--We may begin very soon to witness the first symptoms of the coming cotton panic in England
The sudden blotting out from among nations of such important members of the family of communities as the eleven States of the Southern Confederacy, cannot produce a stock more or less severe upon fabric of the world's commerce and treasury.
The Southern States of this Confederacy the only region of the world that furnished more cotton to Europe
than it received back in fabric.
Every other cotton-producing region of the earth sent less cotton to the of Great Britain
and the continent, than it procured in the machinery-manufactured fabrics of that article.
Their purchases of cotton from Manchester
, in fabric, were greater than their sales of it to Manchester
, in staple.
The surplus to supply this excess of demand from all other nations, was obtained by Manchester
from our cotton States.
was the of India
, just as the potato was the curse of Ireland
It made living cheap, and multiplied population until it swarmed as the locusts in Egypt
during the scriptural plague.
The teeming population of India
taxed its agriculture to its utmost capacity, and left it capable of supplying nothing beyond the food necessary for so many months, and the indifferent cotton requisite for covering the nakedness of so many backs.
Of course a country whose agriculture was thus burdened, could not furnish staple for the surplus clothing of more thinly populated regions.
It sent, indeed, cotton to Great Britain
, but it sent it there only for the purpose of exchange for cotton goods manufactured by the cheap agency of machinery.
It sent to Europe
less cotton than it received back, in pounds, of the manufactured fabric; it required more cotton for clothing than it could raise.
The case was the same, for somewhat similar means, with China
, a country as heavily overburdened as India
with a population which taxed all the resources of its agriculture for its support.
So also was the case the same in the cotton-producing regions of Africa
where, though the population was less redundant, the agriculture was primitive, rude, and far less productive.
In order to get cotton from Africa
in quantity, a flourishing agriculture must first be established; and in order to this, its jungles and low, alluvial soils must be settled by a white race, that shall be proof against the most malignant types of yellow fever found in all the world.
There is much talk in Europe
of adopting measures for securing an adequate supply of cotton from other sources than the Confederate States
; but the talk all ends in words; they can't get the supply, for the reason we have explained.
The agriculture of India
cannot afford it; the agriculture of less heavily populated regions of the earth is too primitive and rude to produce it.
There is still another reason.
The cotton of all other countries than the Confederate States
is defective in quality.
The seasons in those regions are divided into, the wet
and the dry;
and the cotton raised in the dry
season of those countries is so inferior as to amount to almost a different species of plant.
The seasons in the Confederate States
are not thus divided.--On the contrary, the quantity of rain falling in the summer season when the cotton is growing is greater than during any other season, being twenty-one
inches, whereas the average for the other seasons is only about fifteen.
The delicious sweet potato raised in Eastern Virginia
, becomes another, and a wretched, half rotten, insipid root when reared in the limestone soils of the West
The cotton of the South
is a long, silky, white staple: that of India
a short, woolly, stiff, yellow, different sort of thing.
cannot supply her customers with the quality of cotton cloths they require, except by manufacturing it wholly or in the proportion of half and half of Southern cotton.
She not only cannot get the supply of cotton required from any other source than the South
, but she cannot get the quality of staple absolutely indispensable to her.
must have our Southern cotton, and she cannot get it until she recognizes us, for two reasons.
She cannot pay gold for our cotton, as she would have to do directly or indirectly, if she obtained it clandestinely in violation of the blockade.
No country could stand a trade which required her to pay gold on her side for staple on the other.
To protcure our cotton in quantity, England
must not only open our ports for the egress of the cotton, but also open them for the ingress of the merchandize she would have to pay for them in exchange.
All international commerce is barter.
There may be balances on one side or the other to be settle in specie; but, as to the great bulk of trade, it is a system of barter, and barter only.
could not get our cotton in the quantities requisite to her purposes if our ports were wide open for its egress, except on the condition that they were also wide open for the ingress of the return cargoes of merchandize.
The South, therefore, is master of the situation; cotton is King
cannot afford to lose the Southern
market for her manufactures.
We bought ourselves, and enabled the Yankees
to buy, an aggregate for both, of two hundred millions of European
merchandize with our cotton crop.
cannot afford to lose this market, for two reasons.--To strike off two hundred millions from her sales of manufactures would throw out of employment many millions of her operatives; and would also deprive her of the means of buying an equivalent quantity of cotton for her factories.
The South is mistress of the situation.
She can stand the blockade longer than Europe
or the North