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19th Century America Essay

Social Studies Essay
Throughout the 19th century, America was a rapidly growing country. It was full of new inventions, new ideas, economic and social development, and new ways of thinking. But, most of these came from the North. The North and the South had many differences and many similarities.

The North and South had many differences. One difference is that South’s economy relied on slaves more than the North. Almost all the Northern states immediately or gradually abolished slavery after the Revolutionary War. Another economic difference is that the South’s economy was based on “cash crops”. “Cash crops” include rice, tobacco, indigo, and cotton. The South had many plantations to support its farming economy. The North had many small farms as well as larger towns and cities. The North relied more on factory work. In the North, railroads and canals connected the states, allowing for greater economic development. The South’s social development was also very much different from the North’s. For example, in the South, the wealthy plantation owners and the slave owners were at the top. They supported their plantations with slavery. In the North, the upper class was made up of mostly city people who owned factories. Many of the factory workers were European immigrants. One example of a similarity is the class structure. They both had a very small upper class, a small middle class, and a large lower class. Another example is that the white men had all the power, and slaves and women didn’t have equal rights with the white men. In terms of economic similarities, farming was an important part of the economy in both the North and the South.

These two regions obviously had many differences. In many ways, this strengthened the nation. The North’s factories processed the South’s crops, which tied the nation together. Also, having male dominance and having women and African Americans with no equal rights kept the nation together.

But, these differences also created conflicts, which threatened the nation. The North wanted to abolish slavery for good, but the South needed slavery for crops, such as cotton. Because of this conflict, the Civil War would start later on. Overall, both regions’ differences threatened the nation.

When the cotton gin was invented, this caused further conflict. It gave the South more reasons to keep slavery. Another conflict was the difference in wealth between the North and the South. The North had a more developed economy with canals, railroads, and factories. The South continued to rely on agriculture as its main component of the economy, requiring them to import manufactured goods.

In conclusion, the North and the South were, overall, very different, but with some similarities. These differences strengthened the nation in a few ways and threatened the nation in many ways. The differences in social and economic structure led to the Civil War.

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