Miss Kriz Abby Mayo AP U. S.
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The geography then determined the economy of each region, which led to political and social developments. The differences between the New England colonies and the Southern colonies were often drastic enough that one might consider them better off as completely different nations. This possibility resulted in America’s devastating Civil War in the first half of the 19th century. However, there were inevitably at least a few similarities between the North and the South; after all, both were governed by the same federal administration.
Though they shared a few similar aspects, the New England colonies and the Southern colonies were unmistakably different, whether one examined their political, religious, economic, or social aspects. Politically, there were not as many noticeable differences between the North and the South as there were economically. The Northern colonies of New England developed from their conservative Puritan roots, which came from their original colonizers. The essential values of New Englanders were decency, equal rights, and moral duty.
The Northern political sphere has typically been more influential in the federal government than Southern politicians, though things have never been “easy” for Northerners. Obviously Southern representatives and senators fought to make sure that southern values were not disregarded. From a Southern perspective, politics are about hierarchy, racial superiority (particularly white Protestant males). They supported greater power for individual states, while Northerners wanted a stronger central, federal government. The two factions are essentially opposites, and proved fatally polarizing in the federal legislature throughout history.
These differing values were most conflicting in the years before and during the Civil War, when they reached a climax. Religion is the reason that European colonists first came to America. The Pilgrims of the Mayflower sought religious freedom in the exotic, uncharted “new world. ” From there, America blossomed into a very valuable breeding ground for colonies. The first American settlers in Massachusetts were strict Puritans. Their religion was the center of their lives. Their religious views influenced their political actions greatly.
In the South, religion was much less important in daily life, though it still had a presence. Over time, it came to be known that Southerners were typically Protestant or Anglican. They depended on and advocated for slavery, because their economy depended it, but also because unlike the New England colonists, their religion did not discourage it or promote equal rights. It is commonly claimed that the real religion of the South was their plantations. Religion often determined certain political views, playing a major part as a contributor to American society as a whole.
However, these contributions took many different forms in the Northern colonies versus the Southern colonies. Geographical advantages and disadvantages ultimately governed the development of the individual economies in the North and the South, despite the fact that both comprised a single nation. The diverse geographical nature of the continental United States helped define factions of political and social opinion, particularly in the 19th century. In New England, as it is today, the soil was rocky and difficult to farm. Therefore, New England colonists looked to other sources of economic prosperity.
They are known for having used many of the abundant natural resources surrounding them, such as granite, coal, and iron ore. They used these raw materials and used them to create products such as steel, and in doing so, made the New England colonies known for an industrial economy. The industrialist Northerners then developed more business-like political views. In the thoroughly agricultural South, the economy depended completely on cotton and other agricultural products. The plantation owners needed slaves to work their land, and slaves became a vital part of Southern economy.
When Northerners challenged the ethics of slavery, the Southerners fought back in order to conserve their global economic success. This conflict developed into the bloody American Civil War. However, soon, America became known as one of the world’s foremost economic powers, permitted by the cooperation of the New Englanders and the Southerners. Political, religious, and economic views created American social society in the colonies. Inevitably, social classes developed, and they did so differently in each region. The entirety of Northern society was based on religion.
Therefore, social developments were also based on religion. Their industrialism combined with their strong religious devotion caused them to place high value on literacy and education. Schools began to develop in New York and soon spread out across the colonies. Some of the prominent Northern ideals were equality, ethics, morality, and equal treatment of all people. The South could not have been more different. Rather than religion, which was a relatively insignificant part of Southern society, the South developed a typical system of social classes. At the bottom, of course, were the slaves.
Middle class whites followed, and the wealthy upper class of white plantation owners were at the top of the food chain. Americans typically supported the beliefs of the region in which they lived. To them, it was just their nature to think the way they did. The dramatic differences between the “nature” of the North and the “nature” of the South caused huge problems for America as one unified nation. There were a few similarities that the North and the South shared. After all, they were part of the same country, though many of the Southerners liked to believe otherwise.
Both the North and the South relied on imports for many of their manufactured goods. The Northern colonies’ industry was blossoming, but had not reached the level that many European nations were at. Additionally, they each relied on exports to finance their economic development. Finally, American colonists from both regions had trouble with Indian relations at times. The settlers believed themselves better than Native Americansin general and didn’t hesitate to show the natives what they thought of them. They also shared a common hatred for the English during the very early days of colonization and during the Revolutionary War.
Though undeniable similarities existed between the Northern colonies of New England and the Southern Colonies, it is clear that the list of differences between them is much more extensive. These differences really did prove fatal for the 600,000+ Americans that died fighting for them during the Civil War. Today, it is taken for granted that all Americans share an equal nationalistic pride
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