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European Tribune - The Sunset Empire Shudders and Shakes
As the Industrial Revolution took hold, the Europeans reversed their historical competitive disadvantage in textiles as the abundant labor and more productive agricultural systems of India and China became less important than the productivity of the grim "Satanic Mills" of the English Midlands.

Not so much productivity as political power.

Economy of India under Company rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"It was stated in evidence (in 1813) that the cotton and silk goods of India, up to this period, could be sold for a profit in the British market at a price from 50 to 60 per cent. lower than those fabricated in England. It consequently became necessary to protect the latter by duties of 70 or 80 per cent. on their value, or by positive prohibition. Had this not been the case, had not such prohibitory duties and decrees existed, the mills of Paisley and of Manchester would have been stopped in their outset, and could hardly have been again set in motion, even by the powers of steam. They were created by the sacrifice of the Indian manufactures. Had India been independent, she would have retaliated; would have imposed preventive duties upon British goods, and would thus have preserved her own productive industry from annihilation. This act of self-defence was not permitted her; she was at the mercy of the stranger. British goods were forced upon her without paying any duty; and the foreign manufacturer employed the arm of political injustice to keep down and ultimately strangle a competitor with whom he could not contend on equal terms." -- James Mill in The History of British India[21]

So selective tariffs to destroy the competition.

The history of cut thumbs, is however hard to find a good source on. But if it is a myth no one appears to have tracked down the roots of that either. So, hm.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 1st, 2013 at 04:36:51 AM EST

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