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A Discussion on Whether Eli Whitney Should Be Blamed for The Civil War

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Eli Whitney transformed the South with his invention. It is hard when no one knows the solution to a question or when someone holds a different view on a question. An opinion is a view or perspective made about something, which does not have to be based on reality or understanding. Human beings are recognized for having different opinions about everything besides if you are not on the same page as someone there is either argument which result leads to a brawl amongst each other. Eli Whitney was a well-known inventor who many have said might be blamed for the Civil War. The Civil War began originally because the South and the North had a different belief and minds. Would Eli be blamed for the Civil War? Yes, because his invention caused slavery to increase plus was one of the reasons the North are against things about the South which caused a war.

Eli was born on December 8, 1765. Eli was a popular inventor, he invented the cotton gin. Out all the kids his parents had he was the Oldest among them which meant Eli had a big role in his family. Eli mother died when Eli was only twelve years old leaving Eli to take care of his family. Yes, Eli faced a lot of difficulties while growing up but that did not stop him from making a difference in his life. Eli was not interested in farming but instead was interested in Machines and tools from an early age.

Whitney attended Yale despite the fact that his father could not pay his tuition. Eli was surely determined to complete his education so he took it upon himself to get a job as a schoolmaster to pay for his institution. Yes, Eli made it to the end and graduated. Whitney did well in Yale, then later decided to pursue law studies. When Eli was studying in the south he discovered that the south was struggling economically. “Whitney found a job as a tutor on a plantation” then “he was told that the promised pay had been cut in half. Disgusted, Whitney refused to take the job”. After Eli had a conversation about the complication of growing cotton. Remember that Cotton was a big thing in the late 1800s and Eli thought he could help so he invented the Cotton Gin.

There have been some questions about whether Eli made the machine for the south or for both the North and South? This invention was obviously made to help the south. Normally, it takes a person and an entire day to clean a pound of cotton but the invention made it easier. At the end of May 1793, Eli entered an alliance with Miller to start a business. Whoever made a difference of his invention Eli filed them. Who wouldn’t be happy to use a convenient machine instead of picking but overall did it cause the Civil War is the main question that is asked. Honestly, it depends on how you want to view this.

It could be judged that Eli Whitney product should be blamed for the Civil War. There have been people that opposed with me saying that he really did not do anything but help. The product made the farmers to buy slaves to help work on the machine plus let us not overlook that the farmers gained a lot of money. So basically the more slaves more money. The North hated this because they were against slavery but the south is furious about the point the North was against slavery because all the south wanted was for slavery to increase or spread to other countries.

In fact, The Civil War was announced to be unavoidable, which shows that the Civil War had to happen. Eli invention continued a useful invention to the south however, one may question me for still supporting my thesis of the inventor should be blamed. Inventing something that made people buy other people to work so they can gain money is a very absurd thing. Eli did not invent his product for everyone purpose but for only the south. Eli is not the bad guy because he tried to help but they did not think of the consequences of his invention. For instance, if someone made an invention for only people who were black socks, how will the person who wear green socks or any other socks feel, they will feel annoyed and it is very biased and unequal.

Furthermore, slaves were treated badly and they would get hurt while working on the machines. Slaves were not treated like Humans instead they were treated like animals brutally, cruel and vicious. Slaves were also dehumanized plus were treated like properties because they will sell them to other farmers. While working on the machine some people hair will get cut off, legs, arm, or fingers and they were not even getting paid to their satisfaction. Eli product expanded slaves death and made it more difficult for the slaves.

Also now we could understand why South was so concerned about their slaves because they were making businesses out of them. The south wants its people to stay so they could take advantage of them. The North hates anything that has to do inequality. Sincerely, not every North oppose with slavery some assented to slavery because of not understanding how the southerners were wicked to the slaves. Like stated Eli, invention did make slave labor expand.

Whitney did help the south with the cotton problem not discerning the fact that he increased slave labor. Eli was a well-known inventor, Eli also made up 60 percent of export. You might disagree, but it’s not like Eli was a bad guy or that he did something stupid, he helped people in times of trouble because the south needed the Cotton Gin. We might all have a different opinion but at the end of the day increasing slaves was something the North hated. The civil war is history, Eli is also history.

Works Cited

  • Anderson, Oscar E., and Constance Mcl. Green. “Eli Whitney and the Birth of American Technology.” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, vol. 43, no. 4, 1957, p. 670., doi:10.2307/1902287.
  • Benson, Sonia, et al. ‘Whitney, Eli.’ UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History, vol. 8, UXL, 2009, pp. 1690-1692. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 22 May 2019.
  • Morison, Elting E., and Constance Mcl. Green. “Eli Whitney and the Birth of American Technology.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 3, 1957, p. 471., doi:10.2307/1915670.
  • ‘Whitney, Eli.’ Industrial Revolution Reference Library, edited by James L. Outman, et al., vol. 2: Biographies, UXL, 2003, pp. 196-205. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 22 May 2019. 

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