Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION 7.—REPULSION AND ATTRACTION OF WORKPEOPLE BY THE FACTORY SYSTEM. CRISIS IN THE COTTON TRADE. - Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume I: The Process of Capitalist Production
Return to Title Page for Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume I: The Process of Capitalist Production
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
SECTION 7.—REPULSION AND ATTRACTION OF WORKPEOPLE BY THE FACTORY SYSTEM. CRISIS IN THE COTTON TRADE. - Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume I: The Process of Capitalist Production 
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume I: The Process of Capitalist Production, by Karl Marx. Trans. from the 3rd German edition, by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, ed. Federick Engels. Revised and amplified according to the 4th German ed. by Ernest Untermann (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr and Co., 1909).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
SECTION 7.—REPULSION AND ATTRACTION OF WORKPEOPLE BY THE FACTORY SYSTEM. CRISIS IN THE COTTON TRADE.
All political economists of any standing admit that the introduction of new machinery has a baneful effect on the workmen in the old handicrafts and manufactures with which this machinery at first competes. Almost all of them bemoan the slavery of the factory operative. And what is the great trump-card that they play? That machinery, after the horrors of the period of introduction and development have subsided, instead of diminishing, in the long run increases the number of the slaves of labour! Yes, political economy revels in the hideous theory, hideous to every "philanthropist" who believes in the eternal nature-ordained necessity for capitalist production, that after a period of growth and transition, even its crowning success, the factory system based on machinery, grinds down more workpeople than on its first introduction it throws on the streets.146
It is true that in some cases, as we saw from instances of English worsted and silk factories, an extraordinary extension of the factory system may, at a certain stage of its development, be accompanied not only by a relative, but by an absolute decrease in the number of operatives employed. In the year 1860, when a special census of all the factories in the United Kingdom was taken by order of Parliament, the factories in those parts of Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire, included in the district of Mr. Baker, the factory inspector, numbered 652; 570 of these contained 85,622 power-looms, 6,819,146 spindles (exclusive of doubling spindles), employed 27,439 horse-power (steam), and 1390 (water), and 94,119 persons. In the year 1865, the same factories contained, looms 95,163, spindles 7,025,031, had a steam-power of 28,925 horses, and a water-power of 1445 horses, and employed 88,913 persons. Between 1860 and 1865, therefore, the increase in looms was 11%, in spindles 3%, and in engine-power 3%, while the number of persons employed decreased 5½%.147 Between 1852 and 1862, considerable extension of the English woollen manufacture took place, while the number of hands employed in it remained almost stationary, showing how greatly the introduction of new machines had superseded the labour of preceding periods.148 In certain cases, the increase in the number of hands employed is only apparent; that is, it is not due to the extension of the factories already established, but to the gradual annexation of connected trades; for instance, the increase in power-looms, and in the hands employed by them between 1838 and 1856, was, in the cotton trade, simply owing to the extension of this branch of industry; but in the other trades to the application of steam-power to the carpet-loom, to the ribbon-loom, and to the linen-loom, which previously had been worked by the power of men.149 Hence the increase of the hands in these latter trades was merely a symptom of a diminution in the total number employed. Finally, we have considered this question entirely apart from the fact, that everywhere, except in the metal industries, young persons (under 18), and women and children form the preponderating element in the class of factory hands.
Nevertheless, in spite of the mass of hands actually displaced and virtually replaced by machinery, we can understand how the factory operatives, through the building of more mills and the extension of old ones in a given industry, may become more numerous than the manufacturing workmen and handicraftsmen that have been displaced. Suppose, for example, that in the old mode of production, a capital of £500 is employed weekly, two-fifths being constant and three-fifths variable capital, i.e., £200 being laid out in means of production, and £300, say £1 per man, in labour-power. On the introduction of machinery the composition of this capital becomes altered. We will suppose it to consist of four-fifths constant and one-fifth variable, which means that only £100 is now laid out in labour-power. Consequently, two-thirds of the workmen are discharged. If now the business extends, and the total capital employed grows to £1500 under unchanged conditions, the number of operatives employed will increase to 300, just as many as before the introduction of the machinery. If the capital further grows to £2000, 400 men will be employed, or one-third more than under the old system. Their numbers have, in point of fact, increased by 100, but relatively, i.e., in proportion to the total capital advanced, they have diminished by 800, for the £2000 capital would, in the old state of things, have employed 1200 instead of 400 men. Hence, a relative decrease in the number of hands is consistent with an actual increase. We assumed above that while the total capital increases, its composition remains the same, because the conditions of production remain constant. But we have already seen that, with every advance in the use of machinery, the constant component of capital, that part which consists of machinery, raw material, 8c., increases, while the variable component, the part laid out in labour-power, decreases. We also know that in no other system of production is improvement so continuous, and the composition of the capital employed so constantly changing as in the factory system. These changes are, however, continually interrupted by periods of rest, during which there is a mere quantitative extension of the factories on the existing technical basis. During such periods the operatives increase in number. Thus, in 1835, the total number of operatives in the cotton, woollen, worsted, flax, and silk factories in the United Kingdom was only 354,684; while in 1861 the number of the power-loom weavers alone (of both sexes and of all ages, from eight years upwards), amounted to 230,654. Certainly, this growth appears less important when we consider that in 1838 the hand-loom weavers with their families still numbered 800,000,150 not to mention those thrown out of work in Asia, and on the Continent of Europe.
In the few remarks I have still to make on this point, I shall refer to some actually existing relations, the existence of which our theoretical investigation has not yet disclosed.
So long as, in a given branch of industry, the factory system extends itself at the expense of the old handicrafts or of manufacture, the result is as sure as is the result of an encounter between any army furnished with breach-loaders, and one armed with bows and arrows. This first period, during which machinery conquers its field of action, is of decisive importance owing to the extraordinary profits that it helps to produce. These profits not only form a source of accelerated accumulation, but also attract into the favoured sphere of production a large part of the additional social capital that is being constantly created, and is ever on the look-out for new investments. The special advantages of this first period of fast and furious activity are felt in every branch of production that machinery invades. So soon, however, as the factory system has gained a certain breadth of footing and a definite degree of maturity, and, especially, so soon as its technical basis, machinery, is itself produced by machinery; so soon as coal mining and iron mining, the metal industries, and the means of transport have been revolutionised; so soon, in short, as the general conditions requisite for production by the modern industrial system have been established, this mode of production acquires an elasticity, a capacity for sudden extension by leaps and bounds that finds no hindrance except in the supply of raw material and in the disposal of the produce. On the one hand, the immediate effect of machinery is to increase the supply of raw material in the same way, for example, as the cotton gin augmented the production of cotton.151 On the other hand, the cheapness of the articles produced by machinery, and the improved means of transport and communication furnish the weapons for conquering foreign markets. By ruining handicraft production in other countries, machinery forcibly converts them into fields for the supply of its raw material. In this way East India was compelled to produce cotton, wool, hemp, jute, and indigo for Great Britain.152 By constantly making a part of the hands "super-numerary," modern industry, in all countries where it has taken root, gives a spur to emigration and to the colonization of foreign lands, which are thereby converted into settlements for growing the raw material of the mother country; just as Australia, for example, was converted into a colony for growing wool.153 A new and international division of labour, a division suited to the requirements of the chief centres of modern industry springs up, and converts one part of the globe into a chiefly agricultural field of production, for supplying the other part which remains a chiefly industrial field. This evolution hangs together with radical changes in agriculture which we need not here further inquire into.154
On the motion of Mr. Gladstone, the House of Commons ordered, on the 17th February, 1867, a return of the total quantities of grain, corn, and flour, of all sorts, imported into, and exported from, the United Kingdom, between the years 1831 and 1866. I give below a summary of the result. The flour is given in quarters of corn.
The enormous power, inherent in the factory system, of expanding by jumps, and the dependence of that system on the markets of the world, necessarily beget feverish production, followed by over-filling of the markets, whereupon contraction of the markets brings on crippling of production. The life of modern industry becomes a series of periods of moderate activity, prosperity, over-production, crisis and stagnation. The uncertainty and instability to which machinery subjects the employment, and consequently the conditions of existence, of the operatives become normal, owing to these periodic changes of the industrial cycle. Except in the periods of prosperity, there rages between the capitalists the most furious combat for the share of each in the markets. This share is directly proportional to the cheapness of the product. Besides the rivalry that this struggle begets in the application of improved machinery for replacing labour-power, and of new methods of production, there also comes a time in every industrial cycle, when a forcible reduction of wages beneath the value of labour-power, is attempted for the purpose of cheapening commodities.155
A necessary condition, therefore, to the growth of the number of factory hands, is a proportionally much more rapid growth of the amount of capital invested in mills. This growth, however, is conditioned by the ebb and flow of the industrial cycle. It is, besides, constantly interrupted by the technical progress that at one time virtually supplies the place of new workmen, at another, actually displaces old ones. This qualitative change in mechanical industry continually discharges hands from the factory, or shuts its doors against the fresh stream of recruits, while the purely quantitative extension of the factories absorbs not only the men thrown out of work, but also fresh contingents. The workpeople are thus continually both repelled and attracted, hustled from pillar to post, while, at the same time, constant changes take place in the sex, age, and skill of the levies.
The lot of the factory operatives will be best depicted by taking a rapid survey of the course of the English cotton industry.
From 1770 to 1815 this trade was depressed or stagnant for 5 years only. During this period of 45 years the English manufacturers had a monopoly of machinery and of the markets of the world. From 1815 to 1821 depression; 1822 and 1823 prosperity; 1824 abolition of the laws against Trades' Unions, great extension of factories everywhere; 1825 crisis; 1826 great misery and riots among the factory operatives; 1827 slight improvement; 1828 great increase in power-looms, and in exports; 1829 exports, especially to India, surpass all former years; 1830 glutted markets, great distress; 1831 to 1833 continued depression, the monopoly of the trade with India and China withdrawn from the East India Company; 1834 great increase of factories and machinery, shortness of hands. The new poor law furthers the migration of agricultural labourers into the factory districts. The country districts swept of children. White slave trade; 1835 great prosperity, contemporaneous starvation of the handloom weavers; 1836 great prosperity; 1837 and 1838 depression and crisis; 1839 revival; 1840 great depression, riots, calling out of the military; 1841 and 1842 frightful suffering among the factory operatives; 1842 the manufacturers lock the hands out of the factories in order to enforce the repeal of the Corn Laws. The operatives stream in thousands into the towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, are driven back by the military, and their leaders brought to trial at Lancaster; 1843 great misery; 1844 revival; 1845 great prosperity; 1846 continued improvement at first, then reaction. Repeal of the Corn Laws; 1847 crisis, general reduction of wages by 10 and more per cent. in honour of the "big loaf;" 1848 continued depression; Manchester under military protection; 1849 revival; 1850 prosperity; 1851 falling prices, low wages, frequent strikes; 1852 improvement begins, strikes continue, the manufacturers threaten to import foreign hands; 1853 increasing exports. Strike for 8 months, and great misery at Preston; 1854 prosperity, glutted markets; 1855 news of failures stream in from the United States, Canada, and the Eastern markets; 1856 great prosperity; 1857 crisis; 1858 improvement; 1859 great prosperity, increase in factories; 1860 Zenith of the English cotton trade, the Indian, Australian, and other markets so glutted with goods that even in 1863 they had not absorbed the whole lot; the French Treaty of Commerce, enormous growth of factories and machinery; 1861 prosperity continues for a time, reaction, the American civil war, cotton famine; 1862 to 1863 complete collapse.
The history of the cotton famine is too characteristic to dispense with dwelling upon it for a moment. From the indications as to the condition of the markets of the world in 1860 and 1861, we see that the cotton famine came in the nick of time for the manufacturers, and was to some extent advantageous to them, a fact that was acknowledged in the reports of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, proclaimed in Parliament by Palmerston and Derby, and confirmed by events.156 No doubt, among the 2887 cotton mills in the United Kingdom in 1861, there were many of small size. According to the report of Mr. A. Redgrave, out of the 2109 mills included in his district, 392 or 19% employed less than ten horse-power each; 345, or 16% employed 10 H. P., and less than 20 H. P. while 1372 employed upwards of 20 H. P.157 The majority of the small mills were weaving sheds, built during the period of prosperity after 1858, for the most part by speculators, of whom one supplied the yarn, another the machinery, a third the buildings, and were worked by men who had been overlookers, or by other persons of small means. These small manufacturers mostly went to the wall. The same fate would have overtaken them in the commercial crisis that was staved off only by the cotton famine. Although they formed one-third of the total number of manufacturers, yet their mills absorbed a much smaller part of the capital invested in the cotton trade. As to the extent of the stoppage, it appears from authentic estimates, that in October 1862, 60.3% of the spindles, and 58% of the looms were standing. This refers to the cotton trade as a whole, and, of course, requires considerable modification for individual districts. Only very few mills worked full time (60 hours a week), the remainder worked at intervals. Even in those few cases where full time was worked, and at the customary rate of piece-wage, the weekly wages of the operatives necessarily shrank, owing to good cotton being replaced by bad, Sea Island by Egyptian (in fine spinning mills), American and Egyptian by Surat, and pure cotton by mixing of waste and Surat. The shorter fibre of the Surat cotton and its dirty condition, the greater fragility of the thread, the substitution of all sorts of heavy ingredients for flour in sizing the warps, all these lessened the speed of the machinery, or the number of looms that could be superintended by one weaver, increased the labour caused by defects in the machinery, and reduced the piece-wage by reducing the mass of the product turned off. Where Surat cotton was used the loss to the operatives when on full time, amounted to 20, 30, and more per cent. But besides this, the majority of the manufacturers reduced the rate of piece-wage by 5, 7½, and 10 per cent. We can therefore conceive the situation of those hands who were employed for only 3, 3½ or 4 days a week, of for only 6 hours a day. Even in 1863, after a comparative improvement had set in, the weekly wages of spinners and of weavers were 3s. 4d., 3s. 10d., 4s. 6d. and 5s. 1d.158 Even in this miserable state of things, however, the inventive spirit of the master never stood still, but was exercised in making deductions from wages. These were to some extent inflicted as a penalty for defects in the finished article that were really due to his bad cotton and to his unsuitable machinery. Moreover, where the manufacturer owned the cottages of the work-people, he paid himself his rents by deducting the amount from these miserable wages. Mr. Redgrave tells us of self-acting minders (operatives who manage a pair of self-acting mules) "earning at the end of a fortnight's full work 8s. 11d., and that from this sum was deduced the rent of the house, the manufacturer, however, returning half the rent as a gift. The minders took away the sum of 6s. 11d. In many places the self-acting minders ranged from 5s. to 9s. per week, and the weavers from 2s. to 6s. per week, during the latter part of 1862."159 Even when working short time the rent was frequently deducted from the wages of the operatives.160 No wonder that in some parts of Lancashire a kind of famine fever broke out. But more characteristic than all this, was the revolution that took place in the process of production at the expense of the workpeople. Experimenta in corpore vili, like those of anatomists on frogs, were formally made. "Although," says Mr. Redgrave, "I have given the actual earnings of the operatives in the several mills, it does not follow that they earn the same amount week by week. The operatives are subject to great fluctuation from the constant experimentalizing of the manufacturers.... the earnings of the operatives rise and fall with the quality of the cotton mixings; sometimes they have been within 15 per cent. of former earnings, and then, in a week or two, they have fallen off from 50 to 60 per cent."161 These experiments were not made solely at the expense of the workman's means of subsistence. His five senses also had to pay the penalty. "The people who are employed in making up Surat cotton complain very much. They inform me, on opening the bales of cotton there is an intolerable smell, which causes sickness.... In the mixing, scribbling and carding rooms, the dust and dirt which are disengaged, irritate the air passages, and give rise to cough and difficulty of breathing. A disease of the skin, no doubt from the irritation of the dirt contained in the Surat cotton, also prevails...The fibre being so short, a great amount of size, both animal and vegetable, is used.... Bronchitis is more prevalent owing to the dust. Inflammatory sore throat is common, from the same cause. Sickness and dyspepsia are produced by the frequent breaking of the weft, when the weaver sucks the weft through the eye of the shuttle." On the other hand, the substitutes for flour were a Fortunatus' purse to the manufacturers, by increasing the weight of the yarn. They caused "15 lbs. of raw material to weigh 26 lbs. after it was woven."162 In the Report of Inspectors of Factories for 30th April, 1864, we read as follows: "The trade is availing itself of this resource at present to an extent which is even discreditable. I have heard on good authority of a cloth weighing 8 lbs. which was made of 5½ lbs. cotton and 2¾ lbs. size; and of another cloth weighing 5¼ lbs., of which 2 lbs. was size. These were ordinary export shirtings. In cloths of other descriptions, as much as 50 per cent. size is sometimes added; so that a manufacturer may, and does truly boast, that he is getting rich by selling cloth for less money per pound than he paid for the mere yarn of which they are composed."163 But the workpeople had to suffer, not only from the experiments of the manufacturers inside the mills, and of the municipalities outside, not only from reduced wages and absence of work, from want and from charity, and from the eulogistic speeches of lords and commons. "Unfortunate females who, in consequence of the cotton famine, were at its commencement thrown out of employment, and have thereby become outcasts of society; and now though trade has revived, and work is plentiful, continue members of that unfortunate class, and are likely to continue so. There are also in the borough more youthful prostitutes than I have known for the last 25 years."164
We find then, in the first 45 years of the English cotton trade, from 1770 to 1815, only 5 years of crisis and stagnation; but this was the period of monopoly. The second period from 1815 to 1863 counts, during its 48 years, only 20 years of revival and prosperity against 28 of depression and stagnation. Between 1815 and 1830 the competition with the continent of Europe and with the United States sets in. After 1833, the extension of the Asiatic markets is enforced by "destruction of the human race" (the wholesale extinction of Indian handloom weavers). After the repeal of the Corn Laws, from 1846 to 1863, there are 8 years of moderate activity and prosperity against 9 years of depression and stagnation. The condition of the adult male operatives, even during the years of prosperity, may be judged from the note subjoined.165
[146.] Ganilh, on the contrary, considers the final result of the factory system to be an absolutely less number of operatives, at whose expense an increased number of "gens honnêtes" live and develop their well-known "perfectibilité perfectible." Little as he understands the movement of production, at least he feels, that machinery must needs be a very fatal institution, if its introduction converts busy workmen into paupers, and its development calls more slaves of labour into existence than it has suppressed. It is not possible to bring out the cretinism of his standpoint, except by his own words: "Les classes condamnées à produire et à consommer diminuent, et les classes qui dirigent le travail, qui soulagent, consolent, et éclairent toute la population, se multiplient...et s'approprient tous les bienfaits qui résultent de la diminution des frais du travail, de l'abondance des productions, et du bon marché des consommations. Dans cette direction, l'espèce humaine s'éléve aux plus hautes conceptions du génie, pénètre dans les profondeurs mystèrieuses de la religion, établit les principes salutaires de la morale (which consists in 's'approprier tous les bienfaits,' 8c.), les lois tutélaires de la liberté (liberty of 'les classes condamnées à produire?') et du pouvoir, de l'obéissance et de la justice, du devoir et de l'humanité." For this twaddle see "Des Systèmes d'Economie Politique, 8c., Par M. Ch. Ganilh." 2ème ed., Paris, 1821, t. II., p. 224, and see p. 212.
[147.] "Reports of Insp. of Fact., 31 Oct., 1865," p. 58, sq. At the same time, however, means of employment for an increased number of hands was ready in 110 new mills with 11,625 looms, 628,756 spindles and 2695 total horse-power of steam and water (l c.).
[148.] "Reports, 8c., for 31 Oct., 1862," p. 79. At the end of 1871, Mr. A. Redgrave, the factory inspector, in a lecture given at Bradford, in the New Mechanics' Institution, said: "What has struck me for some time past is the altered appearance of the woollen factories. Formerly they were filled with women and children, now machinery seems to do all the work. At my asking for an explanation of this from a manufacturer, he gave me the following: 'Under the old system I employed 63 persons; after the introduction of improved machinery I reduced my hands to 33, and lately, in consequence of new and extensive alterations, I have been in a position to reduce those 33 to 13.'"
[149.] See "Reports, 8c., 31 Oct., 1856," p. 16.
[150.] "The sufferings of the hand-loom weavers were the subject of an inquiry by a Royal Commission, but although their distress was acknowledged and lamented, the amelioration of their condition was left, and probably necessarily so, to the chances and changes of time, which it may now be hoped" [20 years later!] "have nearly obliterated those miseries, and not improbably by the present great extension of the power-loom." ("Rep. Insp. of Fct., 31 Oct., 1856," p. 15.)
[151.]Other ways in which machinery affects the production of raw material will be mentioned in the third book.
[152.]EXPORT OF COTTON FROM INDIA TO GREAT BRITAIN. 1846.—34,540,143 lbs. 1860.—204,141,168 lbs. 1865.—445,947,600 lbs.
[153.]EXPORT OF WOOL FROM INDIA TO GREAT BRITAIN. 1846.—4,570,581 lbs. 1860.—20,214,173 lbs. 1865.—20,679,111 lbs.
[154.]The economical development of the United States is itself a product of European, more especially of English modern industry. In their present form (1866) the States must still be considered a European colony. Note to the 4th German edition.—Since then the United States has developed into the second industrial country of the world, without thereby losing its colonial character entirely. F. E.—
[155.] In an appeal made in July, 1866, to the Trade Societies of England, by the shoemakers of Leicester, who had been thrown on the streets by a lock-out, it is stated: "Twenty years ago the Leicester shoe trade was revolutionised by the introduction of riveting in the place of stitching. At that time good wages could be earned. Great competition was shown between the different firms as to which could turn out the neatest article. Shortly afterwards, however, a worse kind of competition sprang up, namely, that of underselling one another in the market. The injurious consequences soon manifested themselves in reductions of wages, and so sweepingly quick was the fall in the price of labour, that many firms now pay only one half of the original wages. And yet, though wages sink lower and lower, profits appear, with each alteration in the scale of wages, to increase." Even bad times are utilized by the manufacturers, for making exceptional profits by excessive lowering of wages, i.e., by a direct robbery of the labourer's means of subsistence. One example (it has reference to the crisis in the Coventry silk weaving): "From information I have received from manufacturers as well as workmen, there seems to be no doubt that wages have been reduced to a greater extent than either the competition of the foreign producers, or other circumstances have rendered necessary...the majority of weavers are working at a reduction of 30 to 40 per cent. in their wages. A piece of ribbon for making which the weaver got 6s. or 7s. five years back, now only brings them 3s. 3d. or 3s. 6d.; other work is now priced at 2s. and 2s. 3d. which was formerly priced at 4s. and 4s. 3d. The reduction in wage seems to have been carried to a greater extent than is necessary for increasing demand. Indeed, the reduction in the cost of weaving, in the case of many descriptions of ribbons, has not been accompanied by any corresponding reduction in the selling price of the manufactured article." (Mr. F. D. Longe's Report. "Ch. Emp. Com., V. Rep., 1866," p. 114, 1.)
[156.] Conf. Reports of Insp. of Fact. 31st October, 1862, p. 30.
[157.] l. c., p. 19.
[158.] "Rep. Insp. of Fact., 31st October, 1865," pp. 41-45.
[159.] "Rep. Insp. of Fact., 31st October, 1863."
[160.] l. c., p. 51.
[161.] l. c., pp. 50-51.
[162.] l. c., pp. 62-63.
[163.] Rep. 8c. 30th April, 1864, p. 27.
[164.] From a letter of Mr. Harris, Chief Constable of Bolton, in Rep. of Insp. of Fact., 31st October, 1865, pp. 61-62.
[165.] In an appeal, dated 1863, of the factory operatives of Lancashire, 8c., for the purpose of forming a society for organised emigration, we find the following: "That a large emigration of factory workers is now absolutely essential to raise them from their present prostrate condition, few will deny; but to show that a continuous stream of emigration is at all times demanded, and, without which it is impossible for them to maintain their position in ordinary times, we beg to call attention to the subjoined facts:—In 1814 the official value of cotton goods exported was £17,665,378, whilst the real marketable value was £20,070,824. In 1858 the official value of cotton goods exported, was £182,221,681; but the real or marketable value was only £43,001,322, being a ten-fold quantity sold for little more than double the former price. To produce results so disadvantageous to the country generally, and to the factory workers in particular, several causes have co-operated, which, had circumstances permitted, we should have brought more prominently under your notice; suffice it for the present to say that the most obvious one is the constant redundancy of labour, without which a trade so ruinous in its effects never could have been carried on, and which requires a constantly extending market to save it from annihilation. Our cotton mills may be brought to a stand by the periodical stagnations of trade, which, under present arrangements, are as inevitable as death itself; but the human mind is constantly at work, and although we believe we are under the mark in stating that six millions of persons have left these shores during the last 25 years, yet, from the natural increase of population, and the displacement of labour to cheapen production, a large percentage of the male adults in the most prosperous times find it impossible to obtain work in factories on any conditions whatever." ("Reports of Insp. of Fact., 30th April, 1863," pp. 51-52. We shall, in a later chapter, see how our friends, the manufacturers, endeavored, during the catastrophe in the cotton trade, to prevent by every means, including State interference, the emigration of the operatives.