The Cotton Gin Essay

The Cotton Gin Essay

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The Cotton Gin

In the late 1700’s the slave population in the United States had decreased. Before the invention of the cotton gin the South, which could only make money by farming, was loosing money because it didn’t have a major crop to export to England and the North besides tobacco and rice. However, these crops could be grown elsewhere. Cotton was the key because it couldn’t be grown in large amounts in other places, but only one type of cotton that could be cleaned easily. This was long-staple cotton. Another problem arose; long-staple cotton only could be grown along the coast. There was another strain of cotton that until then could not be cleaned easily so it wasn’t worth growing. The cotton gin was the solution to this problem. With the invention of the cotton gin short stemmed cotton could be cleaned easily making cotton a valued export and it could be grown anywhere in the south. The era of the “Cotton Kingdom” began with this invention leading into an explosion in the necessity of slaves.

The cotton gin was a machine that cleaned cotton, especially short-stemmed cotton. The cotton gin consisted of spiked teeth on a boxed revolving cylinder. When it was turned by a crank, the cotton fiber was pulled through small slotted openings to separate the seeds from the lint. While that was happening a rotating brush, operated by belts and pulleys, removed the ropey lint from the spikes. A machine had been invented before to clean long-staple cotton called a “Charka.” It was invented in Ancient India. Eli Whitney had no idea that a machine existed while he made his machine.

Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793. Eli Whitney was an inventor and a mechanical engineer. He was born in Westboro, Mass. He went to Yale...


... middle of paper ...


...hat Britain didn’t need as much cotton from the south. The problem was that the South only had two markets that bought cotton from them, the North and Britain. Since Britain didn’t need that much cotton at all, the South’s only buyer was the North. So they were depending on the North to buy their goods. The North took advantage of this, since the South had no other way of making a substantial amount of money besides cotton farming. The North decided that they could haggle the price of cotton down low. This made the south very very mad. This and combined with the slave issue eventually led to the Civil War.

The invention of the cotton gin helped speed up the growth of the United States, of course with the help of Eli Whitney who helped the United States in many other ways. As a result, cotton became the cheapest and most widely used textile fabric in the world.

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