Politics_Observer wrote:@Kaiserschmarrn And my honest impression, is that because you have a conservative view point, you have an interest in downplaying the significance of slavery played in producing the very important raw material of cotton that was fuel for the Industrial Revolution and rewriting history from the way it really happened (and you also have to consider that women have not been paid the same as men for the same work and this is a problem even today that the US women's soccer team has brought up with their recent World Cup win) to our current economic prosperity. One little economic statistic that you quoted doesn't make your case. You have to have a wide variety of sources to make your case. I have provided a wide variety of sources to make my case and they are all respected sources. One little economic statistic that you throw out about the 1830s doesn't make a case (and I would be careful about drawing conclusions about one economic statistic).
You really need to work on your reading comprehension. My argument doesn't depend on "one little economic statistic", but I quoted several estimates and findings by economic historians related to GDP, income and exports as a share of GDP, the share of the cotton industry of industrial production, that profits from slavery were hardly invested in industrial activity, that the south didn't produce consumers who in turn created demand as the north did, etc. I could add that the consumer market in the south was generally subdued because plantations were largely self-sufficient, which goes some way in explaining why the south itself didn't industrialise, had few market towns and most economic activity ran east-west rather than north-south. Overall, slavery quite likely was a drag on development in the south, as the slave economy didn't create the same incentives as free labour did in the north. This is the first part of my argument: the role of cotton production in relation to all economic activity in the US which, combined, propelled the US towards its prosperous future.
The second part of my argument deals with the cotton and textile industries themselves. I've asked you more than once for a reasoned argument why we should consider one factor (slave labour) among many as the crucial or most important one when the industries quite obviously wouldn't have functioned without all the other factors. Take away transportation and the cotton just sits there and doesn't get to a location where it can be turned into something useful. Take away the workers in the textile industry and, again, cotton doesn't get processed into the products people wanted. Take away the workers turned consumers in Britain who wanted consumer goods, and there's no demand that can fuel the cotton industry in the US. If that wasn't enough, you also, oddly, jumped on the cotton gin, which was invented by a white man, and declared that without it the IR doesn't happen, so you inadvertently put forward the argument that one white guy was as important to the IR as all slaves combined! While you are wrong that the absence of one invention would have stopped the industrial revolution in its tracks, you made my argument for me without noticing.
Politics_Observer wrote:Slavery wasn't just a "small price to pay" but it was a high price to pay. The low cost of products produced during the Industrial Revolution came with a high price (you also have to consider child labor that helped produce those products). And it wasn't just African Americans that suffered under slavery from the Industrial Revolution, it was those poor, mostly white workers, in particularly, women and children, who suffered in those factories. Children were exploited too insofar as child labor. And it was them, along with the those slaves working for free in the cotton fields, that made the Industrial Revolution possible. Wealthy white people who made their fortunes from child labor, exploiting the free labor of black people in the cotton fields along with not paying women equally in the factories or overworking men in the factories while trying to underpay them too (though women still got paid less than men); have a strong interest in denying or downplaying the facts of history. Because if they didn't downplay the facts of history, then that would mean, their excessive power and privilege comes under challenge and they don't like that! No ma'am they don't. Because it's about power and control for them.
Here you again demonstrate your lack of reading comprehension. I didn't say that slave labour was a small price to pay. Please go back and re-read my post if that's what you took away from it.
And let's be clear. Slavery is ancient. It has been practiced throughout history on all continents. The same goes for child labour. Most people, men and women, did often back-breaking work in agriculture before the industrial revolution. So I agree that we should get our historical facts straight, not only for the sake of accuracy itself, but also because it gives us the necessary perspective. However, none of this helps us understand the extent of the contribution of slavery to the industrial revolution. To me, it looks like you would now like to muse about inconsequential matters that have nothing to do with your original claims that started our discussion. Nobody contests that injustices and inequalities have existed at the time of the IR just like at any other time prior to it. I'm going to ignore these diversions from now on.
Finally, I note that somewhat ironically you are advancing the narrative of the slave owners at the time. So confident were they that the slave system was indispensable and so optimistic with respect to secession that slave prices shot up before the civil war to the point where they were worth $4bn (as you've told us). Yet, the slave owners' threats and predictions of doom turned out to be unfounded.
@Politics_Observer, I'm still waiting for the evidence that there is an explosion of white supremacy in the US by the way.