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English Versus Indian Cotton Textiles: The Impact Of Imports On Cotton Textile Production In West Africa

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the extent to which protoindustrial production developed in cotton textile production in West Africa during the period and examines the role of textile imports exchanged for captives. This role is analyzed in the light of the competition between East India and English cottons both in England and in West Africa. Cotton textile production in West Africa dates back to medieval times and beyond. As captive exports to the Americas expanded from the late seventeenth century, West Africa became a major market for Indian and European cotton textiles. The chapter attempts to show that in the main production areas it prevented the growth of demand and output to a point where merchants found it worthwhile to superimpose on the producers the proto-industrial form of production organization and marketing.

Keywords: cotton textile production; English cotton textiles; Indian cotton textiles; protoindustrial production; West Africa



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