The early explorers are reported to have found wild cotton growing in the lowlands of Mississippi river and its tributaries that was generally regarded as the birth of cotton culture in America (Hunter p. 1918,pg1-50). The cotton growing in South and U. S gain precedent with the invention of the cotton gin in 1973 by Ely Whitney. The machine enabled quick processing of cotton as the cotton fiber would easily be separated from the seeds.
The new revolution in agriculture came with slavery, since the success of plantation farming based on labor intensive techniques was directly linked to how a landowner was to procure workers(Britannica online. 2008). In Georgia, the whites bought slaves in large numbers. So, this expectation of a bumper cotton crop in the region ,not only changed the state’s agricultural practice but also resulted in enslavement of thousands of people (New Georgia Encyclopedia). This geared up to a hike of demand for slave on the international slave trade.
And as a result, slavery and cotton had a great influence on the states that left indelible marks on international scene. The demand for cotton in domestic U. S resulted in developed, vast transportation networks that connected the farms,rivers and on to major ports. Though during the early days before the cotton boom of 18300s, the class difference was fused, the whites worked together with blacks, who comprised most the slavery gang of the plantations. Countries in central Georgia were transformed from slave to free labor. The ready market provided by Britain textile industries for the U.
S cotton earned the country much foreign exchange. By 1920s, cotton products contributed to more than 50% of the U. S exports(Gieser James. 2004. New Georgia Britannica,). Cotton generally controlled agrarian economy of the south. The large southern cotton plantations were much profitable. The high earnings from cotton industry not only provided the economy with required foreign exchange but also resulted in a beefed power and influence on foreign affairs as the case of the south confederates. They became confident in power and influence of the king cotton,because it contributed to more than half of the U.
S exports before the civil war. The southern confederates boasted that the importance of cotton would result into diplomatic recognition on the international scene and from the federal government, a recipe of the civil war (Gieser James. 2004. New Georgia Britannica). The overall growth of cotton production in Georgia between 1825 and 1860 was about 10 % and the southeast parts of the country were much preferred because they were seen as the great cotton regions that could yield the country a lot of sales from the high production that was accepted.
The sustained increase in cotton production in the south of Georgia between these years led to change in population of America tremendously. In 1850 the US was seen as the greatest exporter of cotton and did a lot of manufacturing of cotton products that was more than the Great Britain industry(Hunter P,1918,pg 1-50). The cotton exports to Britain, marked the new era of industrial revolution in great Britain, this spread rapidly to other places and to U. S after the civil war in the country.
There was sprout of new cities like Dallas and Phoenix that were transformed to modern urban bases,they grew rapidly as market and collection centers and manufacturing plants. Phoenix provided market for cotton needed for use in clothing,tires and fabric industries. However, the cotton farming in the south and U. S had a negative contribution to the spheres of life, in that,the immigrants from Europe and Africa flocked American cities to seek employment opportunities in manufacturing plants. This resulted to a surge in population and the creation of a class economy, where the whites were mostly employers for black slave gang.
This, magnified economic slavery in states. The boast of power and influence by the confederates especially the southern confederates, was a precursor to the country’s civil war and subsequently had a great influence on the political scene of the states. Political movements were formed that resulted in democratic struggles in the country. This marked the birth of democracy and the end of dark era of slavery in the states. Although cotton farming in South and USA depicted her negatively as a result of slave trade activities, it had a tremendous influence on economic,social and political scenes of the countries.
It led to expanded sphere of influence by the U. S as she dominated cotton market. Most of the cities like Dallas and Phoenix expanded tremendously as a result of growth of cotton manufacturing plants. On social scene, the manufacturing firms provided employment to millions of people including the slaves as the gap between the slaves and white farmers was covered, during the cotton boom of 1830s Moreover, the labor laws were changed that allowed free interaction between the black slaves and their white lords.
Britannica online. (2008) King cotton. http://www. britannica. com/eb/topic-318402/King-Cotton Gieser James C (. 2004) New Georgia Encyclopedia. Published on5/26/2004land and resources http://www. georgiaencyclopedia. org/nge/Article. jsp? id=h-2087 Hunter, P. (1918): cotton growth and spread in other parts of the world. State board of entomol. Bull, pp, 1-50.
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