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History Project: What if...Cotton Gin was Never Invented

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SH Huang

on 21 December 2013

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Transcript of History Project: What if...Cotton Gin was Never Invented

The life of Eli Whitney was greatly impacted by this invention. The story goes that Whitney, a hardworking Yale student had to drop out of school because he couldn't afford the tuition. While Whitney was on his way to South Carolina to take up a job as a tutor, he stopped at Caroline Greene's house. Greene requested Whitney to invent a machine that made cleaning cotton easier. This is how the cotton gin was invented.
Effects on Culture/Economy
The Negative Aspect
If Eli Whitney never went to Caroline Greene's House.....
If Eli Whitney had never gone to Caroline Greene's house, he would have continued to work at his job in South Carolina. It turns out that this job actually gave a salary lower than Eli Whitney was promised, a fact that he found out while he was staying at Greene's house. Whitney would have gone to South Carolina only to be disappointed with the job he left Yale for.
Impact on Civil War
By: Isopterans, Period 3: Sriya Maram, Sheng Hao Huang, Anmol Sharma
What if... The Cotton Gin was Never Invented?
Originally, the South urbanizes far slower than the North
This is because the sale of cotton and cash crops allows it to sustain itself
However, deleting the invention of the cotton gin makes cotton become economically inadequate
Thus, the South is forced to urbanize much earlier
The Real Story :
Culture/Economy Continued
Positive Aspect #2
Whitney's life without the invention of Cotton Gin
South would have industrialized, as the plantations of the South would not have been able to sustain themselves
There would be less cotton farms, so more food crops and tobacco/sugar are planted
Cotton would have cost more due to less being produced/planted
Whitney would have lived a much poorer life. He would have never realized his potential and invented another thing that changed America forever ..... interchangeable parts
without Whitney's invention of
interchangeable parts, the efficiency of manufacturing would not have been there today. Although industrialization does have its negative aspects, the world would definitely miss out on its pros such as cheaper products, more jobs, increased immigration in US, etc/
Eli Whitney
Urbanization attracts immigrants to the US
Originally, most immigrants went to the North
However, since the South has also industrialized, less immigrants in the North
More immigrants arrive in the South
King Cotton was a big industry in the South
Instead, the South turns to Industrialization to make money
Cotton plantations were large economic hubs after the invention of the cotton gin. As the picture shows, the plantations were fueled by slave labor.

free slave
The Civil War had its origin in the issue of slavery.
Since slavery would have reduced, there would not have been that many slave states
Slavery would be less of an issuse, which meant the Civil War would not have happened
The gin allowed plantation owners to make more money from cotton, so they planted more, and needed more slaves to harvest it.
As a result, slavery and the unethical treatment of African people increased.
If the gin was not invented, slavery would have been abolished earlier, and states' rights would have been less of an issue.
Impact on Slavery

Culture/Economy Continued
Due to more immigrants coming to the South, more cultural integration occurs
As a result, the ethnic diversity today in the South is much more, instead of being mostly Africans Americans and Americans
More railroads are built in the South to make transporting things easier
Ethnic Diversity in the US Today
Map of Railroads in 1860
There would be more red lines,
or railroads in the South if it had
Video on the Cotton Gin
Positive Aspect #1
Slaves on a Southern plantation
The Civil War
Full transcript