HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Economy & Education » Economy (Group) » How Slavery Led to Modern...

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 08:03 AM

How Slavery Led to Modern Capitalism


(Bloomberg) 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. Still, no small amount of his time was devoted to managing slaves from the study of his Leonard Street brownstone in Lower Manhattan.

Brown was hardly unusual among the capitalists of the North. Nicholas Biddle's United States Bank of Philadelphia funded banks in Mississippi to promote the expansion of plantation lands. Biddle recognized that slave-grown cotton was the only thing made in the U.S. that had the capacity to bring gold and silver into the vaults of the nation's banks. Likewise, the architects of New England's industrial revolution watched the price of cotton with rapt attention, for their textile mills would have been silent without the labor of slaves on distant plantations.

The story we tell about slavery is almost always regional, rather than national. We remember it as a cruel institution of the southern states that would later secede from the Union. Slavery, in this telling, appears limited in scope, an unfortunate detour on the nation's march to modernity, and certainly not the engine of American economic prosperity. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-24/how-slavery-led-to-modern-capitalism-echoes.html



2 replies, 1567 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Slavery Led to Modern Capitalism (Original post)
marmar Jan 2012 OP
RevStPatrick Jan 2012 #1
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2012 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 09:11 AM

1. And of course, Brown Brothers & Co...

 

...went on to merge with Harriman Brothers & Company, to form Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, which is the Bush Crime Family bank.

In fact, Occupy Wall Street and Zuccotti Park is right across the street:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Reply to this thread