Civil War

Before the civil war that tore the fabric of American life, there were
three sections of American people with different economic, cultural and
political attitudes. The balance of power was kept by different alliances, which
came up in the pre-civil war period. The west was the balancing power and it was
its shift that decided the course of American history. While it was allied with
the south for economic reasons, a delicate balance was maintained. The minute
the west allied with the north, the shift resulted in irreconcilable differences
and led to war. The boundaries of the sections were very fluid but the basic
sections in the 1840s-1860s were the north, which included New England, New

York. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the west which included the present mid-west
from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa to Minnesota and the
south which included Maryland to Texas and Missouri to Mississippi. Northeast

The northeast was comparatively advanced, industrially. The dominating class
comprised of the bankers, manufacturers and merchants. The growth of industry of

America was mainly in the north. The northeast section was known for its
trading. The merchants realized more returns in manufacturing than the early
agriculture so we see a gradual but definite shift to industrial investment,
which signaled the beginning of industrialism. The industrial capitalists were
the ruling class in the north. They were the aristocrats because of their
economic dominance, which also meant their dominance in the political system. In
the political arena they were represented by lawyers articulating their position
and their philosophy hoping to influence policy making. For example Daniel

Webster, the politician from Massachusetts had the entire business community of
that area behind him. The ideals from the time of the declaration of
independence still remained, as there was no fear of tyranny of the majority
over the minority. Checks and balances were maintained to protect the right to
private property. Numerous inventions were made with the number of patents
increasing from 544 in 1830 to 4778 in 1860. Samuel Morse invented the electric
telegraph system by the 1840s, which came into use by the 1850s. Charles

Goodyear invented the new method of vulcanization of rubber in 1839which started
being practiced in 500 odd places. It also resulted in the establishment of the
rubber industry. The steam cylinder press was invented by Richard Hoe in 1846,
which helped to make the printing of newspapers cheaply. Isaac Singer invented
the sowing machine in this period as well. The dominant economic business was
the manufacturing of clothes, which diversified in this period with the use of
steam as power. In the 1830s we see the introduction of railroads with coal
replacing wood as the material for generating power. This led to the rise of the
coal industry in the northeast as the main coalmines were situated there.

Agriculture in this area also diversified since it could not compete with the
fertile virgin land of the west, which produced wheat, corn, cattle, sheep and
horse. There was a shift in agricultural products as with the growth of
urbanization there was a need for dairy products, food and vegetables. New York
began to produce apples, New Jersey and Maryland peaches and berries. Dairy
products like milk and butter and cheese also were produced. Farmers who were
engaged in agriculture in the northeast either diversified or migrated and
became the labor class of the urban areas. Women and children also worked, often
for long hours (12-15 hrs. a day) getting paid $4-10 per week for skilled and
$1-6 for unskilled work. The labor was too weak to get organized into unions.

Some states like Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania tried to regulate
child labor by necessitating parental consent The labor supply came mainly from
the European countries like Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, France and

Austria because of the population problem in the west. From 1840-1850, it is
estimated that around 2 million immigrants came to the United States especially
from Germany. West The west was the balancing section in the American union as
it shared common features with both the north and the south. The economy was
agrarian like the south but with industries like the north. True, the industrial
growth in the west was slow when compared to the north, but it was faster than
the south whose industrial growth was minimal. Industries like meatpacking in

Chicago (Ill.) and Cincinnati (Ohio) and industrial centers like for meat,
distilled whisky, leather, wooden goods, flour etc. were common. The main
economic occupation was predominantly farming with small farming communities
unlike the large plantations of the south. The important economic activity was
agriculture with the