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Cotton: Its Part In Evolution / Discusses The History Of Cotton In America And How It Evolved, Along With American Society.

3080 words - 12 pages

Through Earth's existence, human kind has gone through an evolution. As time has passed, humans have been forced to adapt to the world around them in order to survive. This process included the finding of new and great things that once lied undiscovered in our world. Whether they were stumbled upon or looked for, these items changed the way of everyday living. Of the many things that were uncovered, cotton was one of them.Despite historians being unsure about the exact timeframe that cotton was found, the time of its discovery was very significant to its growth. This event changed the way humans evolved thereafter. History is like cause and effect in the way that every chronological event is related to the next. Without cotton, the world today would be an incredibly different place to live in. This paper will talk about cotton, historically, and its advances through the industry, with a focus on how slavery relates to cotton.It was long before the time of Christ that references in law books of Manu told of cotton cultivation having been established in India in 800-700 B.C. (Crawford, XV). At about the same time, "Herodotus, 'the father of history,' wrote of an Indian plant 'which instead of fruit, produces wool, of a finer and better quality than that of sheep'" (Hammond, 3). Writings such as these tell historians that the cotton culture was widespread among the people of India, Persia, Egypt, and China even before Christ (3).With artifacts and pieces of information, historians can trace each phase of cotton history according to how it affected Europe and The New World's Colonial, and early, national life (Crawford 4). Beyond the bits and pieces of even the earliest documentation of cotton, its history is just a blur. There is no one man on one continent that can take credit for cotton's discovery. Nonetheless, it was inevitable that those who did find the cotton plant would eventually develop tools, methods, and processes to use the plant to the best of their ability (4).One of the methods developed was spinning. The earliest type was merely twisting fibers between the fingers or rolling on the naked thigh (Crawford 26). With the need for finer yarn came the introduction of implements. Spinning was then divided into two broad classifications - the whorl and distaff method and the draught and twist method (26). The whorl and distaff method was where a hanging weight attenuates the partially spun thread; the other method is where the partially spun thread is attenuated through draught created between the spindle and the hand of the spinner (26).After thread was spun, it still needed to be turned into something usable. For example, pieces of clothing or other usable pieces of fabric could be made by hand, but there were also some early looms. Among the earliest forms, one consisted of two parallel bars, held apart by being attached to other objects. Around these bars, the warp was wrapped (Crawford 27). [Refer to Figure 1.]Improvements were made on...

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