The History and Importance of Cotton

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As early as the 1700s, cotton began to make its mark. The United States, in the 1800s, adopted cotton as its leading export and it was one of the world’s largest suppliers of the plant. Cotton allowed for the United States’ economy to drastically boom, for most of the world’s supply of cotton came from the American Southern soil. The cotton industry, powered by the extensive and tedious labor of the African American slaves, generated enormous sums of money for the United States. “In many respects, cotton’s financial and political influence in the 19th century can be compared to that of the oil industry in the early 21st century” (Dattel, Web). Although it was considered a cash crop, cotton was also a nebulous form on destruction that unknowingly influenced the country to turn to Civil War. It influenced the country in three major ways: the South to rely on cotton plantations for its profits, to stand by slavery and its benefits, and to secede from the Union.
Cotton became King in the South in the 18th century. Being the largest exporter of this benevolent cash crop, it truly ameliorated the country’s economy and financial status. Cotton was indeed the South’s economic backbone (Dattel, Web). It supplied over 75% of the world’s cotton need and gave the country about $200 million a year in profit. Later on, the southern states who decided to secede from the Union to form the Confederate States of America in 1861, used cotton to provide revenue for its government, arms and
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