North & South Differences in the Civil War Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Civil War
  • 0:27 Cultural Differences
  • 1:11 Economic Differences
  • 1:56 Education
  • 3:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Andrea Miller

Andrea is currently a social studies middle school teacher in Ohio. She has a BA in history as well as a MEd in education. She has taught workshops including OGT Success and Writing for Life. Andrea has also been a middle school debate team coach for several years.

Before the Civil War in the United States, there were a lot of differences between the North and the South. These social, economic, and educational differences would not only worsen the war but also define its outcome. In this lesson, you will learn about these differences.

Civil War

The Civil War was a bloody battle fought between the Northern and Southern states of the United States of America. A civil war is a war fought between citizens of the same country. The Civil War in the United States was a war that had been years in the making. For decades, the North and the South fought over several economic and social issues.

Cultural Differences

By the 1820s, people all throughout America were attending religious gatherings. A lot of these gatherings focused on social reform. This was called the Second Great Awakening. Many were thinking about how they could live a better, more moral life. This is when the abolition movement was born in the North. Abolitionists were people who believed in abolishing or getting rid of slavery.

In the North, the abolitionist movement took hold of many different people. All around the region, newspapers, speeches, and books were being written about bringing slavery to an end in the South. In the South, the Southerners were very concerned. Their economy and way of life were dependent upon slavery.

Economic Differences

In the South, life revolved around the cultivation of cash crops. The production of these raw materials was dependent on the hard work of slaves. Raw material production on that scale required a lot of labor. If farmers had to pay for that labor, they wouldn't have made much profit at all. Indigo, tobacco, rice, and cotton were grown in the South and sent all over the world, including the factories that dominated the northern region.

In the North, the economy was based primarily on urban, factory lifestyles. The heavily populated cities of the North, like Boston, New York, and Cincinnati, were brimming with textile mills and other early manufacturing plants. As a result, in the North, women and children were typically in the workplace as well as the men.

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