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Social Effects Of The Cotton Gin

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The cotton gin, invented by a man named Eli Whitney in 1794 was a machine that pushed the textile industry many great leaps forward. The cotton farming industry, while profitable, had a major bottleneck. The ability to produce usable cotton for textiles was limited by a plantations speed at which it was capable at removing seeds from raw cotton. Prior to the invention of the cotton gin, this was a process done by hand, mostly by slaves. With the invention of the cotton gin however, the painstakingly difficult and slow job of seed removal was eliminated, and a single machine could do the work of many slaves, quickly and easily. For a short while, this reduced the general workload for slaves working on plantations growing cotton. However, with …show more content…
The cotton gin lead to a social change in America as well. The textile boom brought wealth to cotton farmers of the south and textile traders of the north alike, making the higher classes far richer than they had already been. Slaves however, endured the opposite effect. Eventually, the idea that slavery was necessary to keep the southern states economy afloat became commonplace, and while the north outlawed slavery, most southern states saw nothing wrong with it. Disagreements in the ethics of slavery became a clearly defined line between northern and southern states. Once the south believed that their rights to own slaves and way of life were truly threatened, the flames of the American Civil War would begin to stir …show more content…
The three-fifths compromise, which still remained in full effect during the textile boom, allowed for three-fifths of an enslaved person to be counted into the population for each state. For states where slave ownership was still legal, any incoming slaves would help boost the population count of that state, and with the number of slaves needed to run a cotton plantation equipped with a cotton gin, the number of incoming slaves had the potential to noticeably increase the official population of a state. With the threat of slavery being abolished by the incoming president, this imposed another dilemma.. Would the freeing of slaves void all counts of enslaved persons? Moreso, the decision to abolish the act of slavery appeared completely backed by the north, yet not the south. Political differences, once again would lead to another conflict. The cotton gin played a major roll in changing America. Socially, economically, and even brought changes in political viewpoints and opened up new political struggles, and there can be no denying just how quickly it caused a divide to form between the two sides of the

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