Can anyone describe the main factors that contributed to separate North and South into two sectional identities by the eve of the American Civil War?Also I would like to know the description of...

Can anyone describe the main factors that contributed to separate North and South into two sectional identities by the eve of the American Civil War?

Also I would like to know the description of those two societies

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enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

The roots of the American Civil War begin at the founding of Jamestown and Plymouth. Slightly before either of these colonies were founded, James I in 1609 gave a single charter to two groups, one to settle what then was considered "Northern" Virginia (Plymouth Company, claiming from what today is New Jersey to Maine) and one to settle in the south (London Company, claiming from New Jersey to South Carolina.)  From the very beginning of English settlement on the Atlantic seaboard regional differences quickly became apparent. The settlers for these 2 different regions were from different areas and socioeconomic classes in England.  The South attracted "Gentlemen Farmers," hoping to make quick profits on tobacco.  The North became a religious refuge for Puritans. The South was much more fertile than the North, and so established an agrarian economy.  The North, a much shorter sail to Europe, began to build ships and establish trade and manufactures as an economic base.  In time, both the North and South's economy grew; the North began to industrialize and the South expanded its agrarian output.  Slavery was an outgrowth of the expanding Southern agricutural economy. Differences became pronounced as more territory became incorporated to either North or South; 1820 and 1850 saw the first of several compromises regarding slavery, but what was at the heart of the question was if two different cultures could live together under one union.  When one thought the other was infringing too much upon it, war was the result.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The main and explicit and most obvious reason for division between Southern and Northern states of America that ultimately led to the civil war was the issue of slavery. People in Southern states depended heavily on slave labour for their agricultural activity, and believed that their economy would collapse without slave labour. Also they believed that whites are superior than blacks. Therefor they supported slavery. In contrast the people in the northern states, who believed in hard work and dignity of labour pressed for abolition of slavery.

However there were other issues also involved that separated Northerners from Southerners. The southern economy was based mostly on agriculture. People led luxurious lives, avoiding hard work. They were proud of their past heritage and present lifestyle, and they wanted to preserve it.

In contract, Northern economy depended more on trade and industry. The people there valued hard work and education. They were progressive minded and valued education. They supported modernization and accepted change in heir lives readily.

Thees differences between Northerners and Southerners may not have caused explicit conflicts between them but, experts believe that they did contribute substantially to the distrust between the two factions.

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