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Turning Points in the U.S. Civil War: A British Perspective

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  • Brown, William O.
  • Burdekin, Richard C. K.

Abstract

This article examines the Confederate cotton bonds floated in Europe in March 1863 and traded on the London market. Over a 27 March 1863 to 17 June 1865 sample we isolate two, nonreversed, turning points that follow news of Confederate defeat at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July 1863 and the fall of Atlanta in September 1864. The analysis suggests that the turning points important to Southern interests differ from those identified for the Northern side by Kristen Willard, Timothy Guinnane, and Harvey Rosen. It seems that war news did not always have symmetric effects on North and South.It may appear somewhat startling that the Confederates should be able to borrow money in Europe while the Federal Government has been unable to obtain a shilling from that usually liberal and enterprising quarter. But the risk of never being paid at all, in case the South should be subdued and re-annexed is so slight that, of itself, it need not deter any man from sharing in an 8 per cent. loan.It is now greatly to be regretted that the rebel loan put on the market in England two years ago was not greater in amount. Following General Lee s surrender we may safely expect to hear by the next mail that most of the great Yorkshire and Lancashire cotton speculators have been sacrificed on the Confederate cotton.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 60 (2000)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 216-231

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2000:i:01:p:216-231_02

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  1. Anindya Banerjee & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1990. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit Root and Trend Break Hypothesis: Theory and International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kristen L. Willard & Timothy W. Guinnane & Harvey S. Rosen, 1995. "Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market," NBER Working Papers 5381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. McCandless, George T, Jr, 1996. "Money, Expectations, and U.S. Civil War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 661-71, June.
  4. Burdekin Richard C. K. & Langdana Farrokh K., 1993. "War Finance in the Southern Confederacy, 1861-1865," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 352-376, July.
  5. Grossman, Herschel I & Han, Taejoon, 1996. "War Debt, Moral Hazard, and the Financing of the Confederacy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 200-215, May.
  6. Davis, George K. & Pecquet, Gary M., 1990. "Interest Rates in the Civil War South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 133-148, March.
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