The Cotton Famine - Lancashire Textile Workers, Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War
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Published By Red Roof
ISBN : 9780993019821
Category : British History
Format : Book
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On New Years Day 1863 the slaves in America were granted freedom when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War.

In The Cotton Famine Mark Krantz tells the story of how textile workers refused to handle slave-picked cotton and helped end slavery.


'Mark Krantz has thoroughly investigated the story of the cotton workers' actions and reveals the intense level of political organisation and activism that lay behind it in this very welcome account of a pivotal moment in the story of radical thinking across the city and region.' Jackie Ould, Co-Director, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust

'This excellent pamphlet shows that working class people did not support emancipation from slavery out of some inherent virtue, but as a result of consistent, political agitation. This is truth about yesteryear and a call to arms today.' Alan Gibbons, author and campaigner for libraries and books

Short Description of The Cotton Famine

During the American Civil War the supply of cotton to the Lancashire mills was disrupted. This led to mass sackings, short time working and wage cuts for thousands of textile workers. In 1862 as people got hungrier they began to ask questions about the cause – the war thousands of miles away in America.

After much debate and discussion workers were won to take the side of President Abraham Lincoln and the Union Army fighting against the Southern Confederation of Slave States.

The textile workers support for the emancipation of the slaves in America was an act of international working class solidarity that would help change the course of history.

In The Cotton Famine Mark Krantz tells the story of how textile workers refused to handle slave-picked cotton and helped end slavery.

Questions to the author - Why did you write this book?

"I wrote this book because of Donald Trump. Last year when he became president there were widespread protests against him and his declarations of racism and hatred. On one of the demonstrations against Trump I recalled that there had been a time when Manchester rallied not against an American President - but in support of an American president.

"On New Years Eve 1862 at a meeting at the Free Trades Hall in Manchester six thousands workers declared their support for president Abraham Lincoln and the proclamation he had signed that freed the slaves during the American Civil War.

"This is a history that needs to be retold. How it came about that textile workers refused to spin cotton picked by slave hands has not been told in detail. That is why I wrote the Cotton Famine. To bring this little known but inspirational history to a new audience today."

Mark Krantz, January 1st 2018

About the author

Mark Krantz teaches for the Workers Education Association at the People's History Museum in Manchester. He is an activist and a long standing campaigner against racism and fascism.

His previous books chart the textile workers struggles at Peterloo in 1819 and of the Chartists in the 1842 General Strike.

Proceeds from the book sales after printing costs will be donated to anti racist campaigns in Britain

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