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US14 South - THE COTTON GIN Cotton was a profitable crop...

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THE COTTON GIN 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
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KING COTTON 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
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POPULATION SHIFT Land in upper south was worn out after years of tobacco growing and would not support cotton cultivation Cotton cultivation therefore moved westward and southward into the Lower South Caused mass migration into Lower South Population in region increased from 500,000 in 1800 to 5 million by 1860
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COTTON AND SLAVERY Slavery spread with spread of cotton cultivation Type of crop that kept slaves busy all year long Historians once thought slave cotton economy was basically backward, inefficient, and stagnant system Made large planters rich but did little to improve economic well-being of the majority of white southerners Slavery was evil but it wasn’t necessarily inefficient that perpetuated poverty among most white southerners Personal income in South was 15% higher than personal income in the Midwest at the time If the South had been an independent country in 1860, it would have ranked as the 4 th richest country in the world
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THE OTHER SIDE Slave economy of the South expanded rapidly but it did not grow in a
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