Analysis Of Eli Whitney 's Invention Of The Cotton Gin Essay

Analysis Of Eli Whitney 's Invention Of The Cotton Gin Essay

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The Market Revolution, ignited by an advance in transportation and technology in the early 19th century, catapulted America and its people into an era of unprecedented economic growth. With Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin, transcontinental railroad and the uprooting of thousands of Native Americans, the East Coast was experiencing an expansion in the cultivation of land and the wealth that ensued. As a result, an unshakeable belief in the Anglo-American destiny to spread civilization was born, giving whites a justification to expand markets west through the acquisition of what was then Mexican territory. The “violent acquisition” of Mexican land brought forth a new source of cheap labor - the Mexican people (Takaki 163). The Mexicans, viewed as inherently inferior to whites and uncivilized, became a part of “the other” and a means to cultivate the newly acquired land at a profit. Cheap labor was a product of land acquisition. Thus, the Market Revolution became the driving force behind this relationship between the procurement of land and cheap labor. And this conquest of the west by the Market Revolution resulted in disenfranchisement and discrimination against the Mexicans.
Before the Mexican-American war, in 1776 America was at the brink of sovereignty from Britain, and Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence and in it the principles that would come to define American sovereignty: “all persons are born with natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Jefferson). However, several decades later, Anglo-Americans began to strip Mexicans of rights, expressed through the Declaration of Independence, with legislation that restricted their right to liberty, political power, and consequent...

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...74). In 1903, “Mexican members of the United Mine Workers won strike demands for a pay increase and an eight-hour work day from the Texas and Pacific Coal Company” (174). Within the same year, a Japanese-Mexican Labor Association was founded in Oxnard, California and won a “piecework rate of five dollars per acre for thinning beets” from the farmers (174). Such events are the actual personification of the Declaration of Independence. Here was a group of people, practicing the principles of liberty and justice as espoused in the Declaration of Independence. The success of these strikes represented hope of equality for all at a time when American progress seemed dependent on the subjugation of non-whites. Furthermore, the alliance between the Japanese and the Mexicans foreshadowed what America would become-a country pushed forward by the coalition of cultures.

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