“Like the ‘cotton king’ of the Southerners in the United States, the tyranny of Russian gas can be defeated”

Grandstand. In his war on Ukraine and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin does not even need to threaten to cut off Russian gas supplies to Europe. This is not in its interest, since every day Russia receives around 700 million euros in revenue for its gas deliveries to European Union countries. He thus finances his war by ignoring economic sanctions. For the Europeans, the danger is therefore not to see the gas cut off but to continue to fuel the Russian war machine.

James Henry Hammond (1807-1864), senator from South Carolina, three years before the outbreak of the Civil War (1861-1865) in the United States, declared: “What would happen, indeed, if the cotton deliveries were suddenly interrupted? Britain would collapse, dragging down part of the civilized world with it. No power in the world will take the risk of waging war on cotton. Cotton is king! »

Putin today, without saying so, thinks the same about gas: Germany would collapse, taking the rest of Europe with it. We do not make war on the one who gives you between 40% and 100% of your energy resources!

The economy of the southern United States in 1861 was essentially based on cotton exports to the industrialized North and to Europe, primarily to Manchester and Liverpool, but also to Le Havre. That of Putin’s Russia is essentially based on hydrocarbon exports, mainly those of natural gas. Russian gas diplomacy echoes Confederate cotton diplomacy.

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In 1861, the northern power took the risk of cutting off exports to Europe by setting up a maritime blockade of the southern states which proved to be very effective. The North itself, England and all of Europe had to suffer from the shortage of cotton. We even talked about the “cotton famine” in the newspapers. Half the mills closed in Manchester and Liverpool. Misery and workers’ riots even made people fear the worst between 1861 and 1863. The Confederates maintained the hope that the United Kingdom would enter the war on their side. Napoleon III tried, until 1863, to mediate to obtain a ceasefire.

Early Sacrifices

However, very quickly, new supply areas were then found by the Europeans, in particular India and Egypt. The cost of cotton is significantly more expensive, but as the production of these new centers develops, the trend is towards lower prices. The textile industry is picking up again.

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