The Lancashire Cotton Famine

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Cotton Famine in Lancashire from 1861-65. The Famine followed the blockade of Confederate Southern ports during the American Civil War which stopped the flow of cotton into mills in Britain and Europe. Reports at the time told of starvation, mass unemployment and migration. Abraham Lincoln wrote, “I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working-men of Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis.” While the full cause and extent of the Famine in Lancashire are disputed, the consequences of this and the cotton blockade were far reaching.

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  • Lawrence Goldman 10 episodes
    Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London
  • Emma Griffin 6 episodes
    Professor of History at the University of East Anglia
  • David Brown No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in American Studies at University of Manchester

Reading list

  • Lawrence Goldman at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London
  • Emma Griffin at the University of East Anglia
  • David Brown at the University of Manchester
  • Spinning the Web: The Story of the Cotton Industry
  • Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk During the Cotton Famine
    Edwin Waugh Google Books →
  • The American Civil War and the Lancashire cotton famine - Revealing Histories
  • Lancashire Cotton Famine - Wikipedia
  • Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War
    R. J. M. Blackett (Louisiana State University Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • English Public Opinion and the American Civil War
    Duncan Andrew Campbell (Royal Historical Society, 2003) Google Books →
  • Unlikely Allies: Britain, America and the Victorian Origins of the Special Relationship
    Duncan Andrew Campbell (Bloomsbury, 2008) Google Books →
  • A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided
    Amanda Foreman (Allen Lane, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Lancashire Cotton Famine, 1861-1865
    W. O. Henderson (Manchester University Press, 1969) Google Books →
  • Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations
    Howard Jones (University of North Carolina Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Hungry Mills: The Story of the Lancashire Cotton Famine 1861-5
    Norman Longmate (Maurice Temple Smith Ltd, 1978) Google Books →
  • My Days are Swifter than a Weaver's Shuttle: Richard Ryley's Diary, 1862
    Richard Ryley (Clement, 1982) Google Books →
  • Four Centuries of Lancashire Cotton
    Geoffrey Timmins (Lancashire County Books, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Facts of the Cotton Famine
    John Watts (, 2013) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b05tly3f

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Auto-category: 973.7 (History of the United States during the Civil War)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1863, in the middle of the American Civil War, President Lincoln wrote, I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working men of Manchester and in all Europe are called to endure in this crisis.