View single post by ole
 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2009 05:12 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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It wasn't greed or lack of vision that denied the South it's shipyards. Merely, the basic ecnomics of supply and demand...

Most all available southern capital went into slaves and land. There was no interest in schools or businesses or making things better for anyone but the planter.

Railroads were built to get cotton to the nearest available navigable river; not to connect markets. The nabobs had no inclination to build or buy their merchant ships, nor to establish financing coalitions, insurance companies and all that background activity having to do with selling cotton. They did, however have decades of opportunity to do so and the time to complain bitterly how the nasty north was making money off their cotton. I'd call that a lack of vision and, if greed can be defined as "me, me, me," I can throw that in, as well.

Foreign ships put into southern ports to pick up cotton; precious few put into those ports to deliver European goods. There is your supply and demand. Except for the planters, the tiny, southern middle class simply could not demand enough to sustain a supply.

There were voices warning of this lack of vision. They were ignored. There was a groundswell in the 1850's south to industrialize and approach par with the north. There was little interest in it.

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