School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 3. Analyze the influence of industrialization and technological developments on society in the United States before 1877

Objective b. Explain how the cotton gin and the opening of new lands in the South and West impacted the institution of slavery

To help students understand the degree to which the growth and spread of slavery in the South was linked to the rise and spread of cotton cultivation, have them examine the interactive maps, found at First, show students the pair of maps for 1790, or before the invention of the cotton gin. Ask what the map shows about the amount of cotton being produced. Next, show the pair of maps for 1820 and then for 1860 and have students draw conclusions about the connections between the spread of cotton and the spread of slavery.

Have students read enslaved African American Charles Ball’s narrative, in which he discusses the relationship between cotton and slavery. Provide the following focus question: How did the increased profitability of cotton affect slavery and enslaved African Americans?

Resources for Objective 5.C.3.b:
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