The Change in Sectionalist and Nationalistic Feelings in America

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At the start of the second decade in the 19th century, American was going through tough times. The War of 1812 was raging causing destruction throughout America while many domestic issues divided the nation. One of the most major issues was the New England Colonies’ feelings of sectionalism while the South was as nationalistic as ever. In 1820 however, the roles reversed as the South became the regionally favored area while New England became a larger support of the country. This swap is due to the economic changes that occurred between 1815 and 1820. Economic developments such as trade tariffs, slavery issues and the industrial revolution created a new commercial environment adjusting the views of the citizens of said regions. Without this economic shift, the Northern States would have garnered more support to break away from the US while the South would have wanted to preserve the union.

One of the main factors for this swap in sectionalistic/nationalistic feelings throughout the country was the beginning of the industrial revolution. Before the Industrial Revolution, some New Englanders even talked about leaving the Union during the Hartford Convention. After the Industrial Revolution, the North’s place in the Union would be stronger then ever. The industrial revolution caused many northern cities, such as Boston, major economic growth. While previously the New England colonies’ economies were not as strong as the South, the North overtook the South in economic terms. Factories sprung up and manufacturing became a major part of the economy. Unlike the North, the South was not as greatly effected by the Industrial Revolution. They remained in their agrarian economy even as the North advanced. This caused a divide between the amount of railroads and factories between the North and South. The South began to lag behind the North in economic growth. The roles that had been set in the 1810’s had been reversed. Now the South wanted to secede from the United States....
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