In the years before the Civil War, the Northern states blossomed into thriving industrial areas. Factories produced goods, such as furniture, clothing, and tools, which were shipped to the West, as well as to other countries. The Northern states were becoming wealthy. People came to the cities looking for jobs, which slowly increased their prosperity. More people could attend school and be educated.
In contrast, the Southern way of life hadn’t changed much. Thanks to rich soil and warm climate, farming remained the main industry. Most people lived in rural areas and New Orleans was the only large city. Although relatively few Southerners owned slaves, those that did had social and political control of the South. Poor farmers looked up to plantation owners. Increasingly, the North and the South were divided – economically, culturally, and over the issue of slavery.
Questions and Answers
Question: What was life like for white Southerners who didn’t own slaves?
Answer: We tend to think of wealthy plantation owners when we think of the Old South, but only 30 percent of the population owned slaves. Most white men were farmers who lived with their families in humble homes and farmed a few acres of land.
Visit Scholastic to learn more about what life was like for slaves.
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Declan, Tobin. " Civil War Slavery Facts for Elementary Schools ." American History for Kids, Apr 2019. Web. 21 Apr 2019. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/heading-toward-civil-war-south/ >.
Tobin, Declan. (2019). Civil War Slavery Facts for Elementary Schools. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/heading-toward-civil-war-south/