Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Cotton Crisis

In 1861 Manchester used to make 98% of the worlds cotton. 
90% of the people in Manchester worked in the cotton industry. Then the slave trade started to take off and cotton was being sold much cheaper elsewhere. Everyone in Manchester got together at The Free Trade Hall to protest.
They wished to abolish slavery to protect their cotton industry. They expressed support of Abraham Lincoln who also wanted to see an end to slavery. 

This caused a conflict with the Southern States, who provided Manchester with the raw cotton. They stopped selling the raw cotton to Manchester because they had expressed support for Lincoln. 
Then 90% of the people in Manchester had no income. Soup kitchens were set up so that people didn't starve. 

To begin with they wanted to abolish slavery to protect their business, but though the extreme hardships they then directly empathised with the slaves as well. 

Records from 1851 say that 51% of children died before reaching the age of 14. The children would work in the 'dark, satanic mills' and without their parents to protect them they were treated very badly. 

After their hardships many oppressed workers loved the idea of going to America. Some of them made it and when they did they called their towns Manchester. 

They had an extremely difficult time in Manchester but they loved what people had stood for there and wanted to remember their old home. Or maybe they just couldn't think of a new name. 

Anyway 35 new towns called Manchester appeared at this time. 

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