The South’s Secession
The United States is a product of many significant historic events that have helped to create the foundation of our nation. One of these events includes the secession of the South from the Union in the 19th century. Our nation, exhibiting a clear political and social barrier between north and south, was amidst turmoil and divide. America was becoming increasingly separated by both beliefs and geography. Once the Missouri Compromise of 1820 made the divide rational and present, Antebellum America began to irreversibly change. The secession of the South was a difficult but necessary decision that would ultimately lead to one of the bloodiest wars in American history. The Civil War was compounded by the two sides’ vastly opposing ideals, protection of slavery for the South, divide of the political system, and the eventual controversial election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The South was determined to defend their land and ideals, even in the midst of harsh opposition.
There are several factors that make up the differences between the North and the South. Demographics, culture, beliefs, and climate are a few of many reasons that the opposing sides had such vast problems in the 19th century. One of the major reasons pertaining to the South’s decision for secession was their need for slavery to maintain agriculture, which nearly completely funded the South’s economy. The South was the major supplier of several of the nation’s essentials such as sugar, tobacco, and cotton. The terrain, mostly flat, made it very easy to transport products available for trade. The Mississippi River, combined with rich farming grounds, served as the ideal transportation system for the South and its crops. There was clear economic divide between the North and South because the industrial market of the north served as the primary economic income, maintained often by different means of labor. They did not understand the need for slaves; however, the South did not have the money to pay workers to keep their plantations running without them. The North had land bordered by ocean as well as the Appalachian Mountains, which made transportation more difficult than that of the South. The railroads became an essential mode of transportation for the North and their industrialized goods. Overall, the North was progressing into a world of urban industry, while the South was built upon agriculture and trade. Each of these significant contrasts between the North and South pose very important factors in the rift and eventual secession of the South.
The overriding difference between the South and North became emphasized further with the initiation of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The geographic divide from the compromise drew a line between the free states of the North and slave states of the South. The thought of emancipation of slaves was irrational for the South due to their need for labor to maintain the...