The Cotton Gin
 

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The Cotton Gin
On March 14, 1793, Eli Whitney obtained a patent for the cotton gin. The cotton gin made the production of cotton highly profitable. This changed the economics of slavery greatly. Many had believed that slavery would slowly die out, as the tobacco fields (where most slaves were employed) were slowly depleted. The economical production of cotton, on the other hand, greatly increased the economic importance of slavery to the South, thus ensuring its continued dependence on it.