How an aristocratic fashion revolution in Paris brought about our Civil War. – the Law of Unintended Consequences
Marie Antoinette and her fellow fashion trendsetters made cotton desirable. Technology and slave labor made it affordable. It was the perfect storm. The affordability increased the desirability, resulting in an even higher demand, which in turn increased the mass production so that the price dropped even further. The cycle caused “King Cotton” and the institution of slavery which it stood upon to rule the South. Of course, we all know what happened from there. A simple dress launched an elaborate butterfly effect with far-reaching consequences that the young French queen never could have predicted when she took a step outside her lavish royal wardrobe.