Got to Love the Cotton Gin

In 1793, Eli Whitney had the revolutionary invention of the cotton gin done, a machine that would take the seeds out of the cotton. Because now cotton would be able to be harvested in more abundance the need for slavery grew in the South as cotton became their number one export. Up until now, the North could have ended slavery in the South, but after this invention slavery became more prominent in Southern economy and way of life. Also by this time in the 18th century, many Northerners had begun to think that slavery was wrong. So now as the South is becoming more reliant on slavery and the North is pushing it out of its culture, sectional tensions increased greatly, as the North and South realized how different they were from each other. In addition, the United States was growing so rapidly that there were many disputes between whether states should be emitted as slave or free. Finally, John C. Calhoun grew so sick of the North, that being the strong politician he was began the Confederacy by South Carolina seceding from the Union. in 1860. Many Southern states were soon to follow South Carolina and the Union had no choice but to go to war in order to reunite the Union. 

A very common belief for the cause of the Civil War is slavery, and I agree with that, but the slavery problem did not just arouse after the invention of the cotton gin. We know that the Founding Fathers predicted it to become a problem, because some people were already moving towards abolitionist movements at the time, but they did nothing about it, decided to leave the issue for further presidents to deal with. The reason they failed to eliminate slavery was because they new a fight for slavery might destroy the union (plus they all had slaves, themselves) and after the American Revolution they didn’t want to take that route, they wanted to build up nationalistic sentiment. So, looking back still did the slavery tensions start when the founding fathers disregarded it or did it go back even to when the first slave set foot on American soil. Either way, there was definitely no chance of getting rid of it without war, and the cotton gin brought slavery to the attention of a wider spread of people because there were more slaves.

American Pagent 11th Edition





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