North v. South

sectionalism throughout the United States

The South

The life of the South

  • The population of the South was much lower than that of the North due to the attract of big cities and industrialization in the North and the harsh weather of the South
  • Economy revolved around 'King Cotton' due to the invention of the cotton gin
  • Slavery became a way of life for the large plantations, who could afford numerous slaves
  • Little to no manufacturing and industrialization
  • There were a few large plantations that owned over a hundred slaves, but a majority of the South's population lived on substance farms with one or no slaves on their farms
  • 2/3 of people did not own slaves at all but 1/3 of the population was made up of slaves
  • There were no cities in the south besides New Orleans and a few smaller port cities along the coast
  • The families tended to be quite large due to the likelihood of infant mortality and the need for more help around the farm.
  • Few public schools due to the distance between the farms, it is not economically feasible. This lead to personal tutors being the only way for people to become educated, which was only an option for people who could afford one (which was no many)
  • Many slave's families were broken up due to their children or parents being sold. There is also a significant number of slaves that were able to escape to freedom by means of the Underground railroad. They had no rights as a slave.
  • On the substance farms, they ate what they grew and this lead to little interaction between the different farms.
  • Most people living in the south were poor compared to the average in the North. The large plantation owners however were wealthy in both standard.
  • Relied on foreign trade


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  • This family lives in South Carolina near the Appalachian mountains
  • Mary and John own their own small farm, here with the help of their 5 children they grow all food they need and raise all the animals they need to survive.
  • For fun the kids run around the farm messing with their siblings or playing with some of the animals on the farm. George especially likes to wander around in the woods near their farm.



The South Before the War (The Civil War: Two Views Part 2)

The North

The life of the North

  • The North had a strong industry and manufacturing based economy.
  • The average family is the North was wealthier than that of the South.
  • A quarter of the population lived in rapidly growing urban areas.
  • Most immigrants (mostly from German and Irish decent) moved to the Northern part of the United States due to the availability of jobs in the factories.
  • There was a significant amount of the population who were members of the Federalists or Whig party.
  • Overall, the North was better educated due to the requirement in some states of public schools. This lead to more Northerner's becoming doctors or creating their own businesses.
  • The North had extensive transportation, from roads to canals to railroads. This connected the north and allowed for raw materials to be transported to the factories then be transported to port cities to be shipped elsewhere.
  • There was a lot of religious diversity, from Quakers to Catholics to Mormons.
  • The economy was booming and constantly getting stronger
  • No large farm but a few small farms. Fishing was a large Industry
  • Wanted protective tariffs


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  • This family lives in Jamestown, Virginia in the heart of the city
  • Mark owns a shoe factory and Jennifer stays home and takes care of the house and the 3 children
  • The children like to play with their friends from school and run along the ports to watch the big ships come and go.


The North Before the War (The Civil War: Two Views Part 1)