Rivoli Chapter 2 Questions

 1. Review the emergence of large-scale production of cotton textiles.  Understand the role of innovation, production, price, and consumer demand in this process.

 2. During which 4-decade period did US cotton growers achieve world dominance?

 3. What were 2 of the costs of this emergence?

 4. What 2 “exacting and unpredictable labor requirements” made reliance on labor markets impossible for cotton growers?

 5.  How was slavery a strategy to avoid this labor risk?

 6. What factor, other than slavery, kept whites from selling their labor to cotton growers? 

7. On what did the “profitability of the plantation” depend?

 8. According to Rivoli, how was plantation production of cotton not an indictment of markets?

 9. What was the “bottleneck” encountered by cotton growers as they moved westward?

10. Learn how Eli Whitney’s invention revolutionized cotton production and entrenched the slave plantations society.


11. On what fact does Rivoli base her argument that slavery was not the reason that cotton production in the US grew much more rapidly than in China and India?  


12. How does Rivoli account for the US’s rise to dominance in cotton production?


13. How did the share-cropping system protect cotton growers from labor markets ?


14. What does lien mean in Rivoli’s description of the share-cropping system?


15. Learn how the boll weevil undermined King Cotton in the Deep South.


16. Where and when did cotton production move after the boll weevil struck the Deep South?


17. Monkeys, geese, fire?  Why were these solutions tried in Texas but not Mississippi?


18. How was the labor solution in Texas similar to the labor solution in the Deep South? Use the term labor market correctly in your answer.