Effects of the Industrial Revolution on Slavery
The Industrial Revolution started in Britain, where population was sky rocketing and demand for goods was increasing. This higher demand forced innovators and scientists to invent machines that would make production much faster than their old ways. Before the push for new technology, goods were being produced through the putting-out system: one where a manufacturer would make part of the product, send it out for someone to finish it, then put it on the market. One of the first steps towards the Industrial Revolution was John Kay’s flying shuttle built in 1733. This machine allowed for weaving of cloth to be faster so that thread could be produced in surplus. Labor forces were being lowered because machines began to perform jobs humans did at a consistent and more productive rate. As factories developed, agricultural farms began to decline and those labor forces of slaves were sent to work in factories. Soon after this surge of innovation, slavery began to dissipate in places like America, Britain, and France. But many people believe that the Industrial Revolution had nothing to do with the decline of slavery. On the contrary, slavery began to fall in places where industrialization was occurring because of industrialization itself. Machines were out-producing slaves, laws were passed to stop slaves from taking jobs in the city from white men, and slaves became very expensive.
With all of the new inventions being made, the cotton gin was one of them. Cotton was a main cash crop in the Americas and slaves were the ones on the farms picking it and refining it. Before, the slaves would have to remove the fibers from the seeds by hand, but now with the cotton gin, you place the cotton in the machine and it extracts the fibers with the pull of a lever. Cotton was being produced faster by less people, there for leaving some people to do nothing. And to the white man that was wasted money. Along with the individuals,...
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