5 February 2013 1:35 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In 1863, The Us President wrote to the 'working men of Manchester' thanking them for their anti-slavery stance

When cotton was king, Manchester's busy textile mills dressed the world. Because of this, great fortunes were made and ordinary families were fed. But in 1862, Lancashire mill workers, at great personal sacrifice, took a principled stand by refusing to touch raw cotton picked by Us slaves.

On the other side of the Atlantic, President Lincoln's Northern Union was waging war against a breakaway of southern states. Having already linked the south with the institution of slavery, Lincoln persuaded European importers that his blockade of slave picked cotton was a legitimate tool in defeating the Confederacy and restoring the union.

A year into the civil war, the effects of the cotton embargo really began to bite. Lancashire, which had imported three quarters of all cotton grown on southern plantations (1.3 billion lbs), found that 60% of »

- Jason Rodrigues

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