Topic: BusinessIndustry

Last updated: October 29, 2019

Relations between the northern and southern states were never the best, perhaps only during the American Revolution as they were both fighting for independence, but otherwise they failed to understand each other.

Their lifestyles were completely different and it was hard for them to have good relations when they had nothing in common besides being American. Industrial development further pushed the difference between the states because it highlighted their differences in economies, beliefs and politics.Both were moving in opposite directions and none was willing to budge. Although neither was willing to realize, the north and the south needed each other in order to maintain the lifestyles they were so strong to defend.

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The south had an agricultural economy where they had farms and slaves to produce crops like cotton. The north did not have the ideal geography and environment to farm so they were more supportive of an urban life other than rural life(south). The cotton industry from the south helped expand factories in New England. Cotton would be shipped to New York, and after the War of 1812 America and Britain established permanent peace and trade was swift between them. The Northern economy relied on supply and demand- thus creating the Market Revolution. But in 1819 there was a panic because Britain no longer relied on American products and the price of southern crops were drastically lowered.

This disrupted both northerners and southerners but while the north could rely on jobs like apprentices, blacksmiths, lawyers, physicians, teachers and countless others the south didn’t have as many options. This led to farmers having to foreclose their farms-their prized possessions and only form of income. As life resumed and the economy erupted once again, the newfound Market Revolution led to the necessity of faster production which helped the Industrial Revolution settle itself in the north. Factories were popping up all along the north and factory towns were created as well. The South continued on with their farming while the North welcomed in the new and innovative ways of industry from Britain. The Northern and Southern beliefs were completely opposite and they were aware of it. The most important and drastic of beliefs during the antebellum period was the issue of slavery. The South was pro-slavery while the North was anti-slavery but had different levels of it, from moderate to abolitionist.

These sentiments were made extreme during the Industrial Revolution because as the North no longer needed slavery they became against it. While those in the South needed slaves for their plantations so whether they saw it as evil or not they used the claim “necessary evil”. The idea of manifest destiny was widely supported by the South. Frontier colonists had always been itching to expand west, while the North wasn’t as desperate for expansion because they didn’t need farm land like the South did,the only thing they needed were the factories and fast transportation. The idea that America was destined to expand their territory was all the push and justification the South needed, without care for the inhabitants that were already there. Many in the North, like Catharine Beecher, helped set up petitions to go against the Indian Removal Act which was caused because of the manifest destiny ideology. The South’s preference ultimately won but with resistance from many including the Supreme Court.

The North’s inessential need for land and farming kept them away from many of the blindfold the South seemed to have. The Industrial Revolution helped the North move forward and leave behind the need for slavery and expansion while the South’s resistance to an urban society held them in their close-minded reality that slavery was justifiable.Political tensions between the North and South had large attributions to the Industrial Revolution. Henry Clay’s American System supported Northern manufacturing and federally funded roads and canals with tariffs, which was exactly where the North was going. This would not benefit the South because they were receiving most imports and they would take the load of the tariff. The South gave the North the raw materials needed for their manufacturing but the price they then had to pay for Northern manufactured goods, they originally supplied them with, was much higher. South Carolina was so opposed to this that they wanted to nullify this and if that didn’t suffice they would secede(ultimately threats of secession would dim until the Civil War). The Industrial development further pushed their differences in economies, beliefs and politics and thus leading to the eventual Civil War.

If the North and South learned to compromise and keep a real balance, not what they called balance, the death of many would be avoided. But, as highlighted neither side was willing to compromise and take a step backward to then take one forward. If it didn’t benefit them in the moment then it was not thought of twice. The South would never willingly give up slavery, it was all they had known and since their economy was made through the institutions of slavery they were also afraid of the consequences that would come and the alterations to their lifestyles of they gave up what made them money.

The North thought that whatever the economic consequences that would follow it didn’t matter because the evil and atrocity of slavery would be ended and America would rid itself of its greatest sin.


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