The Cotton Gin And Slavery Essay

1316 words - 6 pages

The Cotton Gin was an invention that allowed the mass production of cotton. Cotton was previously a very difficult crop to profit from, because of the long hours required to separate cotton seeds from the actual cotton fibers. This all changed when Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793, a machine that sped up the process, thereby making cotton farming a profitable industry for the Southern States. With large areas of prime land ready for crops the Southern states bought and transported slaves in record numbers in order to work on their cotton farms. Although there are no definitive statistics approximately 1,000,000 slaves were moved west from the 'old Southern states' to the new ones; i.e. Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas to Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. The new ease of cotton ginning coupled with the high demand for cotton in the textile industry gave rise to the need for a workforce to harvest the cotton. The farmers turned to a readily available labor force they didn't have to pay: slaves.
Slaves being transported to the South were usually ripped from their families and the surroundings they were familiar and comfortable with. These slaves then faced their new life at the plantation, a very different environment from what they were used to. They faced harder work, such as clearing trees and planting crops, than they had back in the ‘old Southern states’. The great demand for slaves on the plantations produced two very distinct types of slaves, rural and urban. Rural slaves, as you might have guessed worked on the plantations usually from dawn till dusk, driven by their overseer. Whereas urban slavery resulted from the lack of white laborers in the mining and lumber industries, because so many whites defected to the cotton industry in hopes of making a larger profit. As a result there was an increased demand for slaves in mills and in ships, so slaves that had learned specialized skills in the plantations, were in high demand in Southern cities. Slave owners hired out their slaves to work wherever their skills were required.
This means that the owners left their slaves unsupervised all day, unlike the plantations where they were always under his watchful eye. Many of the slaves who worked in the cities cited them as incredibly different from working on the plantation. In the city a slave was almost a free man compared to the plantations, he got better food, clothes and privileges. Also the acts of cruelty habitually preformed on the plantations, were very uncommon in the city. Another interesting point is the social system of the white South. While small farmers lived relatively simply, working on their own farms, and relying on their neighbors; the large plantation owners who had accumulated enough wealth formed an aristocratic society. The plantation owners were, of course at the top while they employed free southerners without land for specific jobs, usually as plantation overseers.
Along with the increase of slavery in the...

Find Another Essay On The Cotton Gin and Slavery

Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels and the Painting Gin Lane by William Hogarth

1216 words - 5 pages How are the central ideas of the Enlightenment era reflected in the Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s travel and the painting Gin Lane by William Hogarth? I will additionally focus more on the Robinson Crusoe, because it could be argued that Robinson Crusoe is based on René Descartes works, the father of modern philosophy. In order to answer the thesis we need to understand the central ideas in the Enlightenment The Enlightenment era introduced a new

Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch Trials of 1692

2333 words - 9 pages Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 took place in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts. Cotton Mather, a clergyman in Salem, emerged throughout the course of the trials as a pillar of support and, ultimately, as a witch-hunter. However, his motives at the beginning of the trials were driven by his Puritanical reasoning which holds a strong belief in Biblical Law. Cotton Mather used his Puritanical

Cotton: Its Part in Evolution / discusses the history of cotton in America and how it evolved, along with American society

3080 words - 12 pages , it was evident that the lands were becoming exhausted (48).Cotton culture had nowhere to move but to the Northern states. The fruitful lands of the Mississippi and Red Rivers allowed slavery to become only more embedded in their culture, compared to other areas of the country (Hammond 50). After the invention of the cotton gin, a slave may have only been worth about two hundred fifty dollars; yet after Mississippi county was settled, the average

Slavery and the Constitution

762 words - 4 pages join a union forbidding the slave trade. Many abhorred it. A slaveholder himself, Jefferson’s draft Declaration charged the King with its introduction. Slavery was a five hundred pound gorilla the Founders accommodated, constructing a “house divided,” in the hope it would strategically enable independence and endure until slavery withered. But twenty additional years of the trade and invention of the cotton gin delayed that hope for more than

slavery and the plantation

2181 words - 9 pages blacks in America were slaves on plantation-sized units in the seven states of the South. And with the invent of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, more slaves were needed to work the ever-growing cotton game (Frazier, 14). The size of the plantations varied with the wealth of the planters. There were small farmers with two or three slaves, planters with ten to thirty slaves and big planters who owned a thousand or more slaves. Scholars generally

Slavery And The Constitution

530 words - 2 pages Slavery and the Constitution The constitution was crafted as a series of compromises to replace the articles of Confederation. If our nation was to remain free it would have to stay united and this meant no one state or group could dictate to another state what the conditions would be under the new government. One of the compromises that the framers made was on the issue of slavery. The northern states were opposed and the Southern states wanted

Slavery and the History

2035 words - 8 pages entering the war. These nations depended on the south to supply them cotton, the confederacy also hoped that they would fight on their side. But since the Emancipation Proclamation made the war a fight against slavery most Britain and French citizens opposed slavery so they gave their support to the union, leading to the end of slavery in the US. The Freedmen's Bureau was established by the congress on March 3 to provide health care, education

Slavery and the Constitution

777 words - 4 pages Slavery was widespread in the southern economy at the founding of the American colonies. Consequently, the framers of the Constitution wrote the Articles in pro-slavery ways to motivate the southern colonies to ratify the Constitution. In doing so, the framers compromised democracy in the hopes of obtaining greater national security. Thus, the text of the Constitution protected and facilitated slavery in the following ways. The Preamble

The North and Slavery

573 words - 3 pages The North and Slavery Slavery was deeply entrenched in the lives of Americans from both the north and the south. Plantation slavery and the Deep South is typically what comes to mind when the benefits of slavery are considered. However, northern states also benefited substantially from slavery even after it was outlawed in most northern states. Northern states specifically benefited from the shipping of slaves in northern ports, the

Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin's social and the industrial changes to the US it made

1327 words - 5 pages Congress would not grant him anotherone (Cotton Gin 1).The cotton gin was capable of filtering fifty pounds of cotton per day. With the fifty pounds ofcotton filtering, the picking still had to be done by hand. You didn't need slaves to operate the gin as muchas you needed them to operate the gin. With the picking not being able to keep up with the gin, slaverybecame more and more in need. Cotton had earned the title 'the fabric of slavery (Cotton 2

Slavery and the American Revolution

790 words - 3 pages slave of a rebel who would fight for the British side. This was one way that slaves could obtain freedom indirectly if their respective colonies did not have prohibition against slavery in their state constitutions. Slaves also ran away, especially in those areas taken over by war. While many slaves were able to gain freedom in this manner, even more were to be in bondage soon after.The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney caused cotton to

Similar Essays

Eli Whitney And The Cotton Gin

1120 words - 4 pages ELI WHITNEY AND THE COTTON GINThe Industrial Revolution is mostly remembered for its replacement of manual labor with the textile industry. Machineries were one of the most important aspects of the Industrial Revolution ((Encarta Online Encyclopedia). During the Industrial Revolution there were many inventions. The cotton gin was probably one of the most important of them all.Eli Whitney was born in Westborough, Massachusetts on December 08

The Cotton Gin By Eli Whitney

1797 words - 7 pages back the industrial revolution years. George 4 Logically if an invention made a process easier, it would require less labor. But in fact the cotton gin did the exact opposite. It made it so that the cotton market exploded, and to drive this new demand in trade labor was needed. At this time, when slavery was still legal so the logical step in getting workers to collect the cotton was just to use slaves. The cotton still needed to

The Cause Of The Civil War: Eli Whitneys Cotton Gin

1757 words - 7 pages ripe, it needed to be picked quickly. The price of slaves skyrocketed, and this new crop ensured the practice of slavery would continue. This continuation of slavery by the South led to a ripple effect that can be seen as a driving force behind the events that led up to the Civil War.      One of the most important events caused by the cotton gin was the exile of the Cherokee Indians along the Trail of Tears. As the demand

Written Assignment #1: Critical Comparative Analysis Of "Yorkshire Slavery" By Richard Oastler And "An Address By A Journeyman Cotton Spinner."

1025 words - 4 pages conditions that many men, women, and children worked under in textile mills and other factories and mines.Individuals from different classes of society expressed their repugnance and disgust, through the utilization of the press, for the plight of the working class. Richard Oastler's fearless oratory and his damning 1830 article, "Yorkshire Slavery," published in the Leeds Mercury, brought factory oppression to the notice of a wide public. Furthermore