- Download PDF
How were early industrialization and growing sectional tension of America connected?
The time period is the nineteenth century. This includes transportation and communication.
This is from Chapter 14 of The American Pageant book, 14th edition
2 Answers | Add Yours
Early industrialization in the North conflicted with the economic needs of the agrarian South. The South exported a great deal of its agricultural produce, notably cotton, to Europe and purchased manufactured materials from Europe with dollars earned from the sale. European sales of manufactured goods was detrimental to Northern industry, which saw its markets diminished. The result was a series of protective tariffs designed to protect and nurture Northern industry. This was detrimental to the South, as it increased the cost of manufactured goods and also limited agricultural sales in Europe, as fewer dollars were in European hands. A heated debate erupted, lodged on Constitutional grounds. The South, notably John C. Calhoun and others, maintained that tariffs could only be lodged for revenue and tariffs imposed for any other reason (i.e. for protection) were unconstitutional. In his famous (but anonymous) South Carolina Exposition and Protest, he maintained that any state had the right to declare an Act of Congress unconstitutional within its borders. This was in response to the Tariff of 1828; commonly referred to in the South as the Tariff of Abominations.
Another factor was the dependence of the South on slave labor. Although slavery existed and was originally legal in all thirteen colonies, the "peculiar institution" did not lend itself to industry, particularly areas where labor was cheap. Economically, the large plantations of the South, whose owners were the political and social leaders of the region, could not survive without free labor. After independence, and the growth of Northern industry, the North, which had no need of slaves, considered it an abomination; the South rationalized it as not only necessary but beneficial. See John C. Calhoun's essay, "Slavery, A Positive Good."
It was the disparate economic situations of North and South, not the slavery issue per se, which led to sectional disputes which ultimately led to the Civil War.
The most important way in which industrialization helped cause sectional tension was by tying the eastern and western parts of the North together very strongly. This made these areas "Siamese twins" as your book says and set them apart from (and in opposition to) the South.
This was caused by the industrialization that was going on in the East and by the growing transportation links to the West. The East became a major manufacturing area and the West became its food and raw material supply.
It is also possible to talk about how industrialization made the economic systems of the North and South diverge even more than they previously had. The North became an industrial society with many urban workers while the South remained as something of an aristocracy. These different political cultures also helped to push the North and the South apart.
We’ve answered 324,354 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question