Class Notes

With the start of the nation, it looked as if slavery might just fade away.  It had in the North and it looked, especially in the upper South, like it might there too.  However, the invention of the cotton gin changed everything.  Where it once took a slave a day to pick 50 pounds of cotton, it would then take three weeks to separate the seeds. There was no reason to grow and pick too much cotton because it bottled necked at the processing stage.  However, the cotton gin allowed that same 50 pounds to be processed the same day.  Now you could grow and pick as much cotton as you possibly could because you could process just as much.  Add that to the price you got from cotton, planters began to expand cotton land west and suddenly slaves became a much more valuable property.

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