North vs. South

Nicole Messer


  • The northern soil and climate was better suited for smaller farms.
  • Industry fueled the economy the most.
  • Many large cities were established, such as New York which was the largest.
  • 1/4 of all Northerners lived in urban areas by 1860.
  • There was a 70% drop in agricultural workers between 1800 and 1860.
  • Slavery was prevalent in factories and was usually immigrants rather than African Americans.
  • Most immigrants settled in the North, due to the fact that transportation was easier.
  • Most belonged to the Whig/Republican political party.
  • Careers were typically in business, medicine, or education.
  • Northern children were more prone to attend school and attain an education.
  • While the average income was up in the 40's and 50's, there were still landless farmers and unskilled workers.
  • Before the Civil War, 50% of the wealth in the US was in 5% of the families.
  • The middle class had a higher standard of living that Europe, as well as more possessions.
  • Society expected children to do better and learn from their mistakes.
  • It was the dream of many to save money in order to move West.
  • The people were a lot more involved in politics. This helped the working class, along with the rest of the population, feel like they had more of a say in what went on.
  • Women began to spend less time at home, and more time in factories in order to bring more income into the household. However, there were some families that believed that women were made specifically for housekeeping and reproduction.
  • The men took care of all legal issues, ruled over the family, and usually brought in the income. In some states, it was even legal for a man to strike his wife. Divorce was hard and rare, and the women never gained custody of the children.
  • Overall, women had less access to education than anyone else after elementary school.
  • Many women became involved in clubs or reforms, female literature came about, and single women were usually nurses or depended on relatives.
  • The lower class worked mainly in factories and mills that had conditions worse than before.
  • Birth control came about, along with a rise in abortions, decreasing the birth rate.
  • While industry was still very important, so was agriculture. Things such as apples, dairy products, and hay became major products of the north. Factories mainly produced farm machinery, flour, meat whiskey, leather, and woolen goods.

Family Tree

Jack Davidson - Father
  • 35 years old
  • New York
  • Factory owner
  • Participates in political debates and plays the guitar
Meredith Davidson - Mother
  • 30 years old
  • New York
  • Stay at home mom
  • Works with other women on solving issues with women's rights, bakes, and sews
Spencer Davidson - Son
  • 10 years old
  • New York
  • Attends school in the city and plays baseball
Carrie Davidson - Daughter
  • 7 years old
  • New York
  • Attends school with her brother in the city and bakes with her mother
Sarah Davidson - Daughter
  • 4 years old
  • New York
  • Stays at home and is cared for by mother and house slave
Lilly Davidson - Daughter
  • 5 months old
  • New York
  • Cared for primarily by house slave while mother works on political issues involving women's rights

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  • The south was known for its fertile soil and warm climate. There was not a need for industrial development. 2/3 of Southerners didn't even own slaves.
  • There were almost as many blacks as whites by 1860.
  • New Orleans was the only large city.
  • Most successful cities were located on rivers and coasts due to ports and shipping.
  • Only 1/10 of Southerners lived in urban areas.
  • The South's agricultural economy experienced a time of slowing down, whereas the North with booming due to their industrial advances.
  • Southern children spent less time in school.
  • Southern men usually belonged to the Democratic political party and typically went into the military or agriculture.
  • Large plantations consisted of 800+ acres along with a minimum of 50 slaves, and the crops were usually cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco.
  • Plantations influenced everything - politics, economics, and social live.
  • Many of the plantation owners were very proud of their success and liked to flaunt it. Each would stop at nothing to defend their lifestyle.
  • There were only two acceptable roles in society for the rich - planters and people who joined the military. They often avoided jobs in trade, but rather did things that brought them honor, such as duels.
  • Women in the South revolved around the home. They rarely left the house and went into public, and focused most of their energy on reproduction and taking care of the house and their husbands. However, it was more common for a man to defend his lady in the South.
  • On small plantations, women often helped out on the land, whereas on large plantations, working was unheard of.
  • Although the birth rate was 20% higher than the rest of the United States, almost 1/2 died before the age of 5.
  • It wasn't uncommon for the plantation owner to have sex with slaves.
  • A typical Southerner owned their own land and maybe owned a few slaves, but worked alongside them if they did.
  • There was very limited education, and my 1860, 1/2 million white people were illiterate. However, the rich went to college, many of which had developed in the south.
  • The lower class was known as "white trash" and consisted of people who dealt with poverty and disease.

Family Tree

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Jackson Smith - Father
  • 40 years old
  • New Orleans
  • Small plantation owner
  • Goes fishing and makes furniture
Sheridan Smith - Mother
  • 35 years old
  • New Orleans
  • Works alongside the slaves and her husband on the small plantation that her husband owns
  • Tends to the house and makes things for her children
Ashley Smith - Daughter
  • 15 years old
  • New Orleans
  • Helps work on the plantation
  • Has younger siblings teach her things that they learn in school
Danny Smith - Son
  • 13 years old
  • New Orleans
  • First child to go to school in the family
  • Teaches his older sister how to read
Martie Smith - Son
  • 10 years old
  • New Orleans
  • Attends school with his brother
  • Goes fishing with his dad
Catherine Smith - Daughter
  • 4 years old
  • New Orleans
  • Stays at home
  • Listens to her siblings read
Francis Smith - Daughter
  • 1 year old
  • New Orleans
  • Stays at home with Catherine
  • Sleeps