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Early U. S. History

How North and South Became Different

The main economic, social, and political differences between the two parts of the United States were the following: The Northern area is characterized by such climate and soil which are favorable for small farmsteads on contrary to the Southern area where warm climate and fertile soils make it possible to develop large-scale farms with crops like cotton and tobacco. Despite this, the North has flourished due to the rapid development of industrial sector fueled by the abundant resources of natural minerals. Many cities were established (including New York, the largest city with population over 800,000 inhabitants). Due to this one quarter of all people in the North lived in the urban areas by 1860, whereas in the South – only one-tenth. Southerners, on the other hand, were in a strong need for industrialization as over eighty percent of all people worked on the farm.

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Transportation was also more effective in the North with its over two-third of all railroads of the country concentrated there. Southerners could move among cities only by water as the railroads were scarce (only 35 percent). The economy flourished, therefore, a large numbers of immigrants preferred settling down in the North part of the country.

At the same time, as urbanization grew in the North by 1860, slavery increased in the South. The only large city was New Orleans and the amount of African Americans (4 million) was about the same as the amount of Americans (5.5 million).

An overwhelming majority of Northerners belonged to the Republican political party, therefore, having better opportunities to have good business careers, education, and medicine. Southerners were less literate, and the children spent less time in schools. Most of men belonged to Democratic political party gravitating towards agriculture and military careers.

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