ABSTRACT

The American woolen industry was given life by the shortages and consequent high prices brought about by the Napoleonic Wars. When trade with England was resumed after the wars, Americans could not compete with the quality or the prices of English woolens. Many factories folded or were taken over by other hopeful entrepreneurs. Americans were convinced that wages in England were lower than in America. Even if wages were higher in the United States than in Great Britain, most English woolen mills relied on steam power requiring coal. Americans had mixed feelings about manufacturing. In some instances, they were unable to come up with a clear meaning for "domestic manufactures". If the American manufacturer's first love affair was with machinery, his second was with accounting systems. The use of machinery brought with it problems in cost analysis never before encountered. It was a relatively simple matter to determine costs for manufacturng if one included only wages and raw materials.