Revenue Act of 1913
The Revenue Act of 1913 known as the Underwood Tariff or the Underwood-Simmons Act, re-established a federal income tax in the United States and lowered tariff rates. The act was sponsored by Representative Oscar Underwood, passed by the 63rd United States Congress, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson and other members of the Democratic Party had long seen high tariffs as equivalent to unfair taxes on consumers, tariff reduction was President Wilson's first priority upon taking office. Following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, Democratic leaders agreed to seek passage of a major bill that would lower tariffs and implement an income tax. Underwood shepherded the revenue bill through the House of Representatives, but the bill won approval in the United States Senate only after extensive lobbying by the Wilson administration. Wilson signed the bill into law on October 3, 1913; the Revenue Act of 1913 lowered average tariff rates from 40 percent to 26 percent.
It established a one percent tax on income above $3,000 per year. A separate provision established a corporate tax of one percent, superseding a previous tax that had only applied to corporations with net incomes greater than $5,000 per year. Though a Republican-controlled Congress would raise tariff rates, the Revenue Act of 1913 marked an important shift in federal revenue policy, as government revenue would rely on income taxes rather than tariff duties. Democrats had long seen high tariff rates as equivalent to unfair taxes on consumers, tariff reduction was President Wilson's first priority upon taking office, he argued that the system of high tariffs "cuts us off from our proper part in the commerce of the world, violates the just principles of taxation, makes the government a facile instrument in the hands of private interests." While most Democrats were united behind a decrease in tariff rates, most Republicans held that high tariff rates were useful for protecting domestic manufacturing and factory workers against foreign competition.
Shortly before Wilson took office, the Sixteenth Amendment, proposed by Congress in 1909 during a debate over tariff legislation, was ratified by the requisite number of states. Following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, Democratic leaders agreed to attach an income tax provision to their tariff reduction bill to make up for lost revenue, to shift the burden of funding the government towards the high earners that would be subject to the income tax. By late May 1913, House Majority Leader Oscar Underwood had passed a bill in the House that cut the average tariff rate by 10 percent. Underwood's bill, which represented the largest downward revision of the tariff since the Civil War, aggressively cut rates for raw materials, goods deemed to be "necessities," and products produced domestically by trusts, but it retained higher tariff rates for luxury goods; the bill instituted a tax on personal income above $4,000. Passage of Underwood's tariff bill in the Senate would prove more difficult than in the House because some Southern and Western Democrats favored the continued protection of the wool and sugar industries, because Democrats had a narrower majority in that chamber.
Seeking to marshal support for the tariff bill, Wilson met extensively with Democratic senators and appealed directly to the people through the press. After weeks of hearings and debate and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan managed to unite Senate Democrats behind the bill; the Senate voted 44 to 37 in favor of the bill, with only one Democrat voting against it and only one Republican, progressive leader Robert M. La Follette Sr. voting for it. Wilson signed the Revenue Act of 1913 into law on October 3, 1913; the Revenue Act of 1913 reduced the average import tariff rates from 40 percent to 26 percent. The Act established the lowest rates since the Walker Tariff of 1857. Most schedules were a percentage of the value of the item; the duty on woolens went from 56% to 18.5%. Steel rails, raw wool, iron ore, agricultural implements now had zero rates; the reciprocity program wanted by the Republicans was eliminated. Congress rejected proposals for a tariff board to fix rates scientifically, but it set up a study commission.
The Underwood-Simmons measure vastly increased the free list, adding woolens, steel, farm machinery, many raw materials and foodstuffs. The average rate was 26%; the Revenue Act of 1913 restored a federal income tax for the first time since 1872. The federal government had adopted an income tax in the Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act, but that tax had been struck down by the Supreme Court in the case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co; the Revenue Act of 1913 imposed a one percent tax on incomes above $3,000, with a top tax rate of six percent on those earning more than $500,000 per year. Three percent of the population was subject to the income tax; the bill included a one percent tax on the net income of all corporations, superseding a previous federal tax that had only applied to corporate net incomes above $5,000. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the income tax in the cases of Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. and Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co. A normal income tax and an additional tax were levied against the net income of individuals, as shown in the following table: There was an exemption of $3,000 for single filers and $4,000 for married couples.
Therefore, the 1% bottom marginal rate applied only to the first $17,000 of income for single filers or the first $16,000 ($352,300 in
Tax Reform Act of 1986
The U. S. Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to simplify the income tax code, broaden the tax base and eliminate many tax shelters. Referred to as the second of the two "Reagan tax cuts", the bill was officially sponsored by Democrats, Richard Gephardt of Missouri in the House of Representatives and Bill Bradley of New Jersey in the Senate; the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was given impetus by a detailed tax-simplification proposal from President Reagan's Treasury Department, was designed to be tax-revenue neutral because Reagan stated that he would veto any bill, not. Revenue neutrality was achieved by offsetting tax cuts for individuals by eliminating $60 billion annually in tax loopholes and shifting $24 billion of the tax burden from individuals to corporations by eliminating the investment tax credit, slowing depreciation of assets, enacting a stiff alternative minimum tax on corporations; the top tax rate for individuals for tax year 1987 was lowered from 50% to 38.5%. Many lower level tax brackets were consolidated, the upper income level of the bottom rate was increased from $5,720/year to $29,750/year.
This package consolidated tax brackets from fifteen levels of income to four levels of income. The standard deduction, personal exemption, earned income credit were expanded, resulting in the removal of six million poor Americans from the income tax roll and a reduction of income tax liability across all income levels; the higher standard deduction simplified the preparation of tax returns for many individuals. For tax year 1987, the Act provided a graduated rate structure of 11%/15%/28%/35%/38.5%. Beginning with tax year 1988, the Act provided a nominal rate structure of 15%/28%/33%. However, beginning with 1988, taxpayers having taxable income higher than a certain level were taxed at an effective rate of about 28%; this was jettisoned in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, otherwise known as the "Bush tax increase", which violated his Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Act increased incentives favoring investment in owner-occupied housing relative to rental housing. Prior to the Act, all personal interest was deductible.
Subsequently, only home mortgage interest was deductible, including interest on home equity loans. The Act phased out many investment incentives for rental housing, through extending the depreciation period of rental property to 27.5 years from 15-19 years. It discouraged real estate investing by eliminating the deduction for passive losses. To the extent that low-income people may be more to live in rental housing than in owner-occupied housing, this provision of the Act could have had the tendency to decrease the new supply of housing accessible to low-income people; the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was added to the Act to provide some balance and encourage investment in multifamily housing for the poor. Moreover, interest on consumer loans such as credit card debt was no longer deductible. An existing provision in the tax code, called Income Averaging, which reduced taxes for those only making a much higher salary than before, was eliminated; the Act, increased the personal exemption and standard deduction.
The Individual Retirement Account deduction was restricted. The IRA had been created as part of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, where employees not covered by a pension plan could contribute the lesser of $1500 or 15% of earned income; the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 removed the pension plan clause and raised the contribution limit to the lesser of $2000 or 100% of earned income. The 1986 Tax Reform Act retained the $2000 contribution limit, but restricted the deductibility for households that have pension plan coverage and have moderate to high incomes. Non-deductible contributions were allowed. Depreciation deductions were curtailed. Prior to ERTA, depreciation was based on "useful life" calculations provided by the Treasury Department. ERTA set up the "accelerated cost recovery system"; this set up a series of useful lives based on three years for technical equipment, five years for non-technical office equipment, ten years for industrial equipment, fifteen years for real property.
TRA86 lengthened these lives, lengthened them further for taxpayers covered by the alternative minimum tax. These latter, longer lives approximate "economic depreciation," a concept economists have used to determine the actual life of an asset relative to its economic value. Defined contribution pension contributions were curtailed; the law prior to TRA86 was that DC pension limits were the lesser of 25% of compensation or $30,000. This could be accomplished by any combination of elective deferrals and profit sharing contributions. TRA86 introduced an elective deferral limit of $7000, indexed to inflation. Since the profit sharing percentage must be uniform for all employees, this had the intended result of making more equitable contributions to 401's and other types of DC pension plans; the 1986 Tax Reform Act introduced the General Nondiscrimination rules which applied to qualified pension plans and 403 plans that for private sector employers. It did not allow such pension plans to discriminate in favor of compensated employees.
A compensated employee for the purposes of testing a plan's compliance for the 2006 plan year is any employee whose compensation exceeded $95,000 in the 2005 plan year. Therefore, all new hires are by definition nonhighly compensated employees. A plan could not give benefits or contributions on a more favorable basis for
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
Revenue Act of 1924
The United States Revenue Act of 1924 known as the Mellon tax bill cut federal tax rates and established the U. S. Board of Tax Appeals, renamed the United States Tax Court in 1942; the bill was named after U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon; the Revenue Act was applicable to incomes for 1924. The bottom rate, on income under $4,000, fell from 1.5% to 1.125%. A parallel act, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, granted all non-citizen resident Indians citizenship, thus the Revenue Act declared that there were no longer any "Indians, not taxed" to be not counted for purposes of United States Congressional apportionment. President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill into law. Both a normal Tax and a surtax were levied against the net income of individuals, as shown in the following table: Exemption of $1,000 for single filers and $2,500 for married couples and heads of family. A $400 exemption for each dependent under 18
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981
The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 known as the ERTA or "Kemp–Roth Tax Cut", was a federal law enacted by the 97th United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The act was a major tax cut designed to encourage economic growth. Republican Congressman Jack Kemp and Republican Senator William Roth had nearly won passage of a tax cut during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Reagan made a major tax cut his top priority upon taking office. Though Democrats maintained a majority in the House of Representatives during the 97th Congress, Reagan was able to convince conservative Democrats like Phil Gramm to support the bill. ERTA passed Congress on August 4, 1981, was signed into law on August 13, 1981. ERTA was one of the largest tax cuts in U. S. history, ERTA and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 are known together as the Reagan tax cuts. Along with spending cuts, Reagan's tax cuts were the centerpiece of what some contemporaries described as the conservative "Reagan Revolution."
Included in the act was an across-the-board decrease in federal income tax rates. The top marginal tax rate fell from 70 percent to 50 percent, the bottom rate dropped from 14 percent to 11 percent. To prevent future bracket creep, the new tax rates were indexed for inflation. ERTA slashed estate taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate taxes. Critics of the act claim that it worsened federal budget deficits, while supporters credit it for bolstering the economy during the 1980s. Due to deficit concerns in the midst of the early 1980s recession, many of the cuts implemented by ERTA were rescinded by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982; the Office of Tax Analysis of the United States Department of the Treasury summarized the tax changes as follows: phased-in 23% cut in individual tax rates over 3 years. The maximum expense in calculating credit was increased from $2000 to $2400 for one child and from $4000 to $4800 for two or more kids; the credit increased from a maximum of $400 or $800 to 30 % of $10,000 income or less.
The 30% credit is diminished by 1% for every $2,000 of earned income up to $28000. At $28000, the credit for earned income is 20%; the amount a married taxpayer who files a join return increased under the Economic Recovery Tax Act to $125,000 from $100,000, allowed under the 1976 Act. A single person is limited to an exclusion of $62,500, it increases the amount of a one time exclusion of gain realized on the sale of principal residence by a persons at least 55 years old. Republican Congressman Jack Kemp and Republican Senator William Roth had nearly won passage of a major tax cut during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, but President Carter had prevented passage of the bill due to concerns about the deficit. Supply-side economics advocates like Kemp and Reagan asserted that cutting taxes would lead to higher government revenue due to economic growth, a proposition, challenged by many economists. Upon taking office, Reagan made the passage of Kemp-Roth bill his top domestic priority; as Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, passage of any bill would require the support of some House Democrats in addition to the support of congressional Republicans.
Reagan's victory in the 1980 presidential campaign had united Republicans around his leadership, while conservative Democrats like Phil Gramm of Texas were eager to back some of Reagan's conservative policies. Throughout 1981, Reagan met with members of Congress, focusing on winning support from conservative Southern Democrats. In July 1981, the Senate voted 89-11 in favor of the tax cut bill favored by Reagan, the House subsequently approved the bill in a 238-195 vote. Reagan's success in passing a major tax bill and cutting the federal budget was hailed as the "Reagan Revolution" by some reporters; the Accelerated Cost Recovery System was a major component of the ERTA and was amended in 1986 to become the Modified Accelerated cost Recovery System. The system changed the way. Instead of basing the depreciation deduction on an estimate of the expected useful life of assets, the assets were placed into categories: 3, 5, 10, or 15 years of life. For example, the agriculture industry saw a re-evaluation of their farming assets.
Items such as automobiles and swine were given 3 year depreciation values, things like buildings and land had a 15-year depreciation value. The idea was that there would be a rise in tax cuts due to the optimistic consideration of depreciating values; this would in turn put more cash into the pockets of business owners to promote investment and economic growth. The most lasting impact and significant change of the Act was the indexing of the tax code parameters for inflation starting in years after 1984. Of the nine federal tax laws between 1968 and this Act, si
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds; the plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the New Worlds; the fiber is most spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, it is the most used natural fiber cloth in clothing today. Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land.
China is the world's largest producer of cotton. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years. In the United States, cotton is measured in bales, which measure 0.48 cubic meters and weigh 226.8 kilograms. There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity: Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur in colors of white, brown and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties; the word "cotton" has Arabic origins, derived from the Arabic word قطن.
This was the usual word for cotton in medieval Arabic. The word entered the Romance languages in the mid-12th century, English a century later. Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the medieval era at transformatively lower prices; the earliest evidence of cotton use in the Indian subcontinent has been found at the site of Mehrgarh and Rakhigarhi where cotton threads have been found preserved in copper beads. Cotton cultivation in the region is dated to the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered parts of modern eastern Pakistan and northwestern India between 3300 and 1300 BC; the Indus cotton industry was well-developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC.
Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, have been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged. More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC. In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c. 4200 BC, was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish; the Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it. The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great, as his contemporary Megasthenes told Seleucus I Nicator of "there being trees on which wool grows" in "Indica"; this may be a reference to "tree cotton", Gossypium arboreum, a native of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia: Cotton has been spun and dyed since prehistoric times.
It clothed the people of ancient India and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, their use spread to the Mediterranean countries. In Iran, the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era; the planting of cotton was common in Merv and Pars of Iran. In Persian poets' poems Ferdowsi's Shahname, there are references to cotton. Marco Polo refers to the major products including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited Safavid Persia, spoke approvingly of the vast cotton farms of Persia. During the Han dynasty, cotton was grown by Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Egyptians spun cotton in the first seven centuries of the Christian era. Handheld roller cotton gins had been used in India since the 6th century, was introduced to other countries from there. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, dual-roller gins appeared in China; the Indian version of the dual-roller gin was preval