’ in its role of
safeguarding ‘private interests and the liberation of private energies’ (Gamble,
1994: 72-3). The webs of power surrounding and suffusing industrialisation
are revealed to produce the ‘individual’ as the central actor in social change.
The cotton industry appeared to require little in the way of state coordination, enabling small-scale private entrepreneurs to ‘launch themselves’
into an international marketplace (Gerschenkron, 1962; Hobsbawm, 1975).
The cotton industry was launched, like a glider, by the pull of the colonial
trade to which it was