The Civil War Essay Research Paper CIVIL — страница 2

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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 growing of corn and wheat accompanied by cattle raising. Due to the large number of small farmers and few planters thee was no dominant class in the political system of the west. The agricultural products had readymade markets in the industrial northeast. So one can conclude that there was greater interdependence between the northeast and the west than between the west and the south. Though the west had a market in the European continent, their main market was still the home market. We see that there were many improved farming techniques like new varieties of seeds of wheat for example and better breeds of

animals like hogs from England and Spain. The farm machinery in 1850s and 60s was more efficient like harrows, mowers and cast iron ploughs. The manufacturing of machinery in these areas was also an important economic activity. For example the replacing of the sickle with the macronic reaper resulted in the establishment of a factory in Chicago in 1847. The west has always been considered more democratic than all the other sections because of the fact that there was no economic domination of any one section of society in contrast to the merchant-dominated north and the planter-dominated south. The west had both agriculture as well as industries though agriculture was the more dominant occupation. South Prior to 1793, little cotton was produced in the United States as the process

of the separation of the fibers from the seeds had to be done by hand which was too time consuming and thus ceased to be profitable. The cotton gin invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney revolutionized the production of cotton. It now became profitable to raise short staple cotton with the soil and climate favoring this and soon cotton production stretched from Georgia and South Carolina westwards till Texas. With the growth of British textile industry, cotton growers were assured of a market. Efficient cotton growing could take place in both large and small plantations and slave labor was an important part of cotton production. The move to diversified agriculture retreated to the background as cotton growing seemed more profitable. Plantations flourished, as did slave labor. The

anti-bellum south witnessed the growth of an agrarian economy with the rise of king cotton and a revival of slavery. Cotton was ?king? since production of cotton doubled every 10-12 years from 1812 onwards, 50% of American exports were of cotton and the seaboard started a profitable slave trade with cotton planters. Economic prosperity resulted in political domination by planters. The economy of the south was very different than that of the other sections though it was closer to the west as it was agricultural. There were three main features of the southern economy-the cash crops of cotton, tobacco and sugar, the European market for its products and the plantation system that required slaves as a labor force. It was the slave system that distinguished the south from the other

sections of the west and the north. The dominant class of society in the south was the planter class. Other important people in the south were bankers and merchants, all of who were closely linked to the planter class and on whom they were dependent. The industry of the manufacture of textiles was a very important industry in the south but as is obvious, it was also closely connected to the planter class. The planter class was not a uniform class with subdivisions based on the size of the plantation- big, medium and small plantations. Even within the white population there were divisions. The banker class dominated the economic sphere of southern life but the plantation owners had more social status and so we often see an alliance between these two classes. It is firmly believed