Contradictions Of The Cotton Kingdom

955 Words 4 Pages
At the end of the 18th century, one particular invention forever revolutionized the structure of the United States. The cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793 as a solution to the difficulties of harvesting seeded short staple cotton, gave rise to the Cotton Kingdom. The Cotton kingdom was the catalyst for the market revolution, a period of time during the 19th century that transformed the economic structure of America into an industrial empire. In time, the Cotton Kingdom became the “major independent variable in the... structure of internal and international trade” (Takaki 77). If the cotton trade failed, the interdependence between the three major regions—the middle Atlantic, the South, and the West—would fail as well. To ensure its …show more content…
Forced by the government, Native Americans moved west to seek refuge from the merciless destruction by “American Progress”. Supported by multiple experiences of Native American tribes, Ronald Takaki argued in A Different Mirror that the significant land appropriation, deception, and cruel treatment of the Native Americans during the market revolution were glaring contradictions to the founding principles of the U.S. The Federal government disregarded the rights of the Native Americans in order to acquire land for the progress of the market revolution; this presented a major contradiction to the U.S. founding principles of liberty and equality. For example, the people of the Choctaw tribe were described as agriculturally advanced; despite this, the federal government enforced the 1805 Choctaw Treaty to transform the Choctaw people into farmers by giving “every man a farm… [to] enclose it, cultivate it, [and] build a warm house on it” (Takaki 83). Although the Choctaws assimilated into white “civilized” agriculture by raising livestock and growing cotton, “these markers of civilization did not matter” to the government (Takaki 84). The treaty was abolished in 1830, and the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was enforced, which presented the Choctaws two options: leave or be …show more content…
Despite the tribe’s disapproval, the government ratified the treaty, violating constitutional rights of the tribe’s people. The U.S. valued the belief that “all men are created equal” yet it easily stripped the Choctaws of their rights to equality due to the hegemonic, commonly accepted, ideology that the Choctaws were “savage” and “uncivilized”; the government essentially justified their actions by viewing the Choctaws as less-than-human. This presented a conflicting question: to what extent does “liberty and equality” apply to “all men”? It was evident that the founding “rights” of “all men” were exclusive only to the members of white society, enforcing the ideology of white supremacy and a racial caste system. This problematic hypocrisy was prevalent later in the 19th century as well, with the conflict between industrialization and the Native Americans of the Plains. It was clear that white society viewed the Native Americans as people who “do not harmonize well” (Takaki 94). Though it was ideal to eliminate the Native Americans, President

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