The American Civil War


The US political system


  • Opposed Government intervention in economic matters
  • Favoured low tarifss
  • Westward expantion favoured
  • Strongest in South and West


  • Favoured government intervention economically and socialy
  • Favoured higher tariffs
  • Favoured public service improovements - railway
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US social and economic development

Ordinary people could rise to the top (American Dream)

Women - Seen as domestic house wives not workers in eyes of church and media

America being very resourceful made it prime to economic growth

Population growth

  • Immigration - German and Irish
  • Natural increase
  • Doubled every 25 years on average

Western expansion - 1 in 2 lived west of mountains by 1850

Agriculture - Most Americans were farmers.

Transport -Steamboats made travel more accesible down rivers and Railways - 30,000 miles

Industrilisation- Technological developments

Urbanisation- Chicago - 40 people 1830 - 109,000 1860

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Economic differences

South described as having an agrarian economy (backwards) and the North having a egalitarian economy (forward looking).Planters dominaated Southern economy and politics.

North - South differences

  • North more industrialised - x2 moe railway than South
  • North far more urban than South - Southern cities had far less population sizes 
  • North had growing immigrant population - majority of immigrants settled in North 

Southern economic grievances - Had different economic intrest to the North. They belived the tariff was only benificial to the North at the expense of southern farmers. South reliant on Northern finance.


  • Many southerners believed in Agarian ways and old fasioned values
  • The North generally better educated than South
  • North wanted to move forward with new new ideas / reforms in contrast to the South
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Slavery Part 1

Slavery pre 1830

  • Excisted in all 13 colonies however was dominated and relied on in the South due to it having suitable agricultural conditions
  • Many states had abolished slavery due to it being seen as a moral evil 
  • King cotton made sure slavery continued due to its dominace in the South economy thanks to Eli Whitneys invention of the cotton gin. By 1830 2 million bales were produced per year.Cotton needed a large amount of unskilled labour this is where slaves come in.
  • South was very commited to there peculiar institutuion.


Many of the abolitionists between 1800-1830 believed that emancipation of slaves should be a gradual process.Liberia was purchased for slaves to be sent back.This policy unsuccessful due to the high cost and slaves not wanting to be sent there.

Williams Lloyd Garrison

  • Launched the liberator in 1831 - abolition news paper 
  • Demanded immediate abolition
  • Important abolitionist for the next 40 years
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Slavery Part 2

The National Anti-Slavery Society

  • Estabished in 1833 by 1838 had 250,000 members
  • Women played a crucial role aswell as freed blacks ( Frederick Douglass)
  • Created mass petitions to congress
  • In 1836 congress intorduced the gag rule which stopped the issue of slavery being discussed in congress

Why did the abolition movement win support

  • Britain anti slavery writing well read in America
  • Religious reasons - It being a moral evil

Fredrick Douglass

Workeed on a plantation , he escaped and fled North and worked as a labourer in New York untill moving to Massachusetts. He joined the abolition movement.He was overall the most influential black American of his time

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Slavery Part 3

Abolitionist problems in the North

  • Many northerners feared a northern exodus of liberated slaves and fearful of the effect it would have in the South.
  • Abolition meeting broken up by angry mobs - Elijah Love joy killed during one.
  • Had limited political success failing to win the support of the whigs or the democrats.
  • Set up the liberator party
  • People had different methods of wanting to free the slaves this caused arguments with in the Anti slavery society in the 1840's

Abolition Problems in the South

  • Had no success in South
  • Nat Turners slave revolt resulted in 55 whites being killed. Abolitionists were blamed for encouraging this .
  • Some Southern churches argued that Slavery was a positive -  Blacks were  a inferior race not capable of looking after there self.
  • Did little to stop slavery but a lot to increase sectionalism
  • Kept slavery in public attention
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Slavery Part 4

The nature of slavery

The only slaves in which made accounts were those who were literate which was the more privlidged slaves therefore is not a fair representation.

Statistical evidence

  • Slaves were mainly located in the South 
  • In 1850 one in three white families owned slaves - In 1860 one in four families owned slaves

Free blacks

  • By 1860 there were about 250,000 free blacks in the South
  • Southern blacks had to carry there documentation at all times to make sure they cold proove there freedom.
  • 200,000 blacks lived in the North they had the worst jobs and were segragated
  • Some Northern states tried to exclude blacks from living there.
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Slavery Part 5

The impact of slavery on the Southern economy

  • Economists and polititians debated wheather slavery was profitable
  • Slaveholding enabled planters toincrease there cotton acreage and hence their profits

Did slavery harm the southern economy

  • Some historians belive slavery was resposible for the souths economic decline
  • Slavery didnt use the full potential of the labour force
  • Poor investment taht could of been spent on indusrty and transport
  • Slavery had made southerners been critical and hatred towards industry

Did slavery benefit the Southern economy

  • Given that slave prices doubled in the 1850's , investers received similar profits than those in the North
  • South was making so much money didnt need to industrialize
  • Southern plantation grew cotton more efficient than anywhere in thw world
  • South also faced no immediate threat to its world dominance
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