Cotton Gang System

901 Words4 Pages
By the early 1800’s, the vastly growing cotton industry soared as cotton became the nation’s most important and valuable export. The development of the cotton gin only further propelled the cotton industry into economic success. The cotton gin took care of the hard tedious work that slaves used to have to undertake and increased the pace and the quantities in which cotton bales were produced. Working among the cotton fields, slaves adopted the gang system. The gang system was most commonly used in the cotton industry; to speed up production but also formally used among tobacco and sugar production. Under the gang system, slaves suffered long days of intense labor working from sunrise till sunset. The gang system was the most harsh of the two…show more content…
Under a task system, slaves would be assigned several specific tasks for a particular day and when all their work was finished, the slaves could leave for the day. The expansion of the cotton dynasty carried millions of Americans to the southwest. Within fifty years the territorial size of the United States had nearly doubled as settlers were lured west in hopes of cheap land and rich natural resources. Southern plantations had become an important factor to economic success for both the United States and Southern economies. Plantations played a vital role in developing the world's global market by producing the four biggest cash crops: rice, cotton, tobacco, and sugar. With the increasingly high market demand for these popular goods, slaveholders bought more slaves to produce more goods faster. Working on the larger plantations, slaves mostly endured long harsh days of intense labor. It was also common at plantations with more than fifty slaves to have a sexual division of labor between men and women assigning slaves traditionally gendered jobs. On plantations male slaves worked as carpenters, blacksmiths, coopers, and boilers. Slave women were put to the task of sewing, weaving, spinning, cooking, and cleaning. The plantations were often busy so slaveholders relied on overseers to supervise the slaves quality of work in the fields and help overlook the cultivation of crops. Outside the plantations and inside the household, operations were run differently. Some slaveholders hired personal managers for their households while others just relied on mistresses to oversee and handle household affairs. Slaveholder’s were infatuated with becoming the best cotton manufacturer as well as becoming skilled producers of sugar and rice. Eager for success, they put their slaves to hard work on the plantations; clearing substantial amounts of forest and hoeing fields for harvest. By the 1850’s Congress still

More about Cotton Gang System

Open Document