North vs South 1800's
Logan S. period 7
Transportation in the North
In the early 1800's most American roads were rutted boneshakers. In 1806, Congress funded the construction of a National road across the Appalachian Mountains. Even with better roads, river travel was was still faster and cheaper than travel by land. Moving upstream against the river current was hard work. They solved the problem by experimenting with boats powered by steam engines. So many railroad companies were laying tracks that, by the 1840's, railroads were the North's biggest business.
Society in the North
As in the South most people in the North were neither wealthy nor powerful. By 1860, about seven in ten Northerners still lived on farms. But more and more Northerners were moving to towns and cities. between 1800 and 1850, the number of cities with populations of at least 2,500 had increased from 33 to 237. After the American Revolution, all of the Northern states had taken steps to end slavery. Although blacks in the North were free, they were not treated as equal to whites. In most states they could not vote, hold office, serve juries, or attend white churches and schools. Between 1845 and 1860, 4 million immigrants most of them were from Ireland and Germany swelled the Norths growing population.
Geography in the South
They enjoyed mild winters and long, hot, humid summers. They had plentiful rainfall and long growing seasons made the South a perfect place for raising warm-weather crops would have died in the North. Wide coastal plains along the Southern shoreline from Chesapeake bay to the Gulf of Mexico.
Economy in the South
Most white southerners were agrarians who favored a way of life based on farming. This was especially true of rich plantation owners, who didn't have to do the hard work of growing crops themselves. The cotton gin was a simple machine that used rotating combs to separate cotton fiber from its seeds.
Transportation in the South
In the south, people and goods continued to move on rivers. The slow current and broad channels of Southern rivers made water travel easy and cheaper. Cotton was the most important Southern product shipped by water. On plantation docks slaves loaded cotton bales directly onto steam powered riverboats. Because river travel was the South's main form of transportation, most Southern towns and cities sprang up along waterways. Some railroads were built in the south, including lines that helped Southern farmers ship their products to the North.
Society in the South
A small group of wealthy plantation owners dominated the economy and politics of the South. A small amount of the African Americans in the South were free blacks. Free blacks were often forced to wear special badges, pay extra taxes, and live separately from whites. Most lived in towns and cities, where they found jobs as skilled craftspeople, servants, or labors. The great majority of African Americans in the South were slaves. Some worked as cooks, carpenters, blacksmiths, house servants, or nursemaids.