11.23.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us


A nation divided

Free state and slave state

Each state has its own way to make money. This is usually based on geography (where the state is located), resources (what natural resources can be found there), and the government (what the people decide to do with what they have).

In the 1800s, there were mainly two kinds of states in the country. Those states in the Northern part of the country had growing cities, factories, and industries, while the Southern states had large farms called plantations, which grew huge amounts of crops. The North would manufacture goods to sell as the South would harvest crops to sell. Their methods were very different.

The Northern states were generally referred to as free states because their men and women were free and would work for a wage. In some cases, free blacks were also allowed to have factory jobs. The Southern states were called slave states because most black people in those areas were slaves, who worked on farms or plantations. Slaves were considered property who could be bought and sold to other landowners. They would live on plantations and would be provided with what they needed to sustain a living. There was free labor in the North, and slave labor in the South.

Northerners wanted the new states created out of the Western territories to be free states, while the Southern states wanted the new states to be slave states.

Back | Next

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