Cotton Gin Research Paper

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The Cotton Gin The textile industry was revolutionized by a single, simple invention, the cotton gin. The cotton gin allowed the textile industry to flourish and suddenly cotton had become an extremely profitable crop. The amount of cotton able to be produced increased greatly. However the speed with which cotton was now being processed gave rise to the amount of workers needed to harvest the crop. These “workers” just so happened to be African American slaves. The cotton gin was invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney, an American inventor from Massachusetts, in response to an increase in demand for raw cotton. The process of creating thread and then clothing from this cotton had increased rapidly due to such inventions as the water frame and the spinning mule. The amount of cotton being produced was nowhere near enough to meet the demand. The cotton gin was a fairly simple invention. Smaller versions were powered by a hand-operable crank, but the larger ones could be powered by water or a horse. The cotton fibers were separated from the seed by a set of metal teeth. The teeth would pull the cotton through small openings in a…show more content…
The inland green cotton that grew in the South had seeds that were too large for the older versions of the cotton gin. Eli Whitney’s gin was able to process these larger seeds. After applying for a patent for his invention, Eli Whitney and his business partner, Phineas Miller, installed numerous cotton gins throughout the south and charged an exorbitant fee for cotton farmers to utilize them. The farmers, reluctant to pay the cost, developed their own versions of the cotton gin. The large amount of cotton that was now pouring out of southern farms caused plantation agriculture to become one of the main sectors of Southern economy. By the mid-18th century, America supplied three-fourths of the world’s supply of cotton. Although cotton greatly benefited Southern economy, it cemented the South in

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