The Differences Between the North and South Before the Civil War

The Differences Between the North and South Before the Civil War


What’s divided? I am Beat, and I’ll tell you what is divided. The United States, but especially in 1860. Take a look at this map of how every county voted in the presidential election of 1860. Holy crap. There appears to be a clear divide there, and yep, that was right before the American Civil War broke out. Civil war? Like when superheroes go to war with each other? Not quite. I’m talking about when a country goes to war with itself. But why would a country go to war with…itself? Well, to understand what caused the American Civil War, you just gotta know the differences between the North and South in the years leading up to it. Before we get started, Abraham Lincoln is a big Mariah Carey fan. Go here and check out that time when he decided to cover her Christmas song, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” It’s a pretty good way to review the Civil War. Anyway, before we look at the differences between the North and South, let’s define what we mean when we say “North” and “South.” Well, here’s a map of the United States in 1860. Here’s one after the Battle of Fort Sumter in 1861. One definition defines the South as the states where slavery was legal. However, several slave states, often known as Border States, remained loyal to the Union after the war broke out. Today, when people say “The South,” they often mean these states. But sometimes West Virginia gets lumped into the Midwest like Missouri is, and often Maryland and Delaware get lumped into the Mid-Atlantic region. For this video, when I say the South, I’m talking about all the slave states and when I say the North all states north of those. The South has historically been more ideal for growing crops. The climate is warmer, the summers are longer, the winters mild, and the soil is fertile. While the North often has had warm, humid summers, it also has brutally cold and snowy winters. The growing season is much shorter, and farming can be much more difficult there. Abraham Lincoln: I’m dreaming of a white Christmas/Just like the South will never know The Southern economy was almost entirely based on agriculture. Farms and plantations dotted the landscape. Southerns sold cash crops like cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar cane, and indigo. Since the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, slaves were in high demand to pick cotton. In fact, the South’s economy greatly depended on slave labor. The North had a more diverse economy, but it was mostly based on industry. Specifically, manufacturing. For decades, factories popped up throughout the north. Large textile factories thrived producing clothes from cotton grown from…the South. Immigrants came in mass numbers to work in these factories. Nearly all industry in the country was in the North, which is a big reason why they had the advantage during the war, because they controlled the iron works, the railroads, and production of weapons. The North had more people. It had more than 17 million people, the South, less than 13 million, but 4 million of those were slaves. The North was more urban. There weren’t many big cities in the South. Like I basically said earlier, almost everyone lived on farms or plantations. These plantations were self-sufficient. The North had many big cities, all of them major trading centers, and all them crowded and dirty. Dirty? Yeah, because the factories were in these cities. Northern cities were where the arts, education and media thrived and also transportation hubs. The North had more canals, more roads, and more railroads. The South had some railroads, but just 9,500 miles of track compared to 22,000 miles of track in the North. I mean, at the beginning of the Civil War the South was still heavily dependent on the steamship, for crying out loud. Abraham Lincoln: More cities, factories
canals and railroads
The Southern states lag far behind as transportation goes Northerners tended to be less religious and more educated than Southerners. They were more politically divided in the North. Southerners were often unified by the slavery issue. Southern culture was usually determined by the aristocratic plantation owners and their families. Children of plantation owners tended to be the only ones who got any kind of major formal education, but in the North common schools were set up so that even the poorest in society could get some schooling. Other than obviously views about slavery, Southerners tended to be more against tariffs, while Northerners were for high tariffs. Northerners tended to have a more “loose interpretation” of the Constitution and wanted a stronger national government. Southerners tended to think that state governments should have way more power than the national government and a more literal, “strict interpretation” of the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln: We like tariffs, but hate slavery
Free free free free free free free the slaves A strong national gov for me
Loose interpretation is our faith Thanks Abraham Lincoln. I should probably point out that that’s not actually Abraham Lincoln. It’s Mr. Betts impersonating him. Be sure to check out his Mariah Carey Civil War parody when you’re done watching this video. In conclusion, these differences definitely helped explained sectionalism, or one’s belief that her or his region is superior to other SECTIONS of the country. Political conflict often begins with regional differences. Just ask Abraham Lincoln, who was elected President pretty much thanks to just one region- the North. Let’s pull up that county map of the presidential election of 1860 again. Just look at how crazy it is. Lincoln WASN’T EVEN ON THE BALLOT in Southern states. But he still won the election. And uh, yeah, a few years later 750,000 Americans are dead in the bloodiest war in the country’s history. One of the quickest ways to understand why the Civil War happened is to look at just how different the North and South were. And understanding our differences today will certainly help us stay united in the future. Woah, it got pretty serious there at the end. For a more light-hearted look at the Civil War, remember to catch Mr. Betts’ Abraham Lincoln parody over on his channel, MrBettsClass. It’s one of my favorite channels on YouTube. It’s funny. It’s goofy. It’s educational. And if you’ve never seen my Presidential election series, a great one to start with is that election of 1860 video. Thanks for watching! I’m back next week with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs.

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    Aaron Bradley

    Mr. Beat I know conspiracies aren't your thing but let's go with the one that everybody knows was a conspiracy I would like to know what your opinion on the murder of John F Kennedy happens to be

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    JBIRD NELSON

    The Civil War wasn't only over slavery issues.
    It was also over currency issues…
    The North would not accept the paper notes printed from the southern banks and visa versa…

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    misterjag

    The Cornerstone of the Confederacy was slavery. Any doubt about that was dispelled by Vice President Alexander Stephens.

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    Eli

    Love your vids!
    While both the north and south had slaves, it's a misunderstanding that some people have that ALL of the southerns had slaves, most were too poor to own, much less feed their own families through the growing high taxes imposed upon their agricultural crops.

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    Michael Pisciarino

    1:02 Maps, North and South
    1:42 Climate and Geography
    2:18 Economy
    3:15 Demographics
    3:56 Transportation (Railroads, Canals, Roads)
    4:25 Culture/Education
    4:57 Politics
    5:50 Conclusion

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    MidwestPatriot

    The Democrats of today are just like the pro slavery Democrat party of the south back then. We are close to civil war in this country because of them. And for the record, bringing African slaves to the United States was the biggest mistake in the history of our country.

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    IcantSeeReplies

    What people don't often realize is that Slavery was the reason the South was poor. Slavery doesn't facilitate economic growth by stimulating other industries.

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    Emad Bagheri

    @ 1:00 marker, why do you have the "south" marked red and the "north" as blue?! The pro-slavery party dominating the south was the Democratic party (blue) and the anti-slavery party was the Republicans (red), please correct that unless you are trying to push the Republicans=racist narrative, you know, the Republicans who voted %94 to abolish slavery and %100 to grant citizenship to freed slaves and voted %100 to grand voting rights to ALL! As opposed to the Democratic party who voted %12,%0,%0 respectively on those issues, created the KKK and went to war with the federal government to keep slaves, hmmm yeah!

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    William Jones

    For you alls better understanding of the reason the South did what it did, you all should read the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. It is almost word for word the US Constitution with a few minor differences. Those being the codification of slavery of black Africans as property and the right to own them. The people that say that slavery was not a cause of the US civil war are full of bullocks. And probably think the Earth is flat. You can Google it.

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    Jack Smith

    I saw a recent definition of the “Northern United States” today, as being basically every single State that Lincoln won in 1860 (minus California and Oregon).

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    Elisabeth

    If u live in the US, were born here and went to school here as I have, we all learned all of this in school. Still I enjoyed your video. Peace

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    Elisabeth

    I could never live in the South, I need my seasons, I’ll always be a New Yorker at heart. Born and raised.

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    Mitchell Merck

    So the south…LOST the civil war…so that means…the southerners were forced against their will into a union..thats what winning the civil war really represents tyranny won against liberty. So America lost the civil war in fact

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    CherriesGalore

    Actually, the North was still mainly agricultural before the Civil War, with only 30% of the Northeast population and 13% of the Midwest population living in cities. The North also had a higher agricultural output than the South, due to the Midwestern breadbasket. Industry was definitely a thing, but the North didn't truly industrialize on a large scale until after the Civil War.

    We often ignore the yeoman farmer of the West/Midwest in analyzing the Civil War, despite yeoman farmers being a huge percentage of the US population at the time. This is a very elitist way of analyzing history, looking at only Northern industrialists and Southern planters.

    Ironically, the urban North, due to its high population of immigrants, actually voted for the Democrats for the most part. The immigrant industrial workers were fervently pro-Democrat and anti-abolitionist/Republican, associating the GOP with know-nothings and puritanism. They also feared that free blacks would come to the Northern cities and drive down wages. (This ironically became true a century later, which is part of why many Northern cities have such a huge divide between the black and white population to this day.)

    Edit: Southerners were more in the 'center' religion-wise. They weren't as puritan as Northern protestants, but Northern urban Catholics were even less pious than the Southerners. You're confusing the modern South with the old antebellum South. The Midwest and New England were the most religious areas of the country.

    And, the North was very divided on the issue of expanding the powers of the Federal government, and the South is more mixed on the issue than you'd believe. (The Whigs, for example, actually did make plenty of in-roads into the Eastern parts of the South and the border-states.)

    Education also was more widespread than you think it was in the South, due to efforts by Thomas Jefferson to expand education to the common man. The notion of the South as being entirely aristocratic completely ignores the vast majority of white southerners, who didn't own slaves but actually had a lot of input into the political process. Even the poorest white had the right to vote in the antebellum South, and this happened even earlier than some Northern states, which kept their strict suffrage laws for quite a while after the American Revolution.

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    Joseph Flores

    Trust me DMV is a northern state af (Maryland, DC and Virginia) DMV is where the Metro goes! Exclude the southern side of Virginia lol

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    Christopher Harper Digicash

    Here in VA you'd think it was 1862. I don't understand how if I even mention slavery in PASSING, I get a lecture about how I was never a slave and never knew a slave personally. Yet some go on and on about the South "rising again", "the party of Lincoln" and what the war was and wasn't "about". IMHO, I don't get offended easily, I could care less about a flag. But being a veteran to ME it's a flag of TRAITORS and no one can say different. It's the flag of a power hostile to the United States of America. Let me fly an ISIS flag here in VA and watch how quick people react. Or even a Mexican flag of BLM flag. Will they accept the excuse of "heritage not hate"? NOPE

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    James Ryan

    I am a Sociologist who has been doing research for almost 50 years. The very first slaves here were "First people" making slaves of captured rival tribes. Wha??? Yeah! The second slaves were the SPANISH coming here and removing First people from this land and taking them elsewhere. As…..Slaves. The Third act was the…..Spanish bringing (Black) Islanders from Haiti and Jamaica here to use for slaves. The FOURTH act was spanish bringing Africans here to use as slaves. And FIVE, then, after all the other NON WHITE Slave traders established slavery here in what was NOT yet the USA, only then did the DUTCH ("White folks") Start bringing Africans here as slaves. Lasty, the BRITISH got involved in the Slave trade. So STOP blaming everything on Whitey!

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    Mod Maker

    'Captain America: Civil War' should be titled 'Avengers: Civil War' because Avengers gone to war with themself to make it have more sense.

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    I pee in my sink I'm afraid to come out my room

    since all war are fought over land & resources see the time of the Pharaohs the Greeks and the Romans Assyrian, Babylon, Persia ,British Ottoman Empire ,ww1 ww2 except Vietnam was over Ideology the evidence point to material ,like coffee ,sugar ,steel ,wood ,oil and ANYTHING WITH MONEY
    my question to you is ,was the north was trying to take the valuable trade from the south of the cotton trade instead of slavery because France & England wanted to arm the south true gulf of mexico and Russia send ship to NY &California to defend America ?

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    metallica1fan1

    All states were slave states during the war… and Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri were border states because Lincoln didn't want them secede. Not because they were loyal to the Union.

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    Adnan Omeragic

    what emo song are you using for the background music? Joan of Arc, Eldritch Anisette, Cap'n Jazz, City of Caterpillar, Indian Summer, Envy, Texas Is the Reason, Sunny Day Real Estate, Everyone Asked About You or Hoover or something else?

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    Jameson Schwartz

    Don't worry Mr. Beat. My hair is just like yours and idk how to cut or style it either so i keep it short. Youre amazing 🙂

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    Leon Castle

    Who worked on the gigantic farms up north? Slaves did more than the south . It takes gigantic farms to feed giant cities. The south did not grow food for the entire nation that is impossible to feed the entire nation with just a few states. Canada has a grow season or do you think the south was supplying them to? The north owned the shipping lanes and controlled trading and where all the deep water harbors that you had to have for slave ships to unload slaves and then sale them to the south. The civil war just like most wars was over money ! The south was making money and the north viewed that as a threat to their high and mighty government like an economic super power . The north wanted money for nothing and when ABRAHAM Lincoln didn't get his way he attacked the SOUTH and raped wives and daughters of all ages and killed sons and good men because of the norths lust for power and money in the name of GREED! SO WHO STARTED SLAVERY IN AMERICA? THE NORTH!

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    Ryan ???

    The South would be a third world country today if the CSA remained. The US would be building a wall in Kentucky to keep them form coming in illegally

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    Patrick Aalfs

    Why does the north say that the war was fought over slavery when they denied it at the beginning of the war and why does the south say slavery was a secondary issue when it was clearly mentioned in every southern state's secessionist constitution? There is an actual truth buried somewhere in there. I just have a hard time figuring it out.

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    Gyrenaica 135

    Why the South seceded/what they fought for: Slavery
    Why the south didn't secede/didn't fight for: state rights

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    Steel Wolf

    Let us also not forget that the North was as Oppressive to Natives as the South was to Africans. Except the South had a reason to have slavery, they were less industrialized. Give them 30 years and it would have been abolished by themselves. As well as the fact Abraham Lincoln didn't abolish slavery that existed in the North, he only targeted the South. Not to mention that it was the South's right to secede, which the North crushed under it's Imperialist boot. Which in turn after the war proceeded to genocide many more Natives and force them off their lands and to be assimilated into the US.

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    messman10

    Except Fugitive Slave Act… The South was for a strong central government and squashing States' rights if it benefited them.

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    Richard Smith

    That loose interpretation of the constitution has led us to high debt and for the last 90 years the destruction of the constitution – Thank You Yankees. That's right Southerners still believe that the constitution says what it means and means what it says. The Enumeration of finite powers of the constitution does not use the words exceptions – to do what ever in the hell you want. In 2019 We are absolutely divided just like 1860.

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    Mona Lisa

    My father has been a professor.We live in Great Britain , during one of tours. Great collegiate accomplishments, pretty incredible!His people are from Tennessee originally Dutch from the Homeland& Cherokee( full blood LINES).Mothers folks are also, Southern ! With airforcers, 30 YEARS or SO! Not dummies in bloodstream, thank GOD.I Appreciate what your saying, there's always one in the bunch of EVERY family, that's a lil' Slow…..😅

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