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Northern and Southern States of America Defferences

Differences between the Northern and Southern States had existed since America was only a colony of Great Britain. In order to understand the essence of the conflict that took place between the North and South in 1861-1865, it is necessary to analyze an earlier period. The basis for the division of the United States into two separate cultures was laid by the specifics of the colonists’ development of the American continent.

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The Southern states of America were undoubtedly distinguished by the peculiar character of their inhabitants. Researches state that they were, for the most part, not of Anglo-Saxon, but Romanesque origin, Latins by faith, and with aristocratic traditions (Shi & Tindall, 2016). This circumstance is one of the mainsprings of this internecine conflict. According to Gallagher and Waugh (2015), “Religion helped shape northern economic and social life. A vibrant form of Yankee Protestantism trumpeted the virtues of hard work and thrift while warning against abuse of alcohol or excess of any type” (p. 2). In the North, a culture of Yankees appeared — active, energetic entrepreneurs who put personal profit above everything else. In the Southern colonies, which appeared immediately as trade, with the development of plantation slavery, there were features of aristocratic culture, close to the European land nobility. The differences between the North and the South became even more apparent in the early nineteenth century when the industrial revolution led to the industrialization of the North and the strengthening of the plantation slave system.

The Patriarchal, agricultural South was completely different from the industrial, business North, not only in its understanding of the essence of the Union and individual freedom. The way of life of the South and North was based on different principles. Southern planters built beautiful stone houses on the example of European mansions and settled on land that they hoped to pass on to their descendants. The land was the primary material value and the symbol of prosperity. Southerners spent their time managing their farms, which alternated with parties, hunts, and balls. To some extent, the southerners copied the life of the European aristocracy. The land and thoughtful use of it gave the southerners cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, and other crops that were sold to Northern factories. The life of the South was more measured and dependent on seasonal work on the land, in contrast to the life of the North, which focused on the year-round operation enterprises.

A serious factor that led to the disruption of the balance and the preponderance of the political course of the North was the uneven growth of the residents of the States. This phenomenon is easy to explain: agricultural land is limited. Meanwhile, the population of industrial cities could grow faster, because new factories were constantly built and workers were needed. The industrial North could accommodate more emigrants than the agricultural South. Due to the rapid population growth, the North received more votes in the House of representatives. According to Gallagher (2016), “Outpolled by nearly a million popular votes, Lincoln and the Republicans achieved a decisive victory in the Electoral College” (p. 17). The resulting imbalance allowed the Northern government to impose unfair tariffs on manufactured goods that the North sold to the South.

Thus, the North and South, which were completely different from each other, were in unequal political and economic conditions. The North could dictate its political will, and the South had to comply, even if the demands of the North were unfair. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the North behaved towards the South in much the same way as Great Britain towards its American colonies on the eve of the War of Independence.


Gallagher, G. W., & Waugh, J. (2015). The American War: A History of the Civil War Era. Flip Learning.

Gallagher, G. W. (2016). The American Civil War: The War in the East 1861-May 1863. Routledge.

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Shi, D. E., & Tindall, G. B. (2016). America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 10). Northern and Southern States of America Defferences.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Northern and Southern States of America Defferences'. 10 January.

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