CRITIQUE – Slavery & Making of America vs. Rivoli’s “ The Travels of a T Shirt in a Global Economy”

971 Words Mar 10th, 2014 4 Pages
CRITIQUE – Slavery & Making of America vs. Rivoli’s “ The Travels of a T Shirt in a Global Economy”

It certainly won’t be hard to distinguish between these two stories about slavery in America during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries because their views are vastly different.

In Rivoli’s book, The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy” (TT) she seems to take the side of the farmer/plantation owner. In that she seems to justify the need for slaves to keep the price of cotton down so that the plantations are more profitable. Instead of the farmers working their own land and/or paying day laborers to help during harvest (as had been done for years prior), they choose to adopt a way to get the cheapest help possible – with the
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In SMA, they talk quite extensively about a female slave that did escape only to be in hiding for the better part of seven years. Escaping from one prison to another simply just to be free of her owner. Although the irony of it was that she wasn’t free of him, she was still his slave while she hid herself away afraid to be taken back or for the safety of her children. Although he couldn’t abuse her physically anymore, he was still abusing her mentally. I can certainly sympathize with her though; I would rather live in a cramped space all alone that be anyone’s personal slave.

Rivoli’s also writes about the U.S’s dominance in the cotton industry and that by practicing the above, the U.S. took over the market and dominated the competition. Of course they did, the other countries like India and Africa for instance, were still working their farms the old fashioned way, by themselves, and paying for any needed labor – or in some cases, all their family members helped bring in the crops. However, because of their practices, they could produce and harvest nearly as much cotton as the U.S. due to their use of slaves, then advanced machinery, chemicals, and even genetically manufactured seed and of course with subsides from the government later on. I wonder how the U.S. would be regarded around the world now, if it had not been for the dominance in the cotton industry thanks to the

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