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The Civil War had disrupted the production of Cotton in the south.
The large planters had invested their capital in worthless Confederate bonds. The planters did not have the money to plant all of their fields.
Large numbers of previous slaves did not return after the Civil War to work the plantations. This created a work force shortage, which combined with the shortage of capital greatly reduced the number of acres of cotton which could be planted.
Instead of extremely inexpensive slave labour other forms of labour had to be developed. Share cropping and related forms of production were not as efficient as the large scale plantation methods. Also the Share cropping besides being less efficient it was also more expensive.
The number of farms in the south increased from 450,000 to over 1,000,000. The size of the farms decreased from an average of 347 to 156. As the large plantations were more difficult to maintain smaller "yeoman" farmers took over more of the cotton production.
During the Civil war England turned to India, Egypt and Brazil for other sources of Cotton. After the Civil War the South had to compete for market share. It wasn't until 1878 that the South regained its pre Civil War Market Share in Cotton.
The surrender of Vicksburg cut off the Confederacy from all outside supplies completing the Anaconda Plan.
At the beginning of the Civil War the North implemented a plan to cut the Confederacy off from any outside supplies or support. The south was dependent on imports from Europe to augment its industrial output of military supplies. The south would export cotton and use the proceeds to purchase rifles, cannons, and military supplies.
The naval blockade of southern ports severely limited the export of cotton. However the Confederacy had accounts in banks in London and Paris that they could use to purchase military supplies even warships equipped in Europe to raid Northern shipping. The last remaining method for getting the desperately needed supplies was to ship the military equipment to neutral Mexico and then move the supplies across Texas and the Mississippi River.
With the fall of Vicksburg the control of the Mississippi River fell to the Union forces. The Confederacy could no longer get supplies across the Mississippi. The last route for getting supplies from outside to fight the war was closed. Without a source of outside supplies and reinforcements the Confederacy was doomed. The only hope left for the south was that the North would get tired of fighting and quit.
The fall of Vicksburg completed the encirclement of the Confederacy as envisioned in the Anaconda Plan. This cut the Confederacy off from all outside support and supply.
In my opinion the conflict between people with a progressive socialistic worldview and those with a conservative capitalistic worldview.
With the election of Donald Trump through Electorial College to the presidency of the United States the conflict between two opposing world views has come into sharp focus .
Moderate Republican presidents were content to slow down the movement toward a socialistic society. Democratic presidents consistently pushed for more government control and "social justice".
The Social progressive were able to live with the Moderate Republicans who held back progress toward their idealistic utopian vision of an American where everyone was equal not only politically but also economically. A Moderate Republican meant only that their ideal was delayed, while waiting for another progressive democratic president that would promote the movement toward social justice.
Trump promised to roll back the socialistic agenda. reversing most of the gains made during the Obama Presidency. Trump being a businessman is a proponent of capitalism. Trump espouses individual responsibility, and freedom. Trump is not a Moderate Republican actually he is not even a republican he is a populist. As a populist he has the support of the working middle class that has been asked to pay for most of social welfare of the progressive movement. Trump also is the perceived enemy of all those with a progressive world view.
Trump so far has not been successful in his attempts to reduce eGovernment control of people's lives. Key he has failed to repeal the ACA. He has not made progress on making the tax code less progressive. His efforts to reduce the power of the EPA and Departments of Education, State, Human Welfare have all been accomplished by Executive privilege.
Still Trump and the conservatives are seen as an w threat to the success of the progressive movement. This as resulted in violence on college campuses and in the streets. There are active efforts to impeach and remove Trump from office. There is the danger of the conservatives becoming as violent as the progressive demonstrators. This could result in a second civil war in the United States between proponents of two opposing world views.
This seemly irreconcilable conflict between ideologies is the greatest challenge facing the United States.
During the time of the Puritans the church was the center of life in New England.
Society was to be governed by Biblical values. Every adult male could speak in the church meetings. The Church meetings were an early form of democracy. Everything in the community was decided by the Church councils. Who the school teacher would be and the curriculum were decided in the church. These issues would not be considered to be issues to be decided by the church by the time of the American Revolution.
The Church Meetings came to be replaced by the Town meetings. The same form of early democracy was represented in the New England Town meetings. Every adult male was able to speak in the Town Meetings. Everything from deciding to repair a bridge to entering the Revolutionary war was decided in the Town Meetings.
The Great Awakening weakened the power of the organized church and a theocratic government. The Great Awakening strengthened the reliance on the Bible as a source for values to govern society, and the practice of democracy.
Cotton was suddenly more profitable, and the planters who grew it could suddenly afford more slaves.
Before the cotton gin, growing cotton was a break-even proposition at best. Separating cotton from its seed was generally done with a knife, a very slow and dangerous process. One slave could, at peak efficiency, produce one bag of cotton a day.
Although slaves were not paid, they cost money in other ways. Purchasing a slave was a major investment and feeding him/her was a fixed operating cost. One bag of cotton a day was not a good return on those investments. But if a small, hand-cranked cotton gin were used, that one bag of cotton suddenly became five bags per worker. With a large cotton gin, or several such devices, those five bags became twenty.
Cotton gins made cotton insanely profitable overnight. A serious operation would buy several of them and require more workers to operate them. As cotton only grew in the deep south, those workers were most often slaves. As indefensible as slavery was on moral grounds, for the first half of the 19th century, it was certainly profitable.
men, medicine, rifles, ships.
Grant could afford to lose battle after battle to Lee in his drive to Petersburg, because Grant could replace his loses, while the south could not Because of immigration the north had much larger supplies of replacement soldiers.
Because of the anaconda plan the south was blocked from imports. The south was not able to get medical supplies like opium and other medical supplies. Many soldiers died or loss limbs in the south because of the lack of medical supplies. Sadly many soldiers in the north became addicted to opium. The over supply of medical supplies in the north had some negative consequences.
rifles, cannons, were produced in factories in the north. Also the north could import arms from Europe. The south had a few factories that could produce weapons. The blockade meant that it was difficult for the south to import arms from Europe. After the fall of Vicksburg the south could not get any further arms from Europe. The soldiers in the north had access to repeating rifles, better muskets, Parrot cannons, colt revolvers, and sharp shooting rifles with scopes. All of the weapons that the northern army used were superior to the weapons available to the soldiers in the southern armies.
The armored gun boats of the Union dominated the Mississippi River conflict. The blockade was possible because the Union had many more ships than were available to the south.
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