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EQ: How does Eli Whitney’s cotton gin lead to the Civil War? Cotton: White Gold of Georgia: Today and Yesterday. Cotton was a profitable crop but was not grown on a large scale because of the slow and difficult process of removing seeds from cotton bolls in order to produce a usable fiber

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EQ: How does Eli Whitney’s cotton gin lead to the Civil War?Cotton: White Gold of Georgia: Today and Yesterday


  • Cotton was a profitable crop but was not grown on a large scale because of the slow and difficult process of removing seeds from cotton bolls in order to produce a usable fiber

  • Invention of cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 changed this situation

    • Gin could easily and quickly remove seeds

    • Caused a fantastic explosion in southern cotton production

  • 3000 bales in 1790

  • 178,000 bales in 1810

  • 732,000 bales in 1830

  • 4.5 million bales in 1860


  • South became the world’s leading producer of cotton by 1842

    • Produced 2/3s world output and 65% of all American exports

    • Cotton mills in north depended on southern cotton

    • Prosperity in South caused by cotton made it a major market for northern manufactured products

  • Cotton was an important part of American prosperity and economic well-being

  • In 1860, 25% of all Southerners owned slaves.

  • Of that 25%

    • 52% owned 1-5 slaves

    • 35% owned 6-9 slaves

    • 11% owned 20-99 slaves

    • 1 % owned 100 or more slaves

  • Those who owned 20 or more slaves - about 3% of the entire white population - controlled the social, political, and economic power of the South.



Cotton in the fields
Cotton in the fieldshttp://www.gpb.org/georgiastories/story/king_cotton_and_the_cotton_gin


Pictures of cotton the plant
Pictures of Cotton: http://www.gpb.org/georgiastories/story/king_cotton_and_the_cotton_ginThe plant




Ginning the 2 nd picture you can see the seeds at the bottom
Ginning: The 2 etc.nd picture you can see the seeds at the bottom




A modern cotton gin

A Modern Cotton Gin. etc.

Modern cotton ginPicking Cotton


  • 1. etc.

  • How does the cotton gin work?2.

  • What products are made from cotton?3.

  • How do you think this cotton gin affects the slaves?4.

  • How do you think this cotton gin helps the plantation owners?5.

  • What would happen if this would never have been developed?  How would it have changed life then and now?

  • 6. How did Whitney’s cotton gin lead to the Civil War?


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