1. What role did the cotton gin play in the development of the cotton economy in Georgia and the wider South?
Cotton production was made vastly more efficient exponentially increasing (by fifty times) the amount of cotton a person could seed in a day. The increase in cotton production saw an increase in the demand for slaves and the acreage cotton crops take up as well. Increasingly, wealth in the South became invested in land for growing cotton and the slaves that would help turn that cotton into profits.
2. How do you think increased cotton production affected the relationship between Georgians and Native Americans?
Increased cotton production and the subsequent increased demand for land in Georgia likely led to more pressure on on Native American groups to cede more of their land to Georgian settlers who were moving west.
3. Although the cotton gin led to increased production and economy, it also had the unintended consequence of increasing the demand for slavery. Can you think of other innovations or inventions that had unintended negative consequences? Why?
Answers will vary but students may mention technology like phones and televisions or even weapons like the nuclear bomb.