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Lecture 7: British Capitalism (1783-1833)

by: Olivia Sutton

Lecture 7: British Capitalism (1783-1833) SOCY1039

Marketplace > Boston College > Sociology > SOCY1039 > Lecture 7 British Capitalism 1783 1833
Olivia Sutton
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About this Document

Covers the rise of British capitalism through cotton and how it become the superpower/forerunner of the Industrial Revolution
African World Perspectives
Zine Magubane
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Olivia Sutton on Wednesday February 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCY1039 at Boston College taught by Zine Magubane in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see African World Perspectives in Sociology at Boston College.


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Date Created: 02/24/16
Lecture 7: British Capitalism (1783-1833) February 22, 2016 The Power of the Planters  Representation in Parliament went by holdings of land  Plantation owners were so rich that they could buy land and vote their opinions in Parliament (even if they didn’t live in England)  The West Indian planters were very powerful  Although slavery fuels the Industrial Revolution, it gives birth to the class that will ultimately destroy the system (according to Eric Williams) Technical Revolution  1780s: advances in metallurgical industries opened the way for the construction of machines made out of iron and the emergence of machines that are built by other machines o Without social context, the invention of a new machine cannot truly be significant  Because most machines were made out of wood, there was a significant amount of manual labor  Machines made out of metal were put to work making other machines (this caused durability changes) Steam Power Enters the Picture  1783: James Watt develops the technology that enables English textile factories to be powered by steam  1785: First steam spinning mill set up in England  1789: First steam spinning mill set up in Manchester  1793: Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin o Because cotton had many seeds and debris, it took a considerable amount of time in order to use it o The amount of cotton to plant and pick became a lot less than normal o Cotton made the industrial revolution; foundation of the textile industry and drives economic development  Looms and other machinery was powered by water, but steam changed everything o This kind of technology allowed multiple machines to be powered at once The Cotton Industry  Between 1784 and 1832, British cotton imports rose from 11 million lbs. per year to 283 million lbs. per year  A huge percentage of the cotton used in the English textile industry was imported from the United States, o This increased its production of slave grown cotton from 1.4 million lbs. (1800) to 3.54 million lbs. per year (1831) and 2 billion lbs. (1831)  On average 80% of the cotton produced in the United States each year went to Britain  Increase happens around 1800 o This is what done by human labor!  Liverpool was the port through which American cotton entered England The Haitian Revolution, the Cotton Gin, and the British Textile Industry  It was after the Haitian Revolution (1803) and the Louisiana Purchase (1804) that the U.S acquired enough land to grow the cotton to fuel Britain’s Industrial Revolution  Saint-Domingue produced so much sugar that Britain’s sugar colonies were going into decline (France’s colony from 1659- 1804) o This is why the British considered abolitionism to cut off France’s primary supply  France was becoming unbelievably rich (why Haitian Creole has French origins)  1/3 of all slaves in the trans-Atlantic trade were sent to St. Domingue o Each year the colony imported 50,000 new slaves  1789: the slave population was 500,000 & the French population was 32,000 o The slaves captured were former war captives/soldiers o Many of these slaves came from the same area and could communicate with each other that the French could not understand o Slave rebellions were very common here (a new crop of rebellious people were coming in all the time)  (1791-1803): Toussaint-Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines led a revolution against the slave system (From left to right: Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint-Louverture)  The Revolution culminated in 1804 with the establishment of Haiti, the first free Black republic in the world and the first and only independent republic established from a slave revolt o This struck fear into slave owners across the globe because they heard about the Haitian Revolution o News spread rapidly o Some were happy with this because it was France’s problem (Britain especially wanted to mess up France, so they secretly helped the slaves while screwing them over in the end), but some were really worried about this.  When the French knew that the loss of Haiti was inevitable they sold the territory to the U.S for about 4 center/acre  1832: Britain was importing 283 million lbs. of cotton per year  Manchester’s population increased six times over between 1773 and 1824 More About Britain Building its Power • British banks invested in governments all over Europe as well as in Latin America and the United States • B/C Southern cotton was so important to British capitalism, private and state owned Banks in the U.S went to London for loans • British supplied goods for the slave populations of the West Indies, the U.S., Cuba, and Brazil • The Reform Bill (1832) • Changed the rules around the right to vote to where it was no longer based on how much land people owed but rather on income (the landed aristocracy thus lost power) • Towns were given representation in parliament based on population (thus increasing the power of the heavily populated industrial cities) • British exports to the world were in manufactured goods, which could be paid for only in raw materials—cotton of U.S, coffee & sugar of Brazil, sugar of Cuba etc. • The expansion of British exports depended on the capacity of Britain to absorb the raw material as payment • The British West India monopoly, which prohibited the importation of non-British planation sugar became an anathema • Every important vested interest—cotton manufacturers, ship owners, sugar refiners, every important industrial town—London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham—joined in the attack on West Indian slavery and the West Indian monopoly


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