Eli Whitney: Is He to Blame for the American Civil War? Essays

Eli Whitney: Is He to Blame for the American Civil War? Essays

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The south, which was mostly agricultural, depended on the production of cotton. It was very important to their economy. Before Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin was used throughout the south, the United States produced about 750,000 bales of hay in 1830 (How the Cotton Gin). By 1850 it had increased to 2.85 billion bales of hay (How the Cotton Gin). Most of this was in the south because it had the weather conditions needed for cotton to grow. In 1793 Whitney saw the difficulty of taking out cotton seeds by hand (Cefrey 10-11). He decided to create a machine that could clean cotton faster than a human could. The Cotton Gin made the processing of cotton much faster and quicker. As a result of this, land owners were now able to have large cotton plantations across the south (How the Cotton Gin). Southerners were becoming wealthy very fast because of the cotton gin. Eli Whitney’s invention of the Cotton Gin made cotton the South’s main crop making more slave labor needed and political tensions rise.
Harvesting cotton needed a lot of hard labor. When the cotton farms got bigger, the need for slaves increased. During the first half of the 1800’s the slave population in the United States increased by about five times the number (How the Cotton Gin). By the middle of the 19th century the south provided about two-thirds of the cotton used by the world (How the Cotton Gin). The south became dependent on just this one crop and they needed the slave labor. The Cotton Gin made cotton very profitable and more plantations moved from producing other crops to producing cotton. This meant they needed more cheap labor so the need for slaves increased. The north was more dependent on industry for their economy. The north would buy the raw cotton and turn ...


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... War). With many African Americans fighting in the war rich planters became poor and the south suffered a food shortage. The South’s economy was very bad and the southerners were desperate for money.
The Civil War ended on April 18, 1865 about 617,000 Americans had died fighting (The Civil War). The Thirteenth Amendment was then passed and it abolished slavery in the United States (The Civil War). Other Amendments were passed giving them the right to vote and do other things. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the creation of the Cotton Gin slavery has been a problem in the United States. Eli Whitney had started the problem for the African Americans fight for their rights and freedom. They struggled to escape and work so they were not beaten by their slave owners. These are all the reasons why Eli Whitney should be blamed for the Civil War.



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