How did life in the North and the South become different during the Industrial Revolution?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Life became different in the North and the South during the Industrial Revolution. The South had always been a farming region. This continued during the Industrial Revolution. Most southerners were farmers. With the invention of the cotton gin, the demand for and use of slaves increased significantly. The South remained predominately rural during this time. Slavery was now more important than ever in the South. There was not a lot of industry in the South at this time.

In the North, the Industrial Revolution changed life significantly. Many factories formed, and more people began to work in them. This led to the rapid growth of cities. The city governments weren’t able to keep up with the growth. People lived in overcrowded apartments, called tenements, and crime, disease, and pollution increased. Political corruption increased as political machines stepped in to help people with their needs. People who worked in factories also found themselves working very long hours. The pay was low, the working conditions were poor, and there was no relationship between workers, managers, and owners. Cities did offer more things to do. However, for most factory workers, life basically revolved around work and family.

The Industrial Revolution helped to highlight the growing differences between the North and the South in the 1800s.