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Reply #11: ? The invention of the cotton gin actually led to an increase in slavery, [View All]

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Tanuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-31-07 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. ? The invention of the cotton gin actually led to an increase in slavery,
http://www.eliwhitney.org/cotton.htm
"However, like many inventors, Whitney (who died in 1825) could not have foreseen the ways in which his invention would change society for the worse. The most significant of these was the growth of slavery. While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor. In 1790 there were six slave states; in 1860 there were 15. From 1790 until Congress banned the importation of slaves from Africa in 1808, Southerners imported 80,000 Africans. By 1860 approximately one in three Southerners was a slave.

Because of the cotton gin, slaves now labored on ever-larger plantations where work was more regimented and relentless. "

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