Chemistry Block 1
11 April 2013
Within the 1790s, one of the most notable world events was the French Revolution. United States citizens were influenced by the revolution and some took sides. As a result, George Washington passed the Neutrality Proclamation to keep the United States neutral in foreign disputes. Also in the 1790s, the Bill of Rights was ratified and the Treaty of San Lorenzo was signed, which marked the final exit of Spain from the North American continent. Lastly, there was a political divide in the United States. Partly because of the French Revolution, but also because of different lifestyles and opinions, the Northern and Southern United States developed different political views. The people of the North leaned towards being Federalists, whereas the Southerners had Republican views.
Eli Whitney was born in 1765 and graduated from Yale in 1792. He had a large influence on the ‘90s because he invented the cotton gin, which revolutionized the production of cotton products. Before the cotton gin, or engine, every cotton seed had to be separated from the fibers by hand. It was a long and tedious chore. A single gin was able to clean 50 pounds of cotton per day, which made the cotton trade much more profitable for southern states. However, a loophole in the 1793 patent act allowed people to imitate the invention of the cotton gin and call it their own. Due to this loophole, Whitney only profited minimally from his invention. All was not lost for Whitney. He finally became wealthy by inventing a way to manufacture muskets with interchangeable parts.
Benjamin Thompson was born in 1753 and he was a leading figure in the history of thermodynamics. He denied the current belief that heat was a liquid form of matter, instead proposing that it was a type of motion. He made this theory while watching the manufacturing of cannon barrels. The process involved a drill that bored into a solid block of metal. So much heat...
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