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Losing the ThreadCotton, Liverpool and the American Civil War$
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Jim Powell

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622492

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622492.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022



(p.1) Introduction
Losing the Thread

Jim Powell

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the objectives of the book. No full-length work exists on the crisis in the British cotton trade during the American Civil War, and the only substantial study of the raw cotton market in Liverpool was made by Thomas Ellison 130 years ago. The book remedies these omissions. It has two objectives. First, to establish the factual record of Britain’s raw cotton supply during the civil war. Second, to examine the impact of the civil war on Liverpool, and on the operation of the raw cotton trade there, with specific reference to the role of the cotton brokers. The chapter discusses the existing historiography and its deficiencies, and describes the primary sources that underpin this study. It establishes the crucial, and neglected, importance of price to the trade in raw cotton.

Keywords:   cotton, Liverpool, American Civil War, cotton brokers, Thomas Ellison

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