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What was the break even price for cotton between 1800 and 1860?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by Hunter, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. civilken

    civilken Sergeant Major

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    I believe the answer is,cotton..
     

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  3. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Captain

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    Not in the United States. It is not counstutional to place tarrifs on exports.
    Leftyhunter
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  4. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Not Constitutional.
    But OK to tax exports under the CSA Constitution.
     
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  5. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Captain

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    How did that work out? A smuggler would buy cotton for at best pennies on the dollar since the smuggler has a ten percent average chance of being intercepted. Plus the smuggler has to pay to load and unload the cotton before reaching a large cargo ship in a Caribbean port. Plus a blockade runner would use a lot of fuel.
    I would think with all that more often the not Uncle Davis would get shortchanged.
    The luckiest Confederate growers wpuld just sell their cotton to Northern cotton brokers or yes even the U.S. Navy on the down low.
    Leftyhunter
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    I don't think so. Exports were not taxed. The threat of retaliatory taxation by foreign importers of cotton whose exports were taxed by the U.S. was a legitimate concern in the South, however.

    I am not a scholar. This needs to be explained. U.S. presidents have unilaterally embargoed trade with foreign governments by executive order. How is it unconstitutional to levy tariffs and how did the CSA Constitution allow it?
     
  7. Eric Calistri

    Eric Calistri Sergeant Major

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    US Constitition.
    Article I section 8
    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


    Article I section 9
    No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

    However the CS Constitution changed this clause to:
    No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State, except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses.


    In Feb 1861 the CS levied an export tax of 1/8 cents per pound on cotton.


    In Feb 1863 the export tax on cotton was set 40 cents per pound on cotton and 25 cents per pound on tobacco.
     
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  8. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    Thanks.

    Interestingly, your source contains the following:

    CHAP. LV.--An Act to prohibit the exhortation (sic) of cotton from the Confederate States, except through the seaports of said States; and to punish persons offending therein.

    Looks like they may have been trying to curb trading in cotton with the overland enemy. Didn't work out for Grant very well, either.
     
  9. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Captain

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    Of course by 40 cents we are talking 40 Confederate cents which by 1863 one would think a British pound could buy a whole lot of Confederate cents. Did CSA money even do thatmuch good for the CSA govt?
    Leftyhunter
     
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  10. Eric Calistri

    Eric Calistri Sergeant Major

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    Confederate finance was a disaster. But I do think they understood that their tariff would not generate much revenue, and that's why they allowed the export taxes.
     
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  11. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Captain

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    Prohibiting lucrative commodities never seems to work out. Law Enforcement often worked hand in glove with organized crime during Prohibition and sadly enough at least from the 1960s on in the case of illegal drugs. It hardly seems fair to blame Grant for a similar failure during the Civil War trying to prevent the sale of Confederate cotton to Union cotton brokers.
    Leftyhunter
     
  12. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    I think we have a whole thread about this and do not need to rehash the topic of trading with the enemy here.
     
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  13. Eagle eye

    Eagle eye First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    ----------------------------------
    Your statement is true Drew but I found graph fascinating in showing how the farming of cotton has 'migrated' over the past 200 years.
     
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