Comparing and Contrasting the North and South

Directions - Copy the information below on your own paper, comparing and contrasting the North and South in the mid-1800's. Make a chart like the one below so you can see the differences.

When you are done with the notes, write a paragraph explaining the differences between the North and the South.

Information About the North
Information About the South
Climate and Geography
• Warm, humid summers and cold snowy winters
Short growing season plus cold made farming difficult.
• Clear, fast rivers
• Coastline full of bays.
• Cities develop near rivers and bays.
Cities develop as trading centers.
• People begin to use waterpower to run factories.
Climate and Geography
• Warm and sunny with long summers, mild winters. Lots of rain.
Climate ideal for agriculture.
• Fertile soil ideal for growing crops.
Huge population increase in the North between 1800 and 1860, mostly through immigration.
• Irish, German, and other Europeans mostly settle in North.
• Population of the South made up of Europeans (mostly from England and Scotland) and enslaved Africans.
1/3 of the population were slaves.
• Most southerners lived on small farms.
• Only 1/4 of farmers owned slaves.
• Large farms called plantations were owned by the wealthy few who owned most of the slaves.
Cities develop in North as centers of trade.
• Factories were set up making textiles (cloth goods)
• Increase in factory work brought more people to live in the cities.
• Cities were crowded and dirty.
• Public education begun in cities for first time.
• Cities became important centers of art, culture, and education. Many city newspapers begun.
Most southerners lived on farms.
• There were very few large cities.
• Plantations were self-sufficient and became like small towns.

(Self-sufficient means being able to supply all of your needs.)
The economy of the North was based on manufacturing.
• Many immigrants from Europe began working in factories and producing goods used by people in the North.
• Many factories began producing textiles (cloth) with the cotton grown in the South.
The economy of the South was based on agriculture.
• Cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar cane, and indigo (a plant that was used for blue dye) were sold as cash crops.
• Cotton became the most important crop after Ely Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin.
• More slaves were now needed to pick the cotton.
Slavery became essential to the South’s economy.

The culture of the North was determined by life in the cities.
• Both religion and education were organized.
• There were schools and churches in most towns.
• Very few boys, and almost no girls went on to secondary school.
• College was reserved for the wealthy.

The culture of the South was determined by the upper class plantation owners and their families.
• Only children of plantation owners received any education.
• Small farmers had little or no education.
• The culture of the South revolved around plantation life.
• Canals were mostly in the North.
• The Erie Canal was a huge success.
• Most of the railroads were in the North.
• 30,000 miles of track was laid by 1850.
• Canals and railroads allowed northern businesses to grow.
• The South was still dependent on the steamship.
• Railroads existed, but far less than in the North.