By 1880, cotton had extended its reach into the South.
That’s when the South figured out how to grow cotton to the limits of its natural resources. It knew how it could produce a new fiber, but it needed more raw materials.
The growth of cotton in the South was also the beginning of the end for the once mighty textile industry. The cotton factory created a very nasty social climate within the South, but there was also enough cotton to provide a steady supply of cheap textiles for all the rest of the world. And it was in that last bit of the South that the Southern textile industry really took off. In fact, some say it created a whole new industry that has influenced the entire industrial landscape of the world.
The cotton industry in the United States was responsible for the death of a large portion of the population, especially in the South. The production of cotton was so bad that it led to the near extinction of the American beaver population as well. Although most of the blame lies with the slave-holding states of the South, the cotton industry in the North was also a major factor in the demise of the American textile industry.
The Southern cotton industry was based on the slave trade: textiles from the South were sold to England and the Northern states for the purpose of being used to make cotton cloth. The South’s cotton industries were very important to the entire Southern economy. Cotton provided 90% of the South’s income, 40% of the South’s exports, and 50% of the South’s exports.
The South’s cotton industries were the region’s main source of employment for its workers, yet they were also in the middle of the largest slave-held territory in the world. In fact, the American Civil War created the first significant slave-holding state, the Confederate states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Many of these Southern cotton states were heavily involved in the slave trade.
Cotton in the South was a major export. The importance of cotton in the South is due to two things: First, the South produced most of the raw cotton produced in the US, and second, because the American cotton industry was very large and the South didn’t get the same credit.
This is all great, but what makes cotton so important to the South? It’s very important because it is the basis of the US economy. It’s not just a means of making clothing, but also of transporting goods, of transportation, of food, of transportation of power.
In the early 20th century the South was dominated by cotton. In fact, almost all of the Southern economy was based on cotton, and the South was also the leading cotton producer in the world. When the Civil War began, it took a lot of effort to get the South to follow a different course, but once the war was won, cotton became the industry of the South.
In the 20th century the southern textile industry did what no other industry had ever done before. The southern textile industry was a major manufacturing sector that in turn built the southern economy. If we want to talk about the “Southern Way of Life”, and the Civil War, we need to look at the Southern textile industry first.