• kewal sethi

civil war in united states

civil war in united states

in the first half of the nineteenth century, united states was a growing economy. in the north the river routes were opened up when steamboat use began in 1807 when the clermont went upstream of the hudson river. in 1825, the erie canal was built from buffalo to albany, causing economic growth. cities like syracuse, rochester, and buffalo became successful commercial cities. for south the port of new orleans was developed and the goods from the north  were sent down the mississippi river.

over 4,000 miles of turnpikes were built by the time of 1821. the construction of the national roads began in 1815, in cumberland, maryland, and ended in 1838, in vandalia, illinois.

in 1816, tax was imposed on the imports to give fillip to the american industry. the soil of northern states was rocky and farming was not a attractive preposition. many farmers moved south to cultivate cotton. slaves were used for the farming operations. eventually cotton export accounted for half of the income from exports of the states. without the slaves, cotton would have been a slow and rare production because of the lack of cheap labor. this had a positive impact for the south because of their economic success, but when compared to the northern states that were more manufacture-based, they were less wealthy.

the changing northern economy occurred in the early 1800's, textile mills were created, which slowed down the imports of british goods. the lowell system was created to combine spinning and weaving power to produce cloth. the merrimack river was at use for the energy source of over forty mills by 1850. as industrialization in america has grown, so have the population of cities. the transportation revolutions in land and water travel significantly reduced communication time within the us and globally. urban population grew from 6% to 16 between 1790 and 1860, mostly in the northern part.

as industry grew in the north, they needed more labour. some of the demand was met by immigration but was not enough. in those days the labour welfare was unheard of and working in the industry was a back breaking job. in the south the slaves worked in the fields which was comparatively easier task. though their income was much less. on the average the income per capita in south was $ 3oo less than that in north,

it was to attract the labour in the south to move north which prompted the idea of abolition of slavery. they had lived comfortably with the slavery for over a hundred years but the situation had undergone a change. naturally the south would not like to lose its advantage and this was a major source of friction which led the southern states to break with the north. rest is history.

what accounted for north’s success? the south depended on exports which was mainly through new orlaens port. due to frequent tornadoes, the posts on the atlantic coast were minor ports. compared to that north had excellent ports at new york, boston. new haven, portland, maryland. comparatively south had minor ports on the coast of virginia, south carolina. the south depended heavily on exports and this was blocked successfully by the north thus cutting the export of cotton and supply of weapons.

abolition of slavery was a historical necessity. but as the adage goes, the hour produces the man. in united states, it appeared in the personality of lincoln.

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