Sixty Percent of 1860 U.S. Export Income From Cotton

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
From the Report of the Treasury, Dec. 4, 1860: Imports - $362,163,941. Exports - $400,122,296

The exports of cotton for 1860 was $191,806,555.

Would you identify the source for the $400 million export number? The one provided in the OP says $316 million, with the $191 million in cotton export representing 60% of the total.
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
How does the fact that Northern business men made money on the cotton trade prove the OP @Drew contention that the Civil War was caused by a conspiracy of nefarious Northern business men and corrupt politicians?
Leftyhunter

{clears throat}

Lefty, where did I say any of this? Yes, I do have a contention. That is, that the cry for Union was not merely based upon some abstract principle. YMMV.
 

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
Debow's review has an article that shows $316 million as being exports of "Domestic Produce." and $400 million as being "Total Exports."
Screenshot 2017-04-08 14.45.33.png
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
From the Report of the Treasury, Dec. 4, 1860: Imports - $362,163,941. Exports - $400,122,296

The exports of cotton for 1860 was $191,806,555.

Would you identify the source for the $400 million export number? The one provided in the OP says $316 million, with the $191 million in cotton export representing 60% of the total.

Both sets of numbers are technically correct, but cedarstripper's are misleading.

Her numbers include $66 million in "specie and bullion exports," which basically represents the payment of gold and silver to settle America's balance-of-payments deficit. Her numbers also include about $17 million in merchandise exports originally obtained from other countries. By comparison the entire federal debt that year was only about $65 million and total federal spending was about $78 million.

Take away the South's cotton (not to mention tobacco) exports alone and America's trade deficit would almost certainly have exceeded $255 million. The country did not have anywhere near enough specie and bullion to pay $255 million. It was for such economic reasons that the Yankees did not want the South to secede and they were willing to go to war to prevent it.
 
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jgoodguy

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Both sets of numbers are technically correct, but cedarstripper's are misleading.

Her numbers include $66 million in "specie and bullion exports," which basically represents the payment of gold and silver to settle America's balance-of-payments deficit. Her numbers also include about $17 million in merchandise exports originally obtained from other countries. By comparison the entire federal debt that year was only about $65 million and total federal spending was about $78 million.

Take away the South's cotton exports alone and America's trade deficit would almost certainly have exceeded $255 million. The country did not have anywhere near enough specie and bullion to pay $255 million. It was for such economic reasons that the Yankees did not want the South to secede and they were willing to go to war to prevent it.

Figures to support your calculation?
Also proof of the will to go to war other than pure speculation
 

cedarstripper

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Location
western New York
Both sets of numbers are technically correct, but cedarstripper's are misleading.

Her numbers include $66 million in "specie and bullion exports," which basically represents the payment of gold and silver to settle America's balance-of-payments deficit. Her numbers also include about $17 million in merchandise exports originally obtained from other countries. By comparison the entire federal debt that year was only about $65 million and total federal spending was about $78 million.

Take away the South's cotton (not to mention tobacco) exports alone and America's trade deficit would almost certainly have exceeded $255 million. The country did not have anywhere near enough specie and bullion to pay $255 million. It was for such economic reasons that the Yankees did not want the South to secede and they were willing to go to war to prevent it.

The Theory of the Balance of Trade, Charles J Bullock, The North American Review, page 121
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25105193?seq=11#page_scan_tab_contents

"From 1851 to 1860, the aggregate production of gold in the United States equaled $550,000,000, and this was five or six times the estimated species circulation of the country in any year before the discoveries in California. The money in circulation in 1850, including bank notes as well as specie, was no more than $285,000,000, or about $12 per capita. If the new gold could have been retained in the country, our circulating medium would have risen to $835,000,000 for the year 1860, or $26.60 per capita. Such a sudden inflation as this would have raised prices far above the level prevailing in other parts of the world, put an end to the exportation of many products and attracted imports from all corners of the globe. Therefore, the new gold began to flow out of the country, after prices had been raised to a point at which the import trade could increase sufficiently to produce this result; and, from 1851 to 1860, we exported a net balance of $417,608,000. By 1860 our specie circulation had risen to $235,000,000, an increase of $81,000,000 in ten years; while the issues of bank notes had grown to $207,000,000, giving the country a supply of money that averaged $14.06 per capita. The United States had become one \of the leading gold producing regions, and the course of the exchanges was inevitably altered."
 

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
When a country has a trade deficit "exports of specie and bullion" are used to settle the deficit. So, what's your point?

The point is that the US had a rapid growth in Gold Production in the 1850s:
Screenshot 2017-04-08 16.36.10.png


and as a result was exporting gold. These exports are what show up in the treasury reports cited. You are conflating net exports with balance of trade.
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
The Theory of the Balance of Trade, Charles J Bullock, The North American Review, page 121
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25105193?seq=11#page_scan_tab_contents

"From 1851 to 1860, the aggregate production of gold in the United States equaled $550,000,000, and this was five or six times the estimated species circulation of the country in any year before the discoveries in California. The money in circulation in 1850, including bank notes as well as specie, was no more than $285,000,000, or about $12 per capita. If the new gold could have been retained in the country, our circulating medium would have risen to $835,000,000 for the year 1860, or $26.60 per capita. Such a sudden inflation as this would have raised prices far above the level prevailing in other parts of the world, put an end to the exportation of many products and attracted imports from all corners of the globe. Therefore, the new gold began to flow out of the country, after prices had been raised to a point at which the import trade could increase sufficiently to produce this result; and, from 1851 to 1860, we exported a net balance of $417,608,000. By 1860 our specie circulation had risen to $235,000,000, an increase of $81,000,000 in ten years; while the issues of bank notes had grown to $207,000,000, giving the country a supply of money that averaged $14.06 per capita. The United States had become one \of the leading gold producing regions, and the course of the exchanges was inevitably altered."

From 1850 to 1860 America had a trade deficit every year except 1858. Specie and bullion were used to settle each deficit, which would have been much greater if not for Southern cotton and tobacco exports.

Like your original post including specie and bullion exports the paragraph you cite above does not address the simple fact that merchandise trade deficits had to be paid for with specie or bullion. They were not simply another exportable item as you misleadingly implied.
 
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jgoodguy

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The point is that the US had a rapid growth in Gold Production in the 1850s:
View attachment 131258

and as a result was exporting gold. These exports are what show up in the treasury reports cited. You are conflating net exports with balance of trade.
Which seems to me to imply the Yankees did not need any southern fiscal something or another to make up any deficit.
 

jgoodguy

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From 1850 to 1860 America had a trade deficit every year except 1858. Specie and bullion was used to settle each deficit, which would have been much greater if not for Southern cotton and tobacco exports.

Can you qualify what in verifiable figures exactly what the Yankees get for your alleged motivation and exactly how would it be realized. For example if the Yankees simply took over Southern means of production, they they still have to pay the costs of production and while some profit that normally would have gone to Southern owners could have been realized, hypothetical Yankee management has to be brought in, paid and even then there are losses during a learning curve.
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
The point is that the US had a rapid growth in Gold Production in the 1850s...and as a result was exporting gold. These exports are what show up in the treasury reports cited. You are conflating net exports with balance of trade.

In 1860 American product (all goods) exports totaled $334 million and product imports (all goods) were $354 million resulting in a $20 million trade deficit. An examination of the Specie and Bullion item in relation to the deficit requires a calculation for "Net Specie and Bullion Exports."

(Net Specie and Bullion Exports) = [(Specie and Bullion Exports) - (Specie and Bullion Imports)]

Net Specie and Bullion Exports = $67 million - 9 million
Net Specie and Bullion Exports = $58 million.

Thus, the trade deficit in 1860 accounted for about 35% of the specie and bullion exports. Thereafter, domestic gold production (from your chart) was in a general downtrend until the early 1890s whereas the Union had trade deficits during the Civil War and for 9 of the first 1o years following the war. The latter would have been even larger w/o Southern cotton. Thus, w/o the South continuing to remain in the Union, the trade deficits would have far exceeded the likely gold production.

Sources: One, Two
 
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