The Rise of Cotton: Crash Course Black American History #13

Crash Course Black American History with Clint Smith, PhD: “Cotton is everywhere in our modern world, and it became a hugely important crop in the 19th century United States. Cotton was a huge economic boon to the US, and much of that wealth was built on the backs of enslaved laborers. And cotton didn’t only benefit the states where slavery was legal. While cotton was mainly grown in the southern states, much of that cotton was processed in northern textile mills. Today we’ll learn about the growth of the cotton industry, who benefitted from it, and who was left out.” Transcript.

Clint’s book, How the Word is Passed is available now!…


  • Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. New York: Basic Books, 2014.
  • Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History. New York: Penguin Books, 2014.
  • Eugene Dattel, Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power. Lanham, MD: Ivan R Dee, 2009.
  • Adam Rothman, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.
  • Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney…

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How Inventions Change History: Cotton Gin Expanded Slavery

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