This chapter considers strategies of association and dissociation in a historically specific, rather than abstract, context. It examines from a long-term political-economic standpoint it might have been worthwhile to limit cotton exports and thereby make slavery less profitable. American economic growth, and American politics, were profoundly affected by the evolution of the world political economy throughout the period between the Declaration of Independence and the Civil War. Proponents of associative strategies emphasize the contribution of adopting policies to global welfare, as explained by Ricardo and generations of classical and neoclassical economists. American economic development was influenced by political and economic events abroad. Between 1776 and 1815, the United States government established control over its own policy and asserted its independence vis-a-vis Britain and France. Associative economic development contributed, to the political fragmentation that led to the American Civil War. Much of the historiography of Civil War has revolved around the question of the importance of slavery in precipitating the conflict.