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Civil War - North and the South Economy

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Essay title: Civil War - North and the South Economy

Economics are the key to a country's development and prosperity only if the country is united in one ideology. This was not the case in the pre-Civil War period. The fragile balance created by expansion of the North and the South made the Civil War inevitable because the economies of each were based upon free labor and slave labor.

The economy in the South was primarily agrarian and based upon the slave-labor system. (F) The slave system allowed for an upper class of cavaliers that controlled most of the wealth leaving most of the free whites in the lower class of yeoman farmers referred to as "clay-eaters." (I) Because the South was heavily reliant upon exports to Europe and other countries, it responded negatively to the Tariff of 1828, also known as the Tariff of Abominations. People such as John C. Calhoun, a member of the Great Triumvirate including Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster, supported the measure of a Nullification to protect trade. This provided a temporary victory that resulted in Federal intervention by Andrew Jackson, who had secured the Force Bill (C) from congress allowing military action to be taken. The South also faced opposition to their economic system from Northern radical abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison. To counteract this negative view, Southern aristocrats argued that slaves were among the happiest laborers in the nation. (A) With the passing of the Missouri Compromise, the South secured the extension of slavery westward below the Mason Dixon Line.

In comparison to the South, the North's economy was based upon commerce and manufacturing. Starting with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Companies in 1830, the new Northern transportation system impacted the Southern economy by taking away from its water transportation systems. By 1850, there were 7,000 miles of railroad track in the North and only 2,000 miles in the South. (G) With the incoming of new immigrants from several countries, mainly from Ireland, Germany, and England, (H) the factories had a steady supply of low paid immigrant workers. This allowed for the success of the Lowell factory system in which workers endured long hours in substandard working conditions. (D) With a firm transportation infrastructure in

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