Eli Whitney's Effects On Slavery

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Eli Whitney’s invention helped give slavery a new life in the 1700s and 1800s (11). Eli Whitney was a mechanical engineer, who was the first to invent the cotton gin. The cotton gin is a machine that quickly and efficiently separates cotton fibers from their seeds (2). His machine moves like brush like teeth through the raw cotton, which makes the hard task go by faster. The cotton gin grew to produce a thousand pounds of cotton a day in the 18th century (11).
The cotton gin had a huge effect on slavery and the south. The north wanted slavery to end but it was carried out until 1865 due to the cotton industry (7). The south benefited the most because cotton thrived there and fastly became the world's largest producer of cotton (11). As the
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Between 1787 and 1808, 250,000 new slaves arrived in the U.S. because of the cotton boom (2). Plantation owners were involved in the slave trade which was the transporting and selling humans as slaves. When selling the slaves, prices varied depending on the person's skin color, sex, age and location (3). In 1834, a man named Joseph Ingraham wrote about the slave trade said that “to sell cotton in order to buy negroes—to make more cotton to buy more negroes, ‘ad infinitum,’ is the aim and direct tendency of all the operations of the thorough going cotton planter; his whole soul is wrapped up in the pursuit (3).” Families were separated because of the slave trade. Plantation owners would and could easily sell husbands from wives, parents from children, and brothers from sisters (12). A women named Mary Armstrong, who experienced slavery said this about her owner and the separating for families "so mean he never would sell the man and woman and (children) to the same one. He'd sell the man here and the woman there and if (there were children) he'd sell them someplace else…show more content…
Slaves were treated like property that plantation owners could do whatever they wanted with. In the south, slaves were a symbol of success ,so, plantation owners wanted as much slaves as they could afford (7). Plantation owners with 20 or more slaves were considered the true upper class (7). When slaves arrived to a plantation they would usually have to build their own houses. Most of the time the houses were made out of wooden shacks with dirt floors (13). When the slaves would go to bed they would sleep on straws or old rags which didn’t provide any warmth (4). The plantation owners provide the clothes for the slaves when they got to the plantation. Unfortunately, the clothes were really bad material and didn’t fit properly (4). Slaves were expected to work morning to night in the cotton fields. During harvest season, most of the slaves would work a 18 hour day (10). A women named Sarah Ashley, who experienced the slavery, said “I used to have to pick cotton and sometimes I pick 300 pound and tote it a mile to the cotton house. Some pick 300 to 800 pound cotton and have to tote the bag the whole mile to the gin. If they didn’t do they work they get whip till they have blister on them... (14).” It was very exhausting, hot and tiring work to work in the cotton fields. It was also a lot of work physically with no breaks. Even kids at the age of 12 would be almost working the same jobs as the adults (10). Slaves that got
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