Thus, each pence was worth $0.021 in gold. Therefore, the high Liverpool price in terms of gold dollars was $0.66, which was equivalent to $1.89 Greenbacks, then the dominant currency in the Federal Union.

*Jay Sexton, Debtor Diplomacy, 128
 

lurid

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
An American who sold cotton in Liverpool at the high price point got $1.89 in Greenbacks per pound (less shipping costs), which was over fourteen times the amount he would have received in common US currency before the war. The documentation is repeated below.
We still don't have any government data on record that shows that the government collected taxes on cotton from 1861-1865. Everyone in the country paid taxes after the war, including income tax, so back to square one. I read some of your book(I'm going to buy), and it seems you paint the Federal government as some kleptocracy, so why in the world didn't the Federal government just confiscate the cotton instead of accruing some measly tax and kicking back the planters some money? Doesn't make much sense from your perspective of the government. I would like to see the actual government data on cotton taxes collected from 1861-1865? Do you have any government data?
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Myth: That the plantation economy was dying out in 1860.
Fact: The plantation economy was booming in 1860; 1860 was the best cotton crop ever in the antebellum; slavery was extremely profitable in 1860.
<David W. Blight, The Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 119). Yale Courses, Number 2.>
External demand for cotton kept the deep south plantation economy going from 1837-1860, but within the democracy of the US, it was being surpassed by paid labor section. Economically, it was viable for a while longer, until the British diversified their supply of cotton.
But by 1860, there were 18 paid labor states and only 16 coerced labor states. The House of Representatives had control of the state admission process, and they weren't going to admit any further slave states.
Further, control of the House was passing further into the states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as California.
1585182341662.png

1585182374767.png


Which was the reason that a Republican could get elected President in 1860, without any southern EC votes.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
A confident and expanding economy would never have risked its prosperity in a desperate attempt at revolt. The fact that 7 cotton states seceded is sure fire evidence that they were about to become irrelevant in the US distribution of power.
 
Last edited:

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
No matter what they thought they were achieving with their cotton production, they were not keeping up with the paid labor section of the country, because their system repelled voluntary immigration, which was one of the primary drivers of economic growth in the US.
Here is what was known about voluntary immigration in 1862:
1585182952302.png

And here is the resulting distribution of immigrants as revealed by census reports:
1585183068222.png
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I am sure some cotton growers, tobacco producers and sugar plantation owners were making money, but slave ownership was a special interest in the US, whose relative power in Washington, D.C. was fading rapidly, because the conditions under which slaves lived, worked and died, in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, were dangerous.
1585183447954.png
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
A confident and expanding economy would never have risked its prosperity in a desperate attempt at revolt. The fact that 7 cotton states seceded is a sure fire evidence that they were about to become irrelevant in the US distribution of power.
I think the Slave states were correct that the Northern growth of industry and population was decreasing the power of Slave states. In ten, twenty, or thirty years, much of the political power would be in the North and West. The hope for additional concessions to protect and expand slavery would have faced increasing difficulties over the next ten to thirty years. Slavery as an institution may have existed in slave states until the 1960s or 1970s, but the power of the slave states would have greatly diminished over the next 100 years.
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I think the Slave states were correct that the Northern growth of industry and population was decreasing the power of Slave states. In ten, twenty, or thirty years, much of the political power would be in the North and West. The hope for additional concessions to protect and expand slavery would have faced increasing difficulties over the next ten to thirty years. Slavery as an institution may have existed in slave states until the 1960s or 1970s, but the power of the slave states would have greatly diminished over the next 100 years.
Possibly. But by the time Nebraska, Colorado and Nevada are admitted, and as slavery fades away in Maryland and Missouri, soon there is a 24:13 ratio of paid labor states to slave labor states, and the southern section cannot get anything from the federal government. Eight years of Republican Presidents would have rebuilt some type of navy, and reallocated the western regiments from Texas to Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.
Since both old England, and New England, and New York, were all very skeptical of the stability of the slave labor economy, the south would have remained very short on capital, and the differential growth rates would have remained, or accelerated.
 
Last edited:

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The plantation system was making money for a set of owners. There were maybe 50,000 large operations, and the profits were concentrated in those operations. But that area of the country was not attracting immigrants. It wasn't building small towns, schools and churches. Its success was only in sustaining a small section of the population, while the enslaved lived under a grinding poverty of hard work and poor sanitation.
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
It was the demand for cotton that was sustaining the southern economy, not slavery. As long as that growth of external demand continued, the cotton economy was fine. As soon as over production crisis happened, slavery was going to fail.
It was the incredibly fertile soils of certain regions, and very low transportation costs, on the coasts, on navigable rivers, and on the new railroads that were creating the wealth. The slave owners were giving themselves false credit for conditions that were not dependent on slavery.
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The prosperity of the ante bellum south was a mirage. EH.net produced a review of Gavin Wright's treatise on the ante-bellum south, which stated this:


It wasn't producing people. And it wasn't producing educated people. It wasn't attracting new adherents, and it was losing a steady trickle of white workers, to jobs and schools in the Midwest and Far West.
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
The prosperity of the ante bellum south was a mirage. EH.net produced a review of Gavin Wright's treatise on the ante-bellum south, which stated this:

It wasn't producing people. And it wasn't producing educated people. It wasn't attracting new adherents, and it was losing a steady trickle of white workers, to jobs and schools in the Midwest and Far West.
Why, then, did Northerners want to keep the region in the Union?
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top