Europe Raw Cotton Imports in 1858, 1864 and 1865

  • 1866
  • Cartographic
  • Exhibit map
Charles Joseph Minard was a French civil engineer and a true pioneer in thematic cartography and statistical graphics. Altogether, he generated over 50 maps looking among others at differential price rates for the transport of goods and people. This is the seventh and final version in a series of maps showing the impact of the American Civil War (1861–1865) on the European cotton trade. The flows of raw cotton prior, during, and after the war are depicted as colored bands. The width of the bands represents the amount of raw cotton imported, with one millimeter representing 5000 barrels. Prior to the U.S. Civil War, most of Europe relied exclusively on the U.S. South as the sole source of this indispensable raw material (blue band). Export blockades during the war changed global trade patterns, instigating a fierce competition between the U.S. (blue band), India and China (orange band), and Egypt (brown band). Minard argued that “a sustained competition among the rival producers would be most useful for England and Europe.” In the mid-to-late 1800s, his influence and contribution to visually based planning was so influential that all Ministers of Public Works in France had their portraits painted with one of Minard’s maps in the background. One of Minard’s most famous maps, Napoleon’s March to Moscow, is shown in the first iteration of this exhibit.

Corbett, John. 1967. “Charles Joseph Minard: Mapping Napoleon’s March, 1861.” Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science. Accessed April 2, 2007. http://www.csiss.org/classics/content/58.

Robinson, Arthur H. 1967. “The Thematic Maps of Charles Joseph Minard.” Imago Mundi: A Review of Early Cartography 21: 95-108.

Finley, Dawn and Virginia Tufte. 2002. “Minard’s Sources.” Edward Tufte: New ET Writings, Artworks & News. Accessed April 2, 2007. http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/minard.

Minard, Charles Joseph. Europe Raw Cotton Imports in 1858, 1864 and 1865. 1866. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Geography and Maps Division. In “4th Iteration (2008): Science Maps for Economic Decision-Makers,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Elisha F. Hardy. http://scimaps.org.

This is the seventh and final version of a series of maps that show the impact of the American Civil War (1861–1865) on the European cotton trade.