Attorney Antonio Moore discusses the Charlottesville, Virginia clashes between protestors. Moore uses the lens of American history, and slavery to provide a view into why the clashes occurred, and what to expect going forward under President Donald Trump. Subscribe to his Youtube Channel at Tonetalks
Antonio Moore’s piece on Huffpost: “Slavery’s Shadow: Reparations and the Cost to Build a Nation”
The institution left an indelible shadow over America that still lasts today. While many remember slavery as a regional institution enriching a few southern slaveholders, it was in fact so much more. As cotton became a dominant export sold in the blossoming global economy, slavery was in large part the fuel that drove the newly forming American economic engine forward.
One crop, slave-grown cotton provided over half of all U.S. export earnings. By 1840, the South grew 60 percent of the world’s cotton and provided some 70 percent of the cotton consumed by the British textile industry... slavery paid for a substantial share of the capital, iron, and manufactured good that laid the basis for American economic growth... precisely because the South specialized in cotton production, the North developed a variety of businesses that provided services for the slave South, including textile factories, a meat processing industry, insurance companies, shippers, and cotton brokers. Gilder Lehrman American Institute
Because of the needs of the south, northern bankers positioned themselves as some of the primary economic beneficiaries of cotton producing plantations. Bankers on Wall Street made millions selling goods to the south, creating banks to finance southern plantations and also by exporting the picked cotton out of the country.
“When the New York City banker James Brown tallied his wealth in 1842, he had to look far below Wall Street to trace its origins. His investments in the American South exceeded $1.5 million, a quarter of which was directly bound up in the ownership of slave plantations...Brown was among the world’s most powerful dealers in raw cotton, and his family’s firm, Brown Brothers & Co., served as one of the most important sources of capital and foreign exchange to the U.S. economy.” “How Slavery Led To Modern Capitalism” Bloomberg View by Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman
The north and the south were inextricably linked as the force of cotton filled financial coffers across the nation. As a multitude of goods, from slave clothing to cotton growing tools, were shipped from northern manufacturing plants to southern plantations, northern businesses far removed physically reaped great financial reward from slavery’s existence. Contrary to popular belief, according to National Geographic “Cotton was not shipped directly to Europe from the South. Rather, it was shipped to New York and then transshipped to England and other centers of cotton manufacturing in the United States and Europe” “How Slavery Helped build a World Economy” by Howard Dodson. Cotton and the slaves that produced it inseparably linked and underpinned the entire American economy, not just one southern region of the country