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Interactive video lesson plan for: How inventions change history (for better and for worse) (copy)

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Invented in 1793, the cotton gin changed history for good and bad. By allowing one field hand to do the work of 10, it powered a new industry that brought wealth and power to the American South -- but, tragically, it also multiplied and prolonged the use of slave labor. Kenneth C. Davis lauds innovation, while warning us of unintended consequences.

Lesson by Kenneth C. Davis, animation by Sunni Brown.

Tagged under: Kenneth Davis,Kenneth C. Davis,Don' Know Much About,History,Civil War,Slavery,Cotton Gin,Eli Whitney,Invention,Innovation,TEDEducation,TED-Ed,TED Ed

8 questions

1. What was the “peculiar institution"? (00:01:01)

2. Eli Whitney moved to South Carolina to become (00:01:26)

3. The word “gin” in “cotton gin” means (00:02:04)

4. A slave could clean how much cotton by hand in a day?

5. "King Cotton" was responsible for approximately how much of America's economic output? (00:03:11)

6. Before the cotton gin was widely available, the American slave population was 700,000 in 1790. By 1860, the narrator says, the slave population was: (00:03:52)

7. We seldom think that technology or innovation can be harmful. Name some instances where technology has "gone wrong"? What have we done to combat this issue? Name a technology that has done incredible good for the world (without any known negative conseque (00:04:27)

8. Is there anything that has made your life easier, but you feel uncomfortable about it? An SUV instead of a hybrid? Disposable plastic as opposed to a reusable container? Describe this innovation and explain how you justify the personal dilemma. (00:05:05)

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