This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 British Isles, it is said, derive their support directly or indirectly from the cotton industry. These gigantic armies of workers would be brought to the verge of starvation. The industries of Great Britain would be paralyzed, and the economists admit that a period of general industrial depression and financial panic would probably ensue more severe than any recorded in the past in any country. It is not easy for the imagination to realize the conditions of misery, want and nakedness which would come with the civilized world shut off from its supply of American cotton. Clothing would be scarce; the ships that ply the seas would be without canvas for sails, armies would be without tents, the great dry-goods stores whose merchandise is mainly cotton fabrics, would have to close and their employes would join the throngs of the idle. Keep before you that fact that the people who would be the least of all affected by such conditions would be the Southern people. On their own soil they can raise every other crop which they may need to supply them with food or vesture, and funds for living quite as easily as the farmers of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana or Illinois, who, with an abundance of corn and wheat and wool, have never yet raised, or attempted to raise, a pound of cotton. The people of Great Britain know all this. They are well aware of the fearful losses, the demoralization and starvation which would inevitably follow in the wake of a cotton famine. Therefore, it is that the English government has for the past fifty years periodically taken alarm and agitated the question of opening new cotton fields in other countries, so as to mitigate to some extent England's dependence upon our Southern cotton fields. At a conference recently held at the foreign office in London, attended by the premier and other leading members of the British cabinet, this subject was discussed with great earnestness. It was stated there that the consumption of raw cotton was increasing at the rate of about a half million bales a year, and it was declared that even a shortage of 25 per cent in the cotton supply would mean a loss to British industries of a million and a half to two million dollars a week. Thus, it is for patriotic, as well as commerical reasons, that the countries of Europe renew from time to time the extraordinary but futile efforts which they have been making during the last fifty years to develop a supply of cotton in other portions of the globe. The suggestion has been made and is being seriously discussed in English papers, that a sufficient amount of English capital should be invested in
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.