The development of the most beneficial technology in the Old South that we all know as the cotton gin was developed by Yale graduate Eli Whitney in the year 1793. This took place shortly after his relocation from Massachusetts to Georgia when it was brought to his attention from his former manager that harvesting cotton was both time consuming and unbeneficial to plantation owners. As a result, he was then asked to develop a resolution for support; thus the cotton gin was born. This extraordinary machine had the ability to separate cotton from its seeds through hand cranking. The acquisition of the cotton gin was the fact that cotton evolved into the most economically beneficial crop in the Old South. This became the primary reason for the use of the slogan “King Cotton”.
The success that the Southerners acquired from the cotton gin was surprisingly not enough due to their greed. As a result of the importation of slaves being illegal for that time being, the plantation owners relied on the female slaves to produce children (future slaves) in pursuit of expanding their cotton harvests. This caused Whitney to believe that the goal of his invention took a wrong turn. Eventually, the overwhelming desire for more cotton slowly became a southern wide trend by reason of multiple purchases of land in order to produce more cotton for an economic benefit. Another tragic part about c...
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...that African Americans have today.
All in all, agricultural diversity in the south was mainly revolved around the slaves who became valuable property to the slave owners due to the increase in economic activity that they produced during the need of labor force. Cotton was the primary crop of the Old South as a resultant of the development of the cotton gin which made the production less difficult for the plantation owners to develop wealth. It would be fairly safe to say that compared to other crops in the south, both cotton and the cotton gin would represent the mascots for the Sothern region due to their extraordinary success agriculturally. To answer the question of what significance the other crops held for the region, they simply didn’t because they weren’t needed to generate economic activity by reason of it already being done by both cotton and the cotton gin.
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