Eli Whitney : The Inventor Of The Cotton Gin

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Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, was born in 1765, and from an early age he was interested in mechanics. He developed a knack for making nails and became one of the best nail makers (Piercy, 94). Whitney attended Yale College to further his education, with the goal of becoming a lawyer; he graduated in 1792 (Piercy, 94). After graduating, he planned to go to the South to tutor kids, but found that the position had been taken once he arrived there (Piercy, 95). A woman named Mrs. Greene invited Whitney to live on her plantation and she noticed how inventive he was, so she presented the cotton problem to him (Piercy, 95). The problem was that it was very difficult to remove the seeds from cotton and it also took a really long…show more content…
The plantations in the South would supply large amounts of cotton to textile mills in the North (“The Textile Industry”, par. 3). The economy in the North was completely dependent on the textile industry; and the textile industry was dependent on cotton which was picked and harvested by the slaves in the South. The North would sell the cotton products that they had made back to the South (Gates Jr, par. 7). Britain was also dependent on cotton from the United States. “Britain, the most powerful nation in the world, relied on slave-produced American cotton for over 80 per cent of its essential industrial raw material. English textile mills accounted for 40 percent of Britain’s exports. One-fifth of Britain’s twenty-two million people were directly or indirectly involved with cotton textiles” (Gates Jr, par. 6). The cotton gin allowed for increased cotton production, which allowed for an increase in textile mills and an increase in production of goods. The cotton gin also made an impact in agriculture. After the invention of the cotton gin, agriculture in the south experienced a major shift. The cotton gin enabled cotton production to increase rapidly. Indigo and tobacco were no longer the main cash crops of the South (Romero, par. 4). The cotton gin allowed for cotton to become the number one cash crop because the gin made it easier to clean the
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