The North, the South, and the Coming of the Civil War Essay

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Early in American history when forming the Constitution, the main struggle was to find a way to create a representative government that would be able to accommodate all regions of a geographically expansive country. Knowing that people from different parts of the country had different needs and interests, a large and extensive republic was formed with diversity so that all groups would be able to check and balance one another (Prior, Lecture 7)*. In the colonial period the South had established itself as the agricultural hearth of the country through cash crops, while Northern agriculture mainly relied on a system of subsistence farming. This was not by choice of either section, but rather by the different land, soil, and climate of the regions they inhabited. An outcome of this was that the North became increasingly more and more commercialized through merchant-based port cities and a dynamic market economy. While “the South was in some ways the most commercially oriented region” all the way up until the war, it never changed from “the same agrarian, slave-based social order” (GML, 328). With the North and South both moving westward across the continent these two regions were brought into constant interaction through political debates over the spread of slavery, further highlighting their differences. The North, to a much greater extent than the South, experienced a time of rapid change during the Market Revolution increasingly dividing them from the South. These changes brought about by the Market Revolution and the differences that had already existed led to a nation which was growing apart on its basis of social, economical, and political practices which eventually formed two factions that were so incredibly distinct from one another that conflict was inevitable. When examining differences between any two groups of people, it is important to compare

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