March 4, 2013
AP U.S. History
South vs. North 1800-1850 FRQ: In spite of sharing a country, the Northern and Southern areas of America had many differences and distinctions, which ended up dividing the nation. During the first part of the 1800's the North and the South grew in different ways. In the North, cities were centers of wealth and manufacturing. There were many skilled workers. In the South there was not much manufacturing. There were not many skilled workers. Most of the people were farmers. Money came from plantation crops, like cotton, and slavery was a major piece of their economy. Their respective societies were also diverse.
The period between 1800 and 1850 brought rapid population growth throughout the United States. In the North the overall population rose from about 5 million to 31 million during this time. Part of this increase was due to massive immigration. Between 1830 and 1850 over 2 million Irish, German, and other northern Europeans arrived in the United States. Most of them settled in the North. The population of the South was made up of white Americans and enslaved Africans. By 1800 there were about 4 million slaves in America and the United States was the largest slaveholding republic. The total population of the South reached 12 million.
The South was an overwhelmingly agricultural region of mostly farmers. Most farmers lived in the backcountry on medium sized farms, while a small number of planters ran large farms, or plantations. The South was ideal for agriculture and had the ability to grow crops in large amounts. However, only one-fourth of the Southern population owned slaves, and most of these were the planters. The rest of the population was made up of white independent farmers, tenant farmers (who rented land and paid the landowners in crops or money), laborers, or frontier families. Most Southerners lived on farms, scattered along the coastal plains and the small farmers in the backcountry.