American History I

AmericanHistory I

AmericanHistory I

Question1: Is it fair to blame Eli Whitney for the resurrection of theSlavery’s popularity in Southern society?

Absolutelynot Eli was just among those innovators or inventors that envisionedbetter ways of producing cotton. In fact the cotton gin made workeasier for slaves. Cotton had already dominated the plantationeconomy of the 19thcentury south. Eli Whitney’s improved cotton gin that he patentedin 1793 made it easier to separate cotton seeds from the stands ofcotton (Roark, Johnson, Cohen, Stage,&amp Hartmann, 2014). Eli hasbeen unfairly charged by the public court for perpetuating slavery inthe south that was expected to eradicate it. The regions into whichcotton plantations grew very first had been preparing for years. Thefrontier cotton farmers, therefore, needed only the rightcircumstances to seize their expected promise. Eli made that growthand expansion more certain. Slave who could clean one pound of cottonin a day without the cotton gin could prepare fifty pounds with it.The economic possibilities became obvious after the cotton ginbecause the production that had been confined for home use becamecommercial. Cotton was exported to European markets leading to agrowth of elite slave owners with huge cotton plantations. The demandfor slaves escalated after with the expansion of slave plantations.

Amentioned above, Eli Whitney’s invention of the Cotton gin was justanother path towards a more industrialized America. The inventiondid not intend to increase the number of slaves on the plantation.Blaming Eli for the slave trade is the as blaming Albert Einstein forthe Atomic bomb that killed thousands of Japanese civilians inHiroshima and Nagasaki. Inventors think about making work easier.They do not think about destruction. The cotton gin was actuallymeant for cotton production in totality and not just the slave ownerson huge plantations. In fact the gin could be used by small scalefarmers including former slaves. The decision to get more slaves onthe plantations was systemic rather than an idea pushed by anindividual. Eli’s work was to think for the community and give itthe solutions for better cotton production. It was, therefore, up tothe society to decide how to use the cotton gin. II the Lower South,slaves produced cotton independently during the unrest of early 1800sand the disorder of revolution and plantation owners made concessionsto ensure that slaves remained in the plantations. They both needed adomestic source of cloth, because imports of all kinds had been cutoff by British military activity.

Foodcrop production also increased and the wearing of local homespunwoven from it increasingly became a symbol of patriotism, symbolic oftheir ability to do without British finery. Furthermore, slaves whodid not leave the plantations had a personal interest in theincreased cultivation of cotton, for heir well-being, perhaps evenmore than their masters. Many slaves simply produced food and clothfor their own use. Plantation owners were happy to leave them totheir own devices, so long as they remained on the plantation. Ifsalves could extract greater leeway from their owners to growsomething they needed anyway, so much the better. However, the ironywith this war time independence that slaves had obtained sowed theseeds that bound their children and the grandchildren. As much as thecotton crop gave slaves a temporary liberation from the stern gaze oftheir salve masters, the plant also formed the links for a chain thatwill keep them as slaves for the better part of their generation.These assertions only seek to prove that the Eli was not reallyresponsible for the perpetuation of slavery. The plantation farmersare, indeed, to blame.

Questiontwo: A notable pre-war political figure

My name is Abraham Lincoln and this is my position n two issues arelikely to shape the history of this nation forever. The issues arethe state of the union and whether or not the union should admitslave-owning states. These two issues will make this nation a perfectunion or break it into two halves. The future generations will judgethis generation based on the decisions we make today. My position onslavery is that containment is the best way forward. The crafters ofthe constitution intended to have a perfect union into theunforeseeable future. Any attempts of secession are a completederogation of the constitution. Unlike Free soil party’s positionthis position seeks to have all those states with slave-owningplantation owners to stop doing so. Of course it is plausible forsalve trade to stop altogether, but it will happen over time. Thisnation needs to begin that process by first containing anyfurtherance of slavery policies. The forefathers of the nation alsointended to have the power of states engraved in the nation’sconstitutional order. As much as many it makes sense to rallyeveryone against the institution of slavery, states have theconstitutional right to initiate a vote on whether they shouldcontinue to be slave-owning or get the free-soil status. All thosestates that have the right legal environment to continue with theinstitution of slavery can keep the policy. However, states that lackthe right legal environment need to enact legislation that willensure that the heinous acts associated with slavery are notperpetrated and perpetuated. Although is an unnecessary evil that allstates should reject, subjecting it to a popular opinion through avote by citizens concerned states is the only but constitutional stepto take. The Kansas-Nebraska compromise will not resolve thechallenges that this nation has faced due to the institution ofslavery. The bottom line is the complete abolition of slavery in allthe state.

Onpopular sovereignty the idea is great because it is constitutional.However, personal ambivalence emanates from the fact that theslave-owning South is likely to abuse popular sovereignty to remainto retain the institution. On this, it does not matter how one feelsabout the possible notoriety of the South. Republicans support theidea the idea of popular sovereignty because it is the onlyconstitutional path available for this great country. Nonetheless,one wonders how on earth the federal government through Congresscannot decide on an issue that seeks to break or keep the union. TheCitizens of the United States would have erred to put the fate of theentire union in the hand few settlers whose direction of voting isalready known. In other words, the men who are going to decide onthis issue of slavery have selfish interests that everyone knowspotentially harm the continuity of the nation as a perfect union.


Roark,J. L., Johnson, M. P., Cohen, P. C., Stage, S., &amp Hartmann, S. M.(2014). The American promise: A concise history (5th ed.). Boston,MA: Bedford/St.