Can few pieces of wood, and some thin metal teeth, a wooden wheel and a few brushes go on to
change an entire country in a negative fashion? The cotton gin did exactly this. It was an invention that
was so simple, so efficient, that came along at the exact right moment, that it managed to revolutionize
the world. It was invented by Eli Whitney while America was still barely 10 years old. At that time
America needed a more profitable product to sell than tobacco. America was looking to make itself
known in the global market. The problem that the cotton gin brought was that it did greatly boost
America's economy and their global market presence. America was now a country that could mass
produce cotton. This new market needed a labor force to drive it to it's full potential. The creation of
the cotton gin started from small beginnings but ended up changing everyday life at that time for many
years to come.
The modern cotton gin was created by Eli Whitney in 1793, and patented a year later in 1794.
The invention came exactly 10 years after the United States was for the first time seen as an
independent country. The American revolution was now over, but the country was essentially broke.
The war had broken many trade routes that America had because of the war with Britain, and the newly
reopened trade couldn't fix the hole in the economy. After the war, France was America's closest ally
but was also now in an economic rut and going through their own revolution. To top it all off,
America's largest production was that of tobacco. Tobacco would only grow in the northern part of the
country, was now lower in demand, and the market was over saturated. ...
... middle of paper ...
...ne but it would eventually lead to the oppression of an entire race and the death of
thousands upon thousands of Americans. Eli Whitney's reputation remains as that of a great inventor.
After all he didn't realize what the cotton gin would do to slavery. His inventions not only changed the
American economy, but also shaped the country into what it is today. His small cotton gin lead to the
American industrial revolution which made the country stronger as a whole.
Schur, Joan, New York, New York Accessed May 22, 2014
History.com Staff, Published 2010, Accessed May 22, 2014
Web MIT, Bublished August 2000, Accessed May 22, 2014
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