embarking on a modernization plan; within decades, the Cherokees had constructed plantations, held slaves, and had their own newspaper, schools, and alphabet. They were also among the soldiers under Andrew Jackson that defeated the British in the War of 1812.The Cherokee lobbied Congress extensively to repeal the Georgia Compact but to no avail. Andrew Jackson, who had made Indian removal one of the cornerstones of his presidential campaign in 1828, signed the final order, and the Army was sent in to forcibly move the population as land speculators flooded onto what had been prosperous Cherokee farms and plantations. White farmers using black slaves took over thousands of additional acres of what had been Indian land and converted much of them to cotton production. Thus, white farmers using Native American land and African labor to produce cotton for the English and American textile industries created much of the future wealth of the young American republic.In sum, the growth of the textile industry in England produced great wealth for some people but in the process destroyed textile manufacturing in India, led to the colonization of India and China, extended slavery in the United States while it drainedAfrica of productive labor, and enhanced the wealth of the
United States while leading to the forced removal of indigenous people from their lands. The mass production of textiles in England and elsewhere in Europe also destroyed textile manufacture by artisans in areas of the world where British textiles were sold. Because women were often the main textile producers in many societies, we might also speculate that the textile trade may have led to decline of the status of women in these societies.We must also consider that England was not the only producer of textiles or the only country seeking to open and control overseas markets; France, Germany, Holland, and, later, the United States also had thriving textile industries. We must also remember that textiles represented only one of many industries of Western Europe that required raw materials and new markets. The new demands for sugar, cocoa, palm oil, tobacco, and coffee also led to the conversion of millions of acres of land around the world from subsistence farms to cash crops—furtherturning self-sufficient peasant farmers into dependent wage laborers or unemployed poor. And, finally, we must remember that we have examined only a brief period of time. In fact, the heyday of European colonial expansion did not occur until the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th. Looking at the bigger picture, we begin to understand whythe problems of the so-called nonindustrial nations are due less to their own shortcomings than to the exploitative activities of others and why peasant farmers in India in 1400 were significantly better off economically than their Indian counterparts in 1960.