November 13, 2014

A Leap Forward... and Backward

I received a kind email from a teacher thanking me for my Civil War Field Trips website. She recommended the following site, which helped her students understand the coming of the American Civil War: Eli Whitney and the History of the Cotton Gin. Whitney patented the device in 1794 and it made the processing of cotton so much easier that the demand for slaves grew, as they were the ones who planted and harvested most of it. The article contends that prior to that time, slavery was heading toward unprofitability. 

It's interesting how technology can be a leap forward in some ways but bring negative consequences at the same time. Another consequence of the increase in cotton growing was a demand for land, resulting in the "ousting of native Americans from their lands." I'm sure we can find parallels in the advances of technology today, where unintended consequences exact a great cost.

Cotton bolls
Sharing with: Little Things Thursday


  1. with technological advances came greed.

  2. Technology does bring changes, both good and bad. I like the photo of the cotton.

  3. So cool. Lovely cotton boll. Would be fun to see a field.


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