Comparing and Contrasting the North and South
Directions - Copy the information below on your own paper, comparing and contrasting the North and South in the mid-1800's. Make a chart like the one below so you can see the differences.
When you are done with the notes, write a paragraph explaining the differences between the North and the South.
Information About the North
Information About the South
Climate and Geography
|Climate and Geography|
• Warm and sunny with long summers, mild winters. Lots of rain.
• Climate ideal for agriculture.
• Fertile soil ideal for growing crops.
• Huge population increase in the North between 1800 and 1860, mostly throughimmigration.
• Irish, German, and other Europeans mostly settle in North.
• Population of the South made up of Europeans (mostly from England andScotland) and enslaved Africans.
• 1/3 of the population were slaves.
• Most southerners lived on small farms.
• Only 1/4 of farmers owned slaves.
• Large farms called plantations were owned by the wealthy few who ownedmost of the slaves.
• Cities develop in North as centers of trade.
• Factories were set up making textiles (cloth goods)
• Increase in factory work brought more people to live in the cities.
• Cities were crowded and dirty.
• Public education begun in cities for first time.
• Cities became important centers of art, culture, and education. Manycity newspapers begun.
• Most southerners lived on farms.
• There were very few large cities.
• Plantations were self-sufficient and became like small towns.
(Self-sufficient means being able to supply all of your needs.)
• The economy of the North was based on manufacturing.
• Many immigrants from Europe began working in factories and producinggoods used by people in the North.
• Many factories began producing textiles (cloth) with the cotton grownin the South.
• The economy of the South was based on agriculture.
• Cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar cane, and indigo (a plant that was usedfor blue dye) were sold as cash crops.
• Cotton became the most important crop after Ely Whitney’s inventionof the cotton gin.
• More slaves were now needed to pick the cotton.
• Slavery became essential to the South’s economy.
• The culture of the South was determined by the upper class plantationownersandtheirfamilies.
• Only children of plantation owners received any education.
• Small farmers had little or no education.
• The culture of the South revolved around plantation life.
• Canals were mostly in the North.
• The Erie Canal was a huge success.
• Most of the railroads were in the North.
• 30,000 miles of track was laid by 1850.
• Canals and railroads allowed northern businesses to grow.
• The South was still dependent on the steamship.
• Railroads existed, but far less than in the North.
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Civil War Era Essay: North Vs. South And The Economic Problems
Before the American Civil War, the North and the South were completely different in terms of their economy. In the North, there were factories, and in the South, there were plantations. Although the two economies were vastly different, they depended on each other. The North, for instance, depended on the South for a cheap source of raw materials, such as cotton, while the South depended on the North as one of the biggest markets for those same raw materials.
The fundamental fact about both the Southern plantations and the Northern factories was that they were built on the backs of the poor: the poor slaves in the South, and the poor factory-workers in the North. The economies of both the North and the South needed the poor to work in horrible conditions for little or no pay.
In the North the first factory was built in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the early 1800s. The entire production system, for the first time, was under one roof, which was a quicker and more efficient way of creating goods. However, having lots of workers in one place wasnt very safe for the workers in the factories, who faced tough conditions, long hours, and six-day weeks.
The machinery in use at the time was also dangerous, and many people died from getting their arm, or hair, or clothes stuck in the moving parts of the machines. This was a major problem because fewer people would want to work in the factories if they knew they wouldnt get paid much and faced potentially life-threatening danger.
In fact, eventually, the workers at the mills decided they had suffered enough and started organizing labor unions and going on strike to get higher wages or to reduce work hours. They were helped by the fact that in 1842 a Massachusetts court ruled it to be legal to strike. For the economy, however, this initially caused problems: paying better wages meant higher prices.
The main source of money in the South was the cotton crops, not from factories. However, most of the cotton was coming from plantations where large numbers of slaves were forced to work. The slaves were not paid, and were generally treated very badly. They had long hours and were most often not given the opportunity to learn to read or write. On top of that, any member of a slaves family could be sold at any time, and the family members separated in this way would likely never see each other again.
The Souths economy was so dependent on slave labor that it seemed it would collapse without the slaves. It was felt that if the right to keep slaves was taken away from the plantation owners, the entire economy would be destroyed, because the cotton industry was such a big part of the economy.
Without significant sources of capital investment, the South struggled to develop new businesses. Manufactured goods were also in less demand in the South than in the more prosperous North. The South tended to produce just the raw cotton, rather than finished cloth products, which might have increased the available wealth.
The final thing that the South had problems with was transportation. There were natural waterways, but only a few easily-navigable canals, and roads were in poor condition.
There were several problems, then, affecting both the Norths and the Souths economy. The North had to deal with the problem of discontented workers, while the South was too dependent on slave labor.
Submitted by: Gilburt3