Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin Awarded Patent (1794)

By the end of the 18th century, the mechanization of fabric production in England had created a huge demand for US cotton, but cotton production was hampered by the large amount of manual labor required to remove the sticky seeds from the raw fiber. Whitney’s cotton gin solved this problem, performing the work mechanically and quickly. Cotton production in the US skyrocketed, as did the slave population—which quadrupled by 1850. Why was Whitney unable to profit from his invention? Discuss
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