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Sectionalism in the U.S.

AMSCO Chapter 9

Michelle Newcomb

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Sectionalism in the U.S.

1820 to 1860 Sectionalism in the U.S. THE WEST pride in unique, flexible gov't, BUT: both fed and state are strong
SECTIONALISM: loyalty to a particular region Definition changes as nation expands: non-coastal, beyond the Appalachians, west of Mississippi, Pacific Coast White Settlers on the
Western Frontier Daily life much like early colonists:

work hard from dawn to dusk

live in improvised housing (log cabins, tents, sod)

early death from disease/malnutrition Native Americans Exodus THE SOUTH Tasks:
medical care

Limited lifespan: isolation, work, childbirth Slavery
"The Peculiar Institution" Southern wealth measured in land and slaves, both considered "property" Agriculture and King Cotton 15% of U.S. manufacturing; tobacco, rice and sugar cane all produced
BUT: COTTON IS KING The Industrial Northeast factories: textiles, farm equipment, clocks, shoes, etc. The Agricultural Northwest Land ceded to feds
by original 13 THE NORTH Two regions: Northeast and Old Northwest improved transportation
high economic growth
commercial farming AND industrialization
most populous: high birthrate + immigration formerly independent, workers now rely on wages in factories Free African Americans By 1860, 250K free African Americans live in the South White Society Rigid hierarchy: Southern Thought Unique culture all its own The Frontier Location shifted, but concept remained Organized Labor Problems: low pay, long hours, unsafe conditions Urban Life African Americans Agriculture New Cities Immigration Irish German Nativists Environmental
Damage Women Population Economics Slave Life Resistance Aristocracy Backcountry
Farmers Poor Whites Mountain
People Cities Code of Chivalry Education Religion First U.S. labor party in Philadelphia, 1828--a few members elected to city council Commonwealth v. Hunt 1842: protects "peaceful unions" 1840s/50s: most northern states establish 10-hour workday Limits: depressions, union hostility, immigrant labor Urban population grows...
1800 = 5%
1850 = 15% Slums Expand:
crowded housing
poor sanitation
infectious diseases
high crime rates BUT: immigrants still attracted and keep coming 250K live in North in 1860

only 1% of Northern population, but 50% of free African Americans YES:
have family
own land NO:
skilled jobs displaced by immigrants
denied union membership
used as strikebreakers Early 1800s:
mostly unsettled land
the few settlers relied on the Mississippi River Mid 1800s: tied to the Industrial North
military out West to get rid of Natives
railroad/canal building for commerce Steel plow
John Deere Mechanical reaper
Cyrus McCormick Large grain crops (corn and wheat) become profitable, little additional labor required Transportation: turns small villages into thriving cities Buffalo Cleveland Detroit Chicago Cincinnati St. Louis Process farm products Distribute manufactured goods 1830 -1860: 4 million new European immigrants Most: remained in cities (NY, Boston, Philadelphia) Some: went to Old Northwest (farms or cities) Very few: went South (no opportunity for paid labor) CAUSE? EFFECT? cheaper ocean transportation U.S. seen as "land of opportunity" steady stream of cheap labor increased demand for consumer goods HALF (2M) of all immigrants in this era CAUSE: potato blight/widespread famine, typhus outbreak EFFECT: no interest in farming, few other skills faced strong discrimination (Catholic)
unskilled labor/domestic work at first
congregated in cities for support
later, enter local politics (ex. Tammany Hall) One of the poignant scenes from the famine as police evict tenants from their modest home. CAUSE: economics, failed revolution 1 MILLION of all immigrants in this era EFFECT: westward movement, farming, prosperity strong farming and artisan skills
supporters of public education
opposed to slavery Protestants who distrust Catholics
riots in cities
Supreme Order of the Star-Spangled Banner: create "Know-Nothing" Party in 1850
movement fades after 1850--conflict centers on North v. South and slavery instead those who react strongly against immigrants CAUSE: fear of job loss, fear of culture dilution (religion) Thomas Nast mid-1800s cartoon showing how nativists believe the Catholic immigrants
would add unwanted influence into the USA. Includes all later confederate and border states
primary distinction: plantation agriculture and slavery British mechanized textile mills Eli Whitney's cotton gin Recognition of slaves' humanity forced constant defense of slavery -- "that peculiar institution" 1700s: economic necessity; limited 1800s: economic boom; historical and religious arguments used to justify 1800 to 1860: 1M to 4M slaves (4X increase) HOW? Natural reproduction + smuggling

As much as 75% of population in deep South, fear of slave revolts

State laws forbidding movement, education: "slave codes" Slave work: field labor, skilled craft, housekeeping, factories, construction Greater profits in west
slaves sold to deep South

heavy capital invested in slaves value of field slaves up to $2K by 1860 no capital left for industrial investment Some treated humanely, others beaten regularly ALL lack freedom of choice, ALL are subject to familial separation at any time Maintain strong sense of family and religious faith Women subject to sexual exploitation work slowdowns, sabotage, escape, revolt Denmark Vesey, 1822 Nat Turner, 1831 revolts violently suppressed
gave hope to slaves
led to stronger slave codes
demonstrated the evils of slavery,
especially to northerners CAUSES:
post-Revolution emancipation
mulatto children freed by white fathers
skilled craftsmen, paid for labor, purchased freedom EFFECTS:
racial discrimination
restricted liberties, occupational choices
no voting rights
forced to prove status upon demand
some property rights in cities Why stay? South is home, family is nearby, few opportunities up North, as well Aristocracy Poor whites Backcountry farmers Own at least 100 slaves

Farm at least 1K acres

Dominate state legislatures and enact laws to help the landed Fewer than 20 slaves

Several hundred acres

Worked the fields with their slaves Majority of the southern population Produced the bulk of the southern cotton crop 75% of the population--owned NO slaves Subsistence farmers: grew only enough to feed their families WHY DO THEY DEFEND SLAVERY?

Belief that someday they could own slaves too
Social superiority "hillbillies" or "poor white trash" Frontier conditions in Appalachian and Ozark Mountains

Disliked rich planters and slavery system

Many remain loyal to the Union during the Civil War (Andrew Johnson)

Limited need for cities due to agricultural nature

New Orleans only southern city in the top 15 at the time

Small populations, but important trading centers:
Richmond Cotton becomes the economic focus Slavery becomes the political focus Northerners grow hostile towards slavery
Europe begins to outlaw slavery completely South becomes isolated and defensive Aristocratic planter class chivalrous code of conduct:

strong sense of personal honor

defense of womanhood

paternalistic toward
"inferiors" Upper class:
college, even more than North
professions: farming, law, ministry, military

Other classes:
education only through primary
legal prohibitions on slave education Slavery splits Methodist
and Baptist churches from
North--biblical justification--
membership increases

Unitarians: no slavery
Catholic/Episcopalian: neutral
membership declines 1850: most Natives west of Mississippi
Easterns had been killed off, emigrated or forced west Great Plains: only a temporary break from conflict horses of great benefit to nomadic hunting
horses help as tribes must constantly move west
some farming as well
Life on the Plains same "drive" as explorers: fresh start, new opportunities, greater freedoms

Native Americans
African Americans
(later) Asians Earliest whites in the Rocky Mountain area

Followed Lewis and Clark
Used native trails to hunt and trap furs

Original guides for settlers coming into the Oregon Territory in the 1840s Mountain Men Settlers have no understanding of fragility of land and wildlife

Clearing forests
Exhausting soil w/ poor farming methods
Beaver and buffalo hunted to near extinction
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