In the late 18th century, cash crops and plantations were becoming less profitable. As a solution, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin and plantation owners looked to cotton farming as a quick way to get rich. The cotton gin did its job and led the way towards an economic boom in America, with the emergence of cotton farming and textile industries. Unfortunately, these enormous plantations required more slaves than ever, leading to conflict between the north and south. Ultimately, the cotton gin led to tension between the North and South and played a role in the Civil War.