The Differences between the Antebellum North and South

jgoodguy

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The Differences between the Antebellum North and South by JAMES M. MCPHERSON
From James M. McPherson, “Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question,” Civil
War History, Volume 29, #3, 1983, pp. 230—244. Copyright © 1983. Reprinted by permission of The Kent State University Press. The Differences between the Antebellum North ... - The American Story

Emphasis mine.

Why was it so bad that a war broke out just because the Yankees were politically dominant? What about that political dominance so adored the Southerners that they could not live in the same country as the Northerners. Why did the Northerners not see things the Southern way and accommodate it? Why the rage for a war of the secessionists. There was something going on other than mere slavery. There were 2 Americas and 2 sets of Americans in a single country. No wonder there was war and bloodshed.

Many antebellum Americans certainly thought that North and South had evolved separate societies with institutions, interests, values, and ideologies so incompatible, so much in deadly conflict that they could no longer live together in the same nation. Traveling through the South in the spring of 1861, London Times correspondent William Howard Russell encountered this Conflict of Civilizations" theme everywhere he went. The tone in which [Southerners] alluded to the whole of the Northern people indicated the clear conviction that trade, commerce, the pursuit of gain, manufacture, and the base mechanical arts, had so degraded the whole race” that Southerners could no longer tolerate association with them, wrote Russell. “There is a degree of something like ferocity in the Southern mind [especially] toward New England which exceeds belief.” A South Carolinian told Russell: “We are an agricultural people, pursuing our own system, and working out our own destiny, breeding up women and men with some other purpose than to make them vulgar, fanatical, cheating Yankees.” Louis Wigfall of Texas, a former US. senator, told Russell: “We are a peculiar people, Sir! . . . We are an agricultural people. . . . We have no cities—we don’t want them. . . . We want no manufactures: we desire no trading, no mechanical or manufactUring clasSes. . . ..As long as we have our rice, our sugar, our tobacco, and our cotton, we can command wealth to purchase all we want. . . . But with the Yankees we will never trade—never. Not one pound of cotton shall ever go from the South to their accursed cities.”(1)

Such opinions were not universal in the South, of course, but in the fevered atmosphere of the late 18503 they were widely shared. “Free Society!” exclaimed a Georgia newspaper. “We sicken at the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, small—fisted farmers, and moon—struck theorists . . . hardly fit for association with a southern gentleman’s body servant.” (2)In 1861 the Southern Literary Messenger explained to its readers: “It is not a question of slavery alone that we are called upon to decide. It is free society which we must shun or embrace.”(3) In the same year Charles Colcock Jones, Jr.———no fire—eater, for after all he had graduated from Princeton and from Harvard Law School—spoke of the development of antagonistic cultures in North and South: “In this country have arisen two races [i.e., Northerners and Southerners] which, although claiming a common parentage, have been so entirely separated by climate, by morals, by religion, and by estimates so totally opposite to all that constitutes honor, truth, and manliness, that they cannot longer exist under the same government.”

1. My Diary North and South, Volume 1 By Sir William Howard Russell P 179 Link
2. Chambers's Journal, Volume 27 By William Chambers, Robert Chambers P 9 Link
3. Southern Literary Messenger, Volumes 32-33 P 152 Link
 

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jgoodguy

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The Differences between the Antebellum North and South by JAMES M. MCPHERSON
From James M. McPherson, “Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question,” Civil
War History, Volume 29, #3, 1983, pp. 230—244. Copyright © 1983. Reprinted by permission of The Kent State University Press. The Differences between the Antebellum North ... - The American Story

Emphasis mine.

The post that launched this thread.
The reality is, Southerners were every bit as much Americans as the people from the North, with all the good and bad that implies.
Now for the Northern view. The Southern view was reciprocated back. At a gut level, it appears that there were 2 nations offended by the basic society of each other.

Spokesmen for the free—labor ideology-which had become the dominant political force in the North by 1860—reciprocated these sentiments. The South, said Theodore Parker, was “the foe to Northern Industry——to our mines, our manufactures, and our commerce. . . . She is the foe to our institutions—~40 our democratic politics in the State, our democratic culture in the school, our democratic work in the community, our democratic equality in the family.”(5) Slavery, said William H. Seward, undermined “intelligence, vigor, and energy” in both blacks and whites. It produced “an exhausted soil, old and decaying towns, wretchedly neglected roads . . . an absence of enterprise and improvement.” Slavery was, therefore “incompatible with all . . . the elements of the security, welfare, and greatness of nations.” The struggle between free labor and slavery, between North and South, said Seward in his most famous speech, was “an irrepressible conflict between two opposing and enduring forces.” The United States was, therefore, two nations, but it could not remain forever so: it “must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.” Abraham Lincoln expressed exactly the same theme in his House Divided speech. Many other Republicans echoed this argument that the struggle, in the words of an Ohio congressman, was “between systems, between civilizations.”
The South believed that their special civilization was at risk and the civil war was simply the violent result of irreconcilable differences.

These sentiments were no more confined to fire-breathing Northern radicals than were Southern exceptionalist viewpoints confined to fire-eaters. Lincoln represented the mainstream of his party, which commanded a majority of votes in the North by 1860. The dominant elements in the North and in the lower South believed the United States to be composed of two incompatible civilizations. Southerners believed that survival of their special civilization could be assured only in a separate nation. The creation of the Confederacy was merely a political ratification of an irrevocable separation that had already taken place in the hearts and minds of the people.
Some modern historians figure the Antebellum folks did not really understand what they were talking about. There was not that much of a difference between the sections.

The proponents of an assimilationist rather than exceptionalist interpretation of Southern history might object that this concept of a separate and unique South existed only in hearts and minds. It was a subjective reality, they might argue, not an objective one. Objectively, they would insist, North and South Were one people. They shared the same language, the same Constitution, the same legal system, the same commitment to republican political institutions, an interconnected economy, the same predominantly Protestant religion and British ethnic heritage, the same history, the same shared memories of a common struggle for nationhood.
OTOH The British and the Colonies were as similar. It is not similar law and language that matters but the use to which they are put. Two people may have the same language, but calling one the slime of the Earth is not a commonality. The Constitutional political system was used to divide the nation in the Dred Scott decision and the Fugitive slave laws.

David Potter’s contention that commonalities of language, religion, law, and political system outweighed differences in other areas is more convincing than the Pessen argument. But the Potter thesis neVertheless begs some important questions. The same similarities prevailed between England and her North American colonies in 1776, but they did not prevent the development of a separate nationalism in the latter. It is not language or law alone that are important, but the uses to which they are put. In the United States of the 18505, Northerners and Southerners spoke the same language, to be sure, but they were increasingly using this language to revile each other. Language became an instrument of division, not unity. The same was true of the political system. So also of the law: Northern states passed personal liberty laws to defy a national Fugitive Slave Law supported by the South; a Southern-dominated Supreme Court denied the right of Congress to exclude slavery from the territories, a ruling that most Northerners considered an infamous distortion of the Constitution. As for a shared commitment to Protestantism, this too had become a divisive rather than unifying factor, with the two largest denominations—Methodist and Baptist-having split into hostile Southern and Northern churches over the question of slavery, and the third largest—Presbyterian—having split partly along sectional lines and partly on the question of slavery. As for a shared historical commitment to republicanism, by the 1850s this too was more divisive than unifying. Northern Republicans interpreted this commitment in a free—soil context, while most Southerners continued to insist that one of the most cherished tenets of republican liberty was the right of property—including property in slaves.​

Footnotes.
5. The collected works of Theodore Parker, ed. by F.P. Cobbe, Volume 5 P 281 Link
 

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Yes. but do we see Wigfall contributing his 2 cents? Not sure I'd have chosen him as representative across the board.

I don't know. With no wish to poke an oar in ( Wigfall's excellent skills in that area not withstanding ), if it's off base, do we see once again politicians pontificating all about what everyone thinks, feels, wants and how-they-view their world? Lacking, North and South is the little guy, no? The South's " special civilization " presumes those who did not own property or enslaved, language of the North, same, on the part of those in teeming factories where exploited workers in dreadful conditions wore out their lives.

Seems like it's too comprehensive, perhaps, albeit of course it makes sense as presented.
 

jgoodguy

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Yes. but do we see Wigfall contributing his 2 cents? Not sure I'd have chosen him as representative across the board.

I don't know. With no wish to poke an oar in ( Wigfall's excellent skills in that area not withstanding ), if it's off base, do we see once again politicians pontificating all about what everyone thinks, feels, wants and how-they-view their world? Lacking, North and South is the little guy, no? The South's " special civilization " presumes those who did not own property or enslaved, language of the North, same, on the part of those in teeming factories where exploited workers in dreadful conditions wore out their lives.

Seems like it's too comprehensive, perhaps, albeit of course it makes sense as presented.
IMHO the best evidence is that while a man might not die for slavery, he would for his civilization, his society and all that represents. We also have the testimony of a Brit, William Howard Russell, a Southern lawyer/preacher and a Nothern preacher. 3 Politicians, 2 preachers, and a Britt. I spent a bunch of time chasing down references to primary sources, the footnotes are mine. Anyone that wants to post quotes with references on the OP is welcome.
 

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Both North and South, at least according to these spokesmen, sound singularly focused... on self interests, a bullying mentality, "my way or the highway, no further discussion needed".

The South's leaders ignored the yeoman/middle class and poor citizens' need of roads, railroads, schools... infrastructure; the North ignored its millions of poor, working women and children to death in mills, shipping thousands of orphans west. There is plenty fault lying at the feet of all the statesmen and business leaders of that era.

As for infrastructure, sure the South was economically crushed by the War, but I believe that same "plantation mentality" of "my needs first above everyone else, regardless of color" continued generations post War. See the attached LOC image. A North Alabama school in 1936.
Jackson County AL School 1930 40s.jpg
 

jgoodguy

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The Differences between the Antebellum North and South by JAMES M. MCPHERSON
From James M. McPherson, “Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question,” Civil
War History, Volume 29, #3, 1983, pp. 230—244. Copyright © 1983. Reprinted by permission of The Kent State University Press. The Differences between the Antebellum North ... - The American Story

Emphasis mine.

Southern culture is based on "emphasis on tradition, rural life, close kinship ties, a hierarchical social structure, ascribed status, patterns of deference, and masculine codes of honor and chivalry"
Northern culture is based on "impersonal, bureaucratic meritocratic, urbanizing, commercial, industrializing, mobile, and rootless characteristics. "

We should not fall into the one culture was better than the other, just because one won. Also, let's try to avoid the simplistic slavery argument and reserve that for other threads. The "masculine codes of honor and chivalry" IMHO explains a lot why the South unilaterally seceded both to cause and execution. Imagine living in a society reviled by another.

There is another dimension of the Potter thesis—-or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a separate Potter thesis—that might put us on the right track to solving the puzzle of Southern exceptionalism. After challenging most notions of Southern distinctiveness, Potter concluded that the principal characteristic distinguishing the South from the rest of the country was the persistence of a folk culture” in the South. This gemeinschaft society, with its emphasis on tradition, rural life, close kinship ties, a hierarchical social structure, ascribed status, patterns of deference, and masculine codes of honor and chivalry, persisted in the South long after the North began moving toward a gesellschaft society with its impersonal, bureaucratic meritocratic, urbanizing, commercial, industrializing, mobile, and rootless characteristics. Above all, the South’s folk culture valued tradition and stability and felt threatened by change; the North’s modemizing culture enshrined change as progress and condemned the South as backward.
Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft

Gemeinschaft (German pronunciation: [ɡəˈmaɪnʃaft]) and Gesellschaft ([ɡəˈzɛlʃaft]), generally translated as "community and society", are categories which were used by the German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies in order to categorize social ties into two dichotomous sociological types which define each other. Max Weber, who is generally recognized as being a founding figure in sociology, also wrote extensively about the relationship between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Weber wrote in direct response to Tönnies.[1]

The Gemeinschaft–Gesellschaft dichotomy was proposed by Tönnies as a purely conceptual tool rather than as an ideal type in the way it was used by Max Weber to accentuate the key elements of a historic/social change. According to the dichotomy, social ties can be categorized, on one hand, as belonging to personal social interactions, and the roles, values, and beliefs based on such interactions (Gemeinschaft, German, commonly translated as "community"), or on the other hand as belonging to indirect interactions, impersonal roles, formal values, and beliefs based on such interactions (Gesellschaft, German, commonly translated as "society").[2]
A map of 2 cultures. The North was not highly industrialized but it was largely urban in 1860.
Reference
ransom.civil_.war_.us_.figure6.jpg

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Source: United States Population Census, 1860.

Perhaps the best single indicator of how pervasive the “market revolution” was in the Northern and Western states is the rise of urban areas in areas where markets have become important. Map 1 plots the 292 counties that reported an “urban population” in 1860. (The 1860 Census Office defined an “urban place” as a town or city having a population of at least 2,500 people.) Table 2 presents some additional statistics on urbanization by region. In 1860 6.1 million people — roughly one out of five persons in the United States — lived in an urban county. A glance at either the map or Table 2 reveals the enormous difference in urban development in the South compared to the Northern states. More than two-thirds of all urban counties were in the Northeast and West; those two regions accounted for nearly 80 percent of the urban population of the country. By contrast, less than 7 percent of people in the 11 Southern states of Table 2 lived in urban counties.

NZ8bJfw5SDmURI2uBjswxROwX1Vjs8pYlpmaRM__cyn8ZMyyxtecNFDSUhyRdlQXIxqKzldPDqImA-CLi_uCEAD5E5jYmQvw.png
 

jgoodguy

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Both North and South, at least according to these spokesmen, sound singularly focused... on self interests, a bullying mentality, "my way or the highway, no further discussion needed".

The South's leaders ignored the yeoman/middle class and poor citizens' need of roads, railroads, schools... infrastructure; the North ignored its millions of poor, working women and children to death in mills, shipping thousands of orphans west. There is plenty fault lying at the feet of all the statesmen and business leaders of that era.

As for infrastructure, sure the South was economically crushed by the War, but I believe that same "plantation mentality" of "my needs first above everyone else, regardless of color" continued generations post War. See the attached LOC image. A North Alabama school in 1936.View attachment 174503
This is reconstruction period or later. Please stay in the antebellum period.
 

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Makes me wonder if North and South shouldn't have just gone their separate ways in 1787.

In any case, "The First South" by John Richard Alden, which I reviewed, seems relevant to the topic of differences between North and South.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-first-south.139171/#post-1665121

It [the South] appeared with the American nation and it clashed ever more sharply with a First North during and immediately after the War of Independence. This First South did not hasten under the Federal Roof with swift and certain steps, but haltingly and uncertainly.

Heat, geography, racial and national composition, economic pursuits, social order, and even political structure were ties of unity rather than sources of discord below the Susquehanna. That such was so is proven by events, for the First South frequently behaved as a section before 1789. - p. 7​
 

CSA Today

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Makes me wonder if North and South shouldn't have just gone their separate ways in 1787.

In any case, "The First South" by John Richard Alden, which I reviewed, seems relevant to the topic of differences between North and South.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-first-south.139171/#post-1665121

It [the South] appeared with the American nation and it clashed ever more sharply with a First North during and immediately after the War of Independence. This First South did not hasten under the Federal Roof with swift and certain steps, but haltingly and uncertainly.

Heat, geography, racial and national composition, economic pursuits, social order, and even political structure were ties of unity rather than sources of discord below the Susquehanna. That such was so is proven by events, for the First South frequently behaved as a section before 1789. - p. 7​
A bad fit from the start.
 

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It seems to me that, at the most simplistic level, the South had created a quasi feudal system which was a hangover from Colonial times. This was reflected in Jeffersonian Agrarianism, a system that was more viable in the south and west than in the less arable North.
The North, permeated as it was with a puritanical and more egalitarian ethos, saw itself as leaving the Old World notions of landed gentry and class behind, as it was less in keeping with democratic principles.
The two positions were so diametrically opposite that it was not at all surprising that a split came and even more surprising that it had been held at bay for so long.
As I said previously, this as VERY simplistic and leaves many issues out of the equation, but I think it speaks to Mr. Goodguys opening quotations.
 

Northern Light

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Makes me wonder if North and South shouldn't have just gone their separate ways in 1787.

In any case, "The First South" by John Richard Alden, which I reviewed, seems relevant to the topic of differences between North and South.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-first-south.139171/#post-1665121

It [the South] appeared with the American nation and it clashed ever more sharply with a First North during and immediately after the War of Independence. This First South did not hasten under the Federal Roof with swift and certain steps, but haltingly and uncertainly.

Heat, geography, racial and national composition, economic pursuits, social order, and even political structure were ties of unity rather than sources of discord below the Susquehanna. That such was so is proven by events, for the First South frequently behaved as a section before 1789. - p. 7​
At the same time, you have to look beyond those differences to see how the United States would have developed if the split had been made initially. Would either country have had the power or resources to negotiate for the Louisiana Purchase? Would the South have been able to finance the Mexican war? I could go on.
Despite the socio-economic differences of the two regions, I feel that they needed each other to grow into the country that you have today.
 

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At the same time, you have to look beyond those differences to see how the United States would have developed if the split had been made initially. Would either country have had the power or resources to negotiate for the Louisiana Purchase? Would the South have been able to finance the Mexican war? I could go on.
Despite the socio-economic differences of the two regions, I feel that they needed each other to grow into the country that you have today.
They'd certainly have been competing for land and resources if they were two nations from the start, and I think that's one conflict the founding generation was trying to avoid.
 

Northern Light

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They'd certainly have been competing for land and resources if they were two nations from the start, and I think that's one conflict the founding generation was trying to avoid.
So are you suggesting that even as separate countries they would still be squabbling with each other, perhaps going to war over something else?:D
 

Andersonh1

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Interesting. Scottish economist James Anderson, who was against the American revolution, in his pamphlet "Free Thoughts on the American Contest" gave a partly accurate prediction about the Civil War.

In 1776 James Anderson, a Britisher, predicted that American independence would be followed by a bitter contest between North and South because of incompatible economies; that the more numerous Northerners would have their way in any general government formed; that the Southerners would resort to arms in order to defend their interests; that they, fewer in numbers and enervated by the climate in which they lived, would be quickly crushed and reduced to exploited subjects. Perhaps Anderson saw what he wished to see. In any case, the majority of the Southerners long refused to believe that Union with Northerners must bring about their own destruction. - The South in the Revolution, 1763-1789, Volume 3 by John Richard Alden
 
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thomas aagaard

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Makes me wonder if North and South shouldn't have just gone their separate ways in 1787.
I think they needed each other then... if they had stayed 13 interdependent states I do think they would one by one have been either taken over by European powers or at the least ended up as a sort of vassals.

Also wars between the different states might have become a problem...

Thins like tariffs and trade barriers between the states would also not have helped economic development... north or south.
 

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Much might depend on the points @Northern Light raised, the ability to secure territory for westward expansion. I could see potential for confrontation if north or south threatened to acquire the Louisiana territory in its entirety.

Jefferson originally proposed purchasing just New Orleans and the surrounding area, but the interior was of little value to a European power if it did not have an outlet to the sea. Thus it was Bonaparte (not yet Emperor) who offered to sell the whole territory. Aside from needing the money, he could anticipate a renewal of war with Britain, in which case overseas territories would be vulnerable.
 

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Good points above. I do not wish to get into them a lot because I want to concentrate on the Antebellum times closest to the Civil War.
My response is:
  • The US at the time of the Constitution is best seen as the union of 2 wartime allies.
  • The Constitution was a marriage of convenience because both sections perceived they could not survive without it.
  • The price of Union was political dominance for the South.
  • The first republic AKA the US from 1789 to 1860 worked until it didn't.
  • I hope to have a future thread looking at the US Civil War in the context of nationalism and related wars, rebellions, and revolutions of the 19th century.
edited to add
  • Without cotton, it is probable that the South would have industrialized/urbanized like the North. The degree of industry in both North and South was the same at the time of the Constitution, as was population. It was cotton that preempted growth in industry and urbanization.
 
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jgoodguy

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The Differences between the Antebellum North and South by JAMES M. MCPHERSON
From James M. McPherson, “Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism: A New Look at an Old Question,” Civil
War History, Volume 29, #3, 1983, pp. 230—244. Copyright © 1983. Reprinted by permission of The Kent State University Press. The Differences between the Antebellum North ... - The American Story

Emphasis mine.

Are the differences mere myth promulgated by elites for their own purposes and believed by the masses?

A critic of this gemeinschaft-gesellschaft dichotomy might contend that it was a mere myth than reality. One might respond to such criticism by pointing out that human behavior is often governed more by myth—that is, by people’s perceptions of the world—than by objective reality. Moreover, there were real and important differences between North and South by the mid-nineteenth century, differences that might support the gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft contrast.
Post #6 above has charts and other information. In the early 1800s the South and North looked a lot alike. In 1820 10% of the free States population was in urban areas compared to slave States 5% In 1800 82% of the slave States labor force was in agriculture, free States was 89%. As the North industrialized and urbanized, there were massive changes. The South's investment in industrialization actually decreased.

The North was more urban than the South and was urbanizing at a faster rate. In 1820, 10 percent of the free-state residents lived in urban areas compared with 5 percent in the slave states; by 1860 the figures were 26 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Even more striking was the growing contrast between farm and non-farm occupations in the two sections. In 1800, 82 percent of the Southern labor force worked in agriculture compared with 68 percent in the free states. By 1860 the Northern share had dropped to 40 percent while the Southern proportion had actually increased slightly, to 84 percent. Southern agriculture remained traditionally labor-intensive while Northern agriculture became increasingly capital-intensive and mechanized. By 1860 the free states had nearly twice the value of farm machinery per acre and per farm worker as the slave states. And the pace of industrialization in the North far outstripped that in the South. In 1810 the slave states had an estimated 31 percent of the capital invested in manufacturing in the United States; by 1840 this had declined to 20 percent and by 1860 to 16 percent. In 1810 the North had two and a half times the amount per capita invested in manufacturing as the South; by 1860 this had increased to three and a half times as much.
A good question is why the West did not join the South or part with its own secession. The answer is that the society of the West resembled that of the North rather than the South.

A critic of the inferences drawn from these data might point out that in many respects the differences between the free states east and west of the Appalachians were nearly or virtually as great as those between North and South, yet these differences did not produce a sense of separate nationality in East and West. This point is true—as far as it goes. While the western free states at mid-century did have a higher proportion of workers employed in non-farm occupations than the South, they had about the same percentage of urban population and the same amount per capital invested in manufacturing. But the crucial factor was the rate of change. The West was urbanizing and industrializing more rapidly than either the Northeast or the South. Therefore while North and South as a whole were growing relatively farther apart, the eastern and western free states were drawing closer together. This frustrated Southern hopes for an alliance with the Old Northwest on grounds of similarity of agrarian interests. From 1840 to 1860 the rate of urbanization in the West was three times greater than in the Northeast and four times greater than in the South. The amount of capital invested in manufacturing grew twice as fast in the West as in the Northeast and nearly three times as fast as in the South. The same was true of employment in non-farm occupations. The railroad-building boom of the 1850s tied the Northwest to the Northeast with links of iron and shifted the dominant pattern of inland trade from a North-South to an East-West orientation. The remarkable growth of cities like Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit with their farm-machinery, food—processing, machine-tool, and railroad-equipment industries fore— shadowed the emergence of the industrial Midwest and helped to assure that when the crisis of the Union came in 1861 the West joined the East instead of the South.

 

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It seems to me that, at the most simplistic level, the South had created a quasi feudal system which was a hangover from Colonial times. This was reflected in Jeffersonian Agrarianism, a system that was more viable in the south and west than in the less arable North.
The North, permeated as it was with a puritanical and more egalitarian ethos, saw itself as leaving the Old World notions of landed gentry and class behind, as it was less in keeping with democratic principles.
The two positions were so diametrically opposite that it was not at all surprising that a split came and even more surprising that it had been held at bay for so long.
As I said previously, this as VERY simplistic and leaves many issues out of the equation, but I think it speaks to Mr. Goodguys opening quotations.
Along those lines, Fremantle relates a discussion with a group he met in Texas:
They all said that universal suffrage did not produce such deplorable results in the South as in the North; because the population in the South is so very scattered, and the whites being the superior race, they form a sort of aristocracy.​
<Arthur Lyon Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States: April, June, 1863. (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1863),pp. 35-36.>
 

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They'd certainly have been competing for land and resources if they were two nations from the start, and I think that's one conflict the founding generation was trying to avoid.
They were pretty explicit about it. One of the fears stated in The Federalist was that if the Constitution was not adopted, the nation would split into two or more confederacies, or even 13, and that they would constantly be at war. Considering the squabbles that almost erupted into force during the AoC, it is not difficult to see that evolve into armed conflict if they are not part of the same nation.
 


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