Future Conflict

due to economic status of the North and South


Explain the economic status of the North and South from 1800 to 1860 and how the changes ensured future conflict between the two.

Conclusion 1

The growth of railroads in the United States between 1850 and 1860 added to the growing conflicts between the North and South. By 1860, railroads had spread dramatically from the North East to the West. Railroads were present in the south, but not nearly as prevalent as they were in the North (Tindall/ Shi 460-461). Since the South lacked a strong connection with the West, they were excluded from many economic opportunities and limited trade with the new and opportunity-filled West. Railroads also created new and prosperous markets for iron and other equipment (Tindall/ Shi 462). Since most of the railroads were located in the North, a majority of new jobs were also located there. This further defined the economic superiority the North had over the South. Without the ability to trade with the West and a lack of new industries, the South relied more and more on it's only major industry; farming which was powered by slavery. This fundamental difference between the two regions added to the growing conflict between them.

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Conclusion 2

Another event that led to the conflict between the North and South was the Industrial Revolution. The revolution created many new job opportunities in the North such as manufacturing. In 1856, Free States issued 1,929 patents, while Slave States issued only 268 (Brown 192). This figure exemplifies a growing diversity of the economy in the North compared to a purely farming- dependent economy in the South. This difference is the cause of two different viewpoints on how the federal government should run. The number of patents each region has directly correlates to to their products of Manufactures. The total hands employed in the North was 780,576 and in the South was only 161,738 (Brown 197). The addition of manufacturing jobs in the North adds a strong middle class, supporting their per capita income which in 1860 is $141 compared to $103 in the South (Brown 195). The southern per capita income was decreased by a lack of a middle class because of the strict division of slaves and the wealthy. The South's lack of social mobility bound them to an agrarian way of life and created two opposite identities between the two regions, so creating more tension between them.

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Conclusion 3

The strikingly different economies of the North and the South required unique governing policies and neither region was willing to compromise. The South was dependent on a largely agrarian economy where as the North was more diverse. When a crop failed in the South, like cotton prices plummeted during the Panic of 1819, the whole economy is disrupted (Tindall/ Shi 394). Unlike in the North, where other areas of the economy would keep balance. The South would often look to the North to bail them out in rough times which angered the latter. In addition, the South would prefer to have laws protecting farming, unlike the Northern want for protection over manufacturing. This created a struggle between the two regions. Adding to this tension is the South's fear of a federal bank. They blamed it for the depression induced by crop failure and would much prefer state banks. The North however, celebrates the federal banks because of the benefit they have had on their economy. The two very unique economies was too much for the inexperienced American government to handle and soon the conflicts got out of hand.

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Conclusion 4

The lessening dependence of the North on the South and vice versa added to the conflicts between the two competing regions. Now with and intricate system of railroads connecting the North to the West, Northerners no longer needed to rely on the South for food supply with an abundance of crops available quickly and cheaply from the West. This hurt the Southern economy while helping the Northern economy. The cheaper availability of crops to the north added to their wealth per capita which was $754 compared to the South's at $477 (Brown 194). Another example of lessening dependence was the growth of Southern ports such as New Orleans and Charleston (Tindall/ Shi 474-475). New Orleans and Charleston also were in the top four wealthiest and Populous Slave Cities which further proves their dependability (Brown 194). The south no longer needed the North to ship their products for them which meant the two regions had fewer and fewer reasons to keep working together.

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Conclusion 5

The completely different lifestyles of the North and South created a growing inability for them to coexist under the same government. The North focused on internal improvements and supporting manufacturing, seen in (Brown 198) New England's capital invested by manufacturing per capita increased from $57.96 to $82.13, where as the South was more concerned with protecting their farming industry. This led to a great political division between the two regions which can be seen in the Webster v. Hayne debate (Tindall/ Shi 422). The southern states opposed the tariff because it helped northern manufacturers and forced southern planters to pay higher taxes. The North who had no use for slavery criticized the South for relying on them. The South strongly supported State's rights whereas the North wanted for a strong federal government. Because of their two vastly different economies, each region had fundamentally different ideas on how the government should be run and since neither one was willing to compromise, a great conflict ensued.

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