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  • No cotton gin

    Eli Whitney decides to stay in New England and teach law or work on
    industrial inventions in that area.

    From The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop website:
    , like many inventors, Whitney (who died in 1825) could not have foreseen the ways in which his invention would change society for the worse. The most significant of these was the growth of slavery. While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor. In 1790 there were six slave states; in 1860 there were 15. From 1790 until Congress banned the importation of slaves from Africa in 1808, Southerners imported 80,000 Africans. By 1860 approximately one in three Southerners was a slave.

    Because of the cotton gin, slaves now labored on ever-larger plantations where work was more regimented and relentless. As large plantations spread into the Southwest, the price of slaves and land inhibited the growth of cities and industries. In the 1850s seven-eighths of all immigrants settled in the North, where they found 72% of the nation's manufacturing capacity. The growth of the "peculiar institution" was affecting many aspects of Southern life.

    While Eli Whitney is best remembered as the inventor of the cotton gin, it is often forgotten that he was also the father of the mass production method. In 1798 he figured out how to manufacture muskets by machine so that the parts were interchangeable. It was as a manufacturer of muskets that Whitney finally became rich. If his genius led King Cotton to triumph in the South, it also created the technology with which the North won the Civil War.
    Without the cotton gin the South as a whole becomes more like the upper
    South and border states- less overwhelming dominance of large plantation cotton slavery. This leads to more immigration and Northern type industrial growth- hence no Civil War, not even arguments over the Tariff
    (one of the sillier arguments for the Civil War breaking out).
    A more industrialized South follows the Northern pattern and by about the time Brazil ends slavery so does the U.S.
    A united U.S. government, with weaker intersectional disagreements, decides to expand by annexing Cuba in the 1880s. Imperial Germany
    takes advantage of this to annex the Philippines with British acquiessence
    (to placate a potential ally).

  • #2
    Without the invention that would feed the slave mentality

    America would be unified in its dream of Manifest Destiny and the timetable for land acquisition would have accelerated. Many military advances that came from the civil war, would have to wait till the next major armed conflict perhaps even WWI
    "America has gone to hell since John Wayne died". - Al Bundy

    "One finger is all any real American needs"

    "A gesture is worth a thousand words - but you usually only need two"

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    • #3
      I don't know that there being no Amer. Civil War would have slowed much military innovations. I believe some were foreshadowed in the Crimean War, and weren't the British working on ironclads? And the Franco-Prussian War and Austro-Prussian Wars would still have ijnnovations, among others small arms and use of railroads.

      One point of the above scenario was to posit
      1) an even more dominant U.S. Caribbean presence
      2) a non-U.S. Philippine presence with the effects they might have had on the 20th Century. Assuming WWI ends the same way, then the Philippines becomes a French or British mandate. Would the U.S. be involved so much against Japanese expansion (beyond Amer. missionaries in China how would vital matters be effected by a Japanese attack against European colonies in 1941 and would a Japanese attack be necessary? Japan seemed to virtually take over Indo-China as is (with German acquiescence).

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      • #4
        True others would have furthered military science

        Originally posted by Tuor View Post
        I don't know that there being no Amer. Civil War would have slowed much military innovations. I believe some were foreshadowed in the Crimean War, and weren't the British working on ironclads? And the Franco-Prussian War and Austro-Prussian Wars would still have ijnnovations, among others small arms and use of railroads.

        One point of the above scenario was to posit
        1) an even more dominant U.S. Caribbean presence
        2) a non-U.S. Philippine presence with the effects they might have had on the 20th Century. Assuming WWI ends the same way, then the Philippines becomes a French or British mandate. Would the U.S. be involved so much against Japanese expansion (beyond Amer. missionaries in China how would vital matters be effected by a Japanese attack against European colonies in 1941 and would a Japanese attack be necessary? Japan seemed to virtually take over Indo-China as is (with German acquiescence).
        But Americas preocupation with guns and other weapons excellerated the advance of warfare. As I recall the British had an Ironclad, and the French had two, but it was the duel at Hampton Roads that ushered in the age of the ironclad. If not for that battle, how long would it have been before ironclads fought eachother?
        "America has gone to hell since John Wayne died". - Al Bundy

        "One finger is all any real American needs"

        "A gesture is worth a thousand words - but you usually only need two"

        Comment

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