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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cotton Imperialism: Manchester Merchants and Cotton Cultivation in West Africa in the Mid Nineteenth Century
Author:Ratcliffe, Barrie M.
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic term:West Africa
cotton industry
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3601218
Abstract:This paper deals with the interest evinced by Manchester merchants in West Africa as a supplier of raw cotton in the second half of the nineteenth century and is intended to be a contribution to the major controversy on the significance of relationships between metropolitan and peripheral economies in general and on the economic causes and consequences of the European presence in West Africa in particular. In this debate both orthodox and neo-marxist scholars have recently attached increased importance to the European quest for raw materials. Three aspects are stressed: 1) the longstanding if ill-founded, belief among Europeans that the tropics - and especially West Africa - were capable of providing the metropoles with the tropical staples they needed; 2) the importance from the nineteenth century onwards of cash crop exports that met the changing raw material needs of the metropoles; 3) the most pertinent aspect for the purpose of this paper: the link of the search for raw materials to forward policy-making in the second half of the nineteenth century. Notes.