What were the positive and negative benefits on society from the cotton gin during the industrial revolution?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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It might be easier to look at some of the negative effects of the invention of the cotton gin, though there were some large positives as well.  One thing that happened was that the southern United States became even more focused on the production of cotton and imported more slaves to keep up with increased demand.  It also allowed for the further concentration of capital, along with the institution of slavery, by giving further power to those who owned the land and the equipment.

In the long run it significantly reduced the price of finished clothing but at a great cost in terms of humanity, and the increased profits generated went solely to the owners of plantations and certainly not to the laborers involved since they were almost exclusively slaves.


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