Cotton dates back all the way to 3000 BC. According to Royal Botanic Gardens, the earliest written reference to cotton lies within South Asia, but fragments of cotton fabric dated back to the Indus Valley. In South Asia there was a sudden boom in cotton trade. Cotton would be traded throughout European countries. In early America, cotton was an economic gold mine. The Chesapeake and Delaware bays have been home to cotton manufacturers from 1736 (Industry in America 1). In the early 1800’s, the slave trade facilitated the rise of “King Cotton”, which was the term for the use of slavery to harvest cotton.
The Americans in the south desperately depended on cotton to be a sustainable economy; however, all the cotton grown would take a great deal of time for the plantation owners to harvest it. That’s where slavery steps in. The use of slaves gave plantation owner the immediate collection.
The invention of the cotton gin raised the bar for cotton picking. Slaves would increase their rate of harvest. Eli Whitney, who was the son of a farmer, was the man who formulated the cotton gin. History.com explains:
In many ways, cotton was an ideal crop; it was easily grown, and unlike food crops its fibers could be stored for long periods of time. But cotton plants contained seeds that were difficult to separate from the soft fibers. A type of cotton known as long staple was easy to clean, b...
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"Complete Information on Cotton (Gossypium)." Complete Information on Cotton (Gossypium). N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
"Cotton - History." PLANT CULTURES. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
"Cotton and African-American Life." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
"Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
The Growth of the Cotton Industry in America. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 1-27. Web.
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