How we ensure that no divisive issues appear when governing a young country?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This was the fundamental problem confronting the leaders of the United States in the nineteenth century, the period apparently referenced by this question. What they discovered was that regional variations in economy tended to exacerbate differences, as they created different sets of interests. The South, for example, was an economy based on exports, with most capital tied up in land and slaves. The North, on the other hand, was an economy that was increasingly turning to manufacturing. Naturally, people in each region favored different political policies, with the issue of a protective tariff being particularly prominent. Over time, the issue of slavery itself would emerge as a major political issue. These issues were exacerbated by American growth, and there were many more, including class antagonisms and of course the treatment of Native Americans. So it is difficult to imagine how no divisive issues would have appeared in American politics. Whether they could have been dealt with more effectively, however, is a different question.

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