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Differences Between The North and The South Before The Civil War

Some of the many differences between the south and north pre-civil war.

Differences Between the North and the South

                Before the Civil War, the North and South had many economic and political differences.  Some of the economic differences were the agricultural system of the south compared to the industry of the north, and the use of slaves for farming in the south.  On the other hand, the political arguments between the north and the south include the abolishing of slavery, and the beliefs of the powers that the state and federal governments should have.

                In the south, like mentioned in the observations of a French visitor, they used slaves for their agriculture.  The slaves were treated horribly and worked in conditions that were unsafe. Many slaves were even beaten or worked to death.  In the picture of a cotton plantation on the Mississippi, you can see that the slaves are doing the labor work while the owners of the plantations are either watching or making sure that the slaves are working.  The slaves created the biggest part of the south’s economy, and made certain farmers extremely rich and wealthy. The downside of this is that the economy was only based on agriculture, so if there was to be a drought or plague, the southerners would not be able to do work, unlike the northerners.

                Like stated earlier, the northerners had an economy that was much more diversified than the souths.  In the description of Lowell, Massachusetts, it is very obvious that the Northern economy is based on an industrial work.  This was a lot better than the southern agricultural system because if there happened to be a problem with one type of work, the workers had the flexibility to work with other materials and not have market crashes.  This led to the prosperity of a lot of people in the north, and the mass production of clothes made it harder to distinguish middle class people from the very wealthy. 

                Political differences also plagued the north and south before the start of the civil war.  Perhaps the most important political difference was that the south used slaves in everyday work, and the north had almost completely abolished slavery.  In the document on colonial slave reports, the most slaves imported into a northern state in a year is 70, on the other hand, South Carolina imported 7,201 slaves in one year.  The ‘Three-Fifths Compromise’ considered slaves to be three-fifths of a person, which was outrageous to people who thought that the black slaves should be treated equally. 

                Another one of the political differences was the rights over the states and the rights of the federal government.  In the speech by Senator Robert Young, he states “it was not to draw power from the States in order to transfer it to a national government, but in the language of the Constitution itself ‘to form a more perfect Union.’”  South Carolina’s nullification questioned the power of the national and state governments and ultimately led to an increase in state powers, and decrease in federal powers.  This preceded the civil war because when the states felt that their power was no longer respected, they decided to secede from the union, and created the major differences between the north and the south. 

                Between the north and south, there were plenty of differences. Some of these were political, and some of them were economical. They eventually led to the start of our country’s only civil war.  The economic differences that our country had include the agriculture of the south versus the industry of the north, and the use of slaves for the southern farming.  The political differences were the abolishment of slavery and the arguments over state and federal powers.

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