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Europe’s indigo imports grew rapidly from the 1720s, but the mid-century wars (1739-48, 1756-63) had a devastating effect on the European textile industries and hence on the indigo trade. Britain’s indigo market, however, boomed in wartime on the bases of prize indigo captured from France and Spain and of indigo imported from South Carolina. The rise of South Carolina’s trade from the mid-1740s was not caused, as the historiography claims, by its monopoly of the British market–such a monopoly never existed–but because the depression in South Carolina’s major staple, rice, compelled a remodelling of the South Carolina plantation system, which produced an elastic supply of indigo. Carolina indigo was blighted by a poor reputation, not, as is usually argued, because British merchants maligned unfairly its quality, but because Carolina planters failed to achieve consistent production standards. Carolina indigo nevertheless succeeded in displacing French and Spanish indigo in the British and in some continental markets, reflecting the demand for cheap dyestuffs from manufacturers of low-cost textiles, the fastest-growing sectors of the European textile industries at the onset of industrialization.