11.23.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us


A nation divided

Culture:North and South

View of Fredericksburg from Ferry Farm. / National Archives

A civil war is fought between members of the same nation. The two sides have different views on the future of the country. This is what happened in the United States in 1860. America was divided into the North and South.

The Northern states included New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The North was mainly an urban society with a large population. Most people lived in cities and had jobs. These states believed in a strong central government, banned slavery, and earned most of their money through business and industry.

Boston street scene. / Library of Congress

The Southern states consisted of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The South had a much smaller population, and the people lived in small villages.

Many people owned farms or plantations and made their money through farming. The Southern states had developed an agricultural society based on the selling of crops from plantations and slave labor. The South also believed in the rights of the states over a national government.

America was a land of bustling cities and industry in the North with plantations and agriculture in the South. The Mason-Dixon line (the line separating Pennsylvania from Maryland) and the Ohio River acted as the border between the North and South.

Both the Northern and Southern regions thought their way of life, or culture, should be extended across the entire continent. Because of their differences, however, they could not agree on many issues.


The story

1. A Nation Divided

2. Events and Battles

3. Leaders

4. Daily Life

5. Aftermath


North or South?

Match the abolitionist

What would you do?

Name that leader

Study the artifact

Be a columnist

Interactive map


SOL Civil War key word index