Cotton Gin

How cotton changed the world

The Cotton Gin

In 1794 a man named Eli Whitney decided to paten the old cotton gin to make it usable. The cotton gin speeded up the process of taking away seeds from the cotton. It was helpful towards the plant owners because instead of having a slave make 1lb of cotton a day they could make over 15lbs.


1) "For a century and a half cotton farming dominated the southern United States. Indeed the invention of the cotton gin [in 1793] followed by only four years the establishment of the government. . . . The cotton gin was such a simple machine that it was endlessly replicated in each settlement as cotton marched west from county to county." Pete Daniel, (1985).

2) "The Old South, specifically, had to compete in economic development with the exploding capitalist power of the North, but its basic institution, slavery, rendered futile its attempts to fight the advance of soil exhaustion and economic decline." Eugene Genovese, (1989).