Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures
Columbia American History Online

Main Menu

There are nine items indexed to this topic.


The cotton revolution in the South


The Old South
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The Cotton Kingdom: The Industrial Revolution

The Cotton Kingdom: The Industrial Revolution
Resource Type: Primary Source
In 1793, while working as a tutor on a Georgia plantation, Whitney came up with the idea of removing the seeds from cotton by machine. Though every schoolchild recalls "Eli Whitney and the cotton gin," few realize the stark innovation that such a machine was. The gin (short for engine) in essence made it possible for cotton to become "king," as it picked approximately 50 times more cotton seeds per day than any enslaved worker could. Cotton prices soared over time and made the South a world leader in supplying cotton.

The Cotton Kingdom: The Industrial Revolution
Resource Type: Primary Source
The First Cotton-Gin. Wood engraving by William L. Sheppard in Harper's Weekly (December 18, 1869).

The Cotton Kingdom: The Economics of Cotton
Resource Type: Primary Source
Bales of cotton on the docks of Charleston, South Carolina, ready for shipping to textile mills of New England, Britain, or other countries.

Refine Browse

Historical thinking 

Discovering primary sources (3) 

Narrating history (1) 

Resource types 

CAHO is being provided to you for your own use. Any copying or distribution of CAHO materials is prohibited.