The North & South emerged as two distinct regions because they had various differences. These differences included the geography, the economy, the culture, & the transportation of each region within the U. S. One of the most striking differences between the North & South was the climate and geography. In the North, the climate was very hilly and rocky so not the best for growing crops. It was also very hard to grow crops with such a short growing season. There were long, snowy winters and moderately warm summers.
The South, on the other hand, is almost a polar opposite. They had a very ideal situation for crop-growing. The land was highly fertile because of all the rain and it offered a long growing season to the farmers of the region. Their winters were also very mild and they rarely got snow. There are many assorted differences in the economies of the North & South. In the South, the economy was based solely on agriculture. Plantations (very large farms) sustained the southern economy quite well. They were like small towns where everyone had a job to do.
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Slavery was also essential to the South’s well-being and economy. It allowed plantations to be very prosperous. In the North, the economy was the complete opposite. It was based almost entirely on industry and manufactured products. The main five were shipping, mining, lumber, furs, & textiles. All manufactured goods were highly popular and made the economy what it was. Trade between the North and foreign nations was common, but high tariffs were put in place to ensure their industries would be maintained.
Societal differences also had a major influence in dividing the North & South. In the North, there were many newspapers and books published and distributed throughout the region. Many newspapers of the time were abolitionist newspapers and therefore hated in the South. Cities were centers for art & education. Hobbies dancing, playing cards, or performing in a theater. The South was, again, the exact opposite. There were few newspapers published and virtually no books made available.
There were few schools or churches since education & religion weren’t main priorities for the people of the South. Hobbies for the people included fox hunting, dancing, horse racing, & watching cockfights. Planters (from plantations) were regarded as “high-class” and lived similar to English gentlemen of the time period. Transportation provided an opportunity for the North to expand resources & communication easier than in the South. In the North, there were many railroads and canals built throughout the region to make transportation of goods and things much easier.
By 1860, there were nearly 30,000 miles of railroad tracks connecting the entire U. S. The Erie Canal, built in 1848, made transportation of goods much more efficient through the North. Steamboats, having also been recently invented, were put to great use, traveling from place to place full of goods to sell at other markets. In the South, railroads were used, but to a lesser extent than the North used them for. There were nearly 10,000 miles of railroads in the South with many trains to travel them day in and day out.
Steamboats were more commonly used to transport things. Hundreds of steamboats were used everyday to move crops to the North & to European markets. In my opinion, the North would be a much better place to live than the South. I believe this because of four things: the North was much more organized; there was more wealth to be had for the common man there; the weather goes to extremes (warm summers & freezing, snowy winters) , which is fine for me; lastly, the culture was much more interesting, what with books and newspapers published often.
Because of these four reasons, I think the South would just be a bad place to live. For one, most were uneducated and I can’t stand stupid people. Also, I hate the idea of slavery so seeing slaves everywhere I went would not be good. The North & South were different for many reasons. They were opposites in nearly every area including their economies, their cultures, their methods of transportation, and their climate/geography.