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Sectionalism in America

Sectionalism between the North and the South during America's Colonial Period continued until after the Civil War, proceeding in an evolutionary fashion. Initially, sectionalism was due primarily to geographic differences, as the South had the climate for an agricultural way of life, while the North's less accommodating climate demanded an economy based on commerce. The North also had excellent seaports for transoceanic commerce, an advantage that meant that the North tended to receive new technologies from overseas before the South did. Slavery was another facet of sectionalism, as the Southern plantation's success was predicated upon slave labor. Although there were slaves in the North, as well, they were not key to the success of the economy as they were in the South. Moreover, the South and the North were socially different by virtue of their widely divergent economies. In the South, polite society governed, and plantation life was one of teamwork and cooperation in close quarters. In the North, this communal lifestyle was largely absent, and society was more individualistic.

In 1783, the Paris Peace Treaty was signed, formally ending America's War of Independence ("The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783"). The Treaty not only formally recognized the United States' freedom and independence; it established U.S. boundaries ("The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783"). This marked the beginning of a series of changes for the United States: "America developed into a new nation, as we expanded into new lands, began to develop an industrial economy, and built a transportation network" ("A House Divided").

The westward expansion was key to the next evolutionary step in sectionalism, and the greatest example of expansion was the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 by Thomas Jefferson (Walker). A huge plot of land, 800,000 square miles, Louisiana was an acquisition that created opposing sentiments that started with Jefferson's...

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Sectionalism in America. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:24, May 30, 2020, from