Time Magazine: Man of the Millennium

Larry Caldwell larryc at teleport.com
Sun Sep 27 04:55:48 EST 1998

In article <6uiov6$fer at web.nmti.com>, peter at baileynm.com says...
> Slaves were mostly used in labor-intensive cash crops. Cotton is the
> obvious one, but there's plenty of others. And I've heard it argued that
> without the mechanical methods of harvesting and processing cotton that
> were one of the products of the industrial revolution the south would
> still be effectively a slave society.

You have it backwards.  Slavery was on its way out, and southern states 
had moved towards abolition, but then the industrial revolution 
introduced mechanized textiles and suddenly there was an unlimited market 
for cotton.  At that point, owning slaves became hugely profitable.  
While England and the North invested in machinery, the South invested in 
slaves because that's where the profit was.

-- Larry

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