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How were early industrialization and growing sectional tension of America connected?The...

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lorettamar | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 20, 2010 at 7:32 AM via web

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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

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 20, 2010 at 7:44 AM (Answer #1)

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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.


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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 20, 2010 at 8:09 AM (Answer #2)

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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.

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geosc | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted December 20, 2010 at 11:23 AM (Answer #3)

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Industrialization created in the North a class dependent upon masters (big merchants and industrialists) who had the vote.  Often their bosses could manipulate how they voted.

In the South, the class that was dependent upon masters was not allowed to vote.  The voters owned thier own farms; even if the farm was small and poor, it gave the owner a measure of independence from the masters.

Bib Northern merchants and industrialists desired to use the government in Washington, DC to transfer money into its pockets; money for railroads, money for river and harbor improvements, higher prices for their goods via tarrifs (described in a previous answer).

Most voters in the South had no need of transportation subsidies, so they did not want to pay the taxes that would be spent in the North.

Consequently the North opposed slavery as a way of breaking the political power of the North.  Not all northerners opposed it; some rioted against the abolitionists because they did not want freed slaves moving up North and taking their jobs.  Some big business men financed abolitionists; perhaps they were as perceptive as their employees and so wanted freed slaves to move up North and work for lower wages.

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