Cory Stafford, Amanda Connor, Katie Tompson, Erikka Rosplock

Two big factors causing sectionalism between the North and the South right before the Civil War were the economies and geographic features. The North was industrial and the South was agricultural. The South is suited to large plantation style farming and the North is made for shipping and transporting. Both prospered as a result of these features and they complimented each other and relied on each other.

The Northern economy was based on industry. This became big because of the industrial Revolution, which started in England and created the idea of many artisans of the same trade working together as a group in one place. This was the start of factories, worked at first by groups of artisans then young countrywomen and later, immigrants, mainly the Irish. The factories led to all the manufacturing and shipping that took place in the North. new York City and Buffalo grew to be huge cities because of the shipping routes that connected the northeast with the south and Europe. Most goods were shipped from factories to Buffalo, on the Erie Canal and the down the Mississippi to the South or by railroad to the West. This system allowed northern merchants to trade within the country, southern countries, or with Europe. Trade and manufacturing supported almost every northerner.

The Northern economy was boosted because of the aforesaid natural trade routes. The Hudson River helped move things from new York City through most of the states surrounding New York. Later when the Erie Canal was built it was a huge success, being dug, it was in precisely the right place and could be used for easy two-way transportation. It could also hold larger barges because it has uniform depth and width the entire length unlike rivers. The Appalachians and rock filled hills throughout the northeast made farming difficult and many farmers were not willing to take the proper care of the soil in order to build up a large plantation. The weather patterns made a large difference because the North receives much more snow and ice during the long winters. A short growing season made it difficult for farmers to be very successful. The North was better suited to trade and ship rather than farm.

The Southern economy depended solely on cash crops traded for goods that were sold in the little country stores. The majority of the southern population was slaves that worked on plantations owned by wealthy southern gentlemen and their families. Cotton was the main crop that was grown, hence the name "The Cotton King" for the South. This referred the great expanse of land devoted to growing cotton, where everyone lived and breathed cotton because it was their lives. All the cotton that was grown was shipped to factories where it was made into cloth and thread and shipped back down. The South supplied the North with raw materials and the North provided the South with manufactured goods so the were interdependent.

The Southern climate was much warmer than the North so the growing season was much longer and the winter was milder allowing southerners to grow fruits and nuts. In Florida the ground is sandy and damp and grows citrus fruits well. The rolling hills that stretch from Virginia to eastern Texas were the large cotton growing area. The Mississippi River that ran down from the North provided transportation and water for the crops.

The North was not the best farm land and focused heavily on manufacturing while the South remained agricultural based. The two worked together to make the system successful but never really understood each others customs and lifestyles. This made the difference between simply called the East but was divided into the North and South because of the great differences between the two regions.