By the year 1845 there were many contentious problems already coming between the Northern and Southern USA that were to remain at issue until the start of the Civil War. These included the issues of the continued Southern maintenance of slavery, the growing economic divide between the Northern and Southern states, and the effects of the influence of the newer Western states. Perhaps the most important difference between North and South was always that of slavery. The South was growing more distrustful of the North’s stance on the issue due to the growth of the small but increasingly vocal “abolitionist” movement.
This meant that although anti-slavery opinion in the North was actually not very widespread, the issue was brought to the public’s attention a lot more than it had been previously. This was alarming to politicians as it was usually an issue that was avoided during debates in Congress. After 1836 the “gag rule”, introduced into Congress by the pro-slavery states to avoid the reading out of abolitionist petitions, prevented debate about slavery altogether. This suppression of the issue of slavery was a powder keg that could be sparked off by a crisis. The first major example of this was the “Missouri Compromise” of 1820. When Missouri applied to enter the Union as a slave state, there was deadlock in Congress as the North wished to preserve equality of numbers between the slave and the free states.
The crisis was eventually resolved by the Compromise which created the new state of Maine to balance out the numbers. However, despite the debate which took place during the crisis period, the moral and legal issues surrounding the idea of abolishing slavery were still not properly discussed in Congress. This continuing practice of hiding from the issue rather than confronting and resolving it meant that tension continued to grow. This was recognised by ex-President Thomas Jefferson when he said that the Missouri crisis was “like a fire bell in the night [which] awakened and filled me with terror.” John Quincey Adams also declared that this must be “the prelude to a more tragic story.” There was tension between the Northern and Southern sections over the economic situation of the Union too. The protective tariff system in place during most of the nineteenth century was detrimental to the plantation-style agriculture of the Southern slave states. This was challenged in the Nullification Crisis of 1832, in which South Carolina attempted to undo one of the tariffs and was threatened with force by President Jackson.
Slavery was a disgraceful part of our history for many years. Its start grew from a need for a labor source in the new and growing America. The Southern economy thrived from slave labor whereas the North did not rely on the labor of slaves. This paper will prove that slavery failed in the North because in the North there was no need for large labor to support the economic structure compared to the ...
Due to the growth of the Western states after 1815, the North was increasingly moving away from its traditional agricultural economy, relinquishing its role as the “breadbasket” of America to the more fertile land available elsewhere, and beginning to urbanism and industrialism. This was helped by the increasingly large immigrant population which provided a readily available workforce and a great diversity of skills. However, Southerners believed that the North was profiting to a greater degree than it should from the difference in technological development between the South and the North. Southern cotton was separated by cotton ‘gins made in the North, it was transported in Northern ships and on Northern railway engines.
All this meant that Southern farmers had to pay often exorbitant proportions of their profits straight into Northern industrialists’ pockets. The new Western communities also had a political influence on the rest of the Union. Since life was still hard in frontier areas leaders there tended to be those who had risen to the top through merit rather than through patronage or birth. This democratic, egalitarian system began to have effects on the other sections of the Union too. While Northern society was receptive to this increased equality, the South, with its stratified class structure based on slavery (the fundamental principle of which institution being that not all men were equal) was very much less so. This increased the difference in attitude between the sections still further and provided another basis for conflict.
Their ideologies on social issues and economy issues ranged greatly. As times went on, the north became increasingly more urban and industrial. They relied on factories and manufacturing to fuel their economy. The north seeked cheap labor from needy immigrants and began to out produce the farming based south. The cities that developed in the North became centers of trade. As mass production began, ...
In conclusion, by 1845 many of the issues that would foment conflict between the sections 15 years later were already in place and creating an atmosphere of tension between North and South. It is worth noting that due to the reluctance of the sections to discuss the issues, especially slavery, in a free and fair debate the differences that led to conflict grew out of proportion to their importance. Had the two sides had a frank debate in Congress about slavery it is likely that at least much bad air would have been dispelled between the two.