"Unintended Consequences": Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin

8th grade, cotton, kathy bollenbach, primary sources, slavery

Kathy's lesson is designed to give students an understanding that with the invention of the Cotton Gin - which was to make cotton picking easier for slaves - there were "unintended consequences" resulting in the demand for more cotton and therefore more slaves.  There was a correlation between the spread of cotton production and the spread of slavery from 1790 – 1860.

Lesson Plan - Word / PDF
Cotton and Slavery in the South - PDF
King Cotton - PDF
Eli Whitney Changed the South - PDF