Essay on The 's Invention Of The Cotton Gin

Essay on The 's Invention Of The Cotton Gin

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Everyone in modern day America can agree that Slavery was one of the evilest and inhumane acts to ever take place in US History. Slavery in the US was a legal system that allowed humans to be classified as property. Chattel Slaves were owned, bought, traded, and sold amongst slave owner’s to be used on plantations throughout the colonies. After the Revolutionary War, slavery was almost completely phased out in the North because it proved to be unprofitable and was declining in the South because tobacco was no longer considered a “cash crop”. However, Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin: a machine that easily separated cotton from it’s seed, there was an increase in the need for slaves to work on cotton plantations in the south because slavery was becoming profitable again. Throughout this time, there were two different groups of people across the nation: those who thought slavery was demeaning, and those who thought that slavery was positive and very much needed. John C. Calhoun and Frederick Law Olmstead are perfect representatives from each group that shows how divided the country was in regards to the nature of slavery in the 19th century. In The “Positive Good” of Slavery, John C. Calhoun takes a politically driven approach at detailing the positives of slavery while in A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States; With Remarks on Their Economy, Frederick L Olmstead takes a more objective approach and questions both the positive and the negatives of slavery.
Frederick Law Olmstead was an American landscape architect and journalist from Hartford, Connecticut. He was sent on a five-year assignment by the New York Daily Times to research life in the southern states and Texas from 1852-1857. Throughout his travels, he made obser...


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Towards the latter portion of the 19th century the north and the south were becoming more divided and the root to that problem was the institution of slavery. Frederick Law Olmstead and John C. Calhoun perfectly represented the opposite sides of issue in their pieces. Unfortunately, I think that their works only did more to further separate the North and the South rather than have them meet in the middle and have an understanding. Northerners who are born and raised in a industrialized society are more inclined to stand with Olmstead because he highlighted the setbacks and the moral corruptions of slavery while Southerners who were born thinking that Blacks were only good to work for White people, would gravitate more towards Calhoun’s piece. It is no surprise that the country entered into a civil war shortly after Calhoun’s speech and Olmstead’s research.

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