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The north and south labour systems and effect on American Civil War - Essay Example

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In his book, Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of Civil War Bruce Levine captures the events that led to the civil war in the United States of America. The book looks at the United States of America as it began to widen and eventually separated towards two opposing poles. …
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The north and south labour systems and effect on American Civil War
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Download file to see previous pages According to Levine (2005), southern secession happened because they wanted to fight for the maintenance of the slavery institution in the United States of America. This is because their economy largely depended on the labor that was provided mainly by slaves. The northern part had grown economically because of the increased immigration from Europe. Therefore, they had enough labor for their production activities. There were many industries in the north and people enjoyed liberty and freedom that was characterized by the availability of land for everyone. On the other hand, the south depended on bonded labor for production. Few people owned large parcels of land in the south with many people owning small pieces of land. Many others were slaves and had to work on the large farms owned by few.
In the years before the start of the civil war, Americans in the North and Northern west had different economic interests with the Americans living in the South and Southwest America. Despite the fact that the civil war in America was caused by a combination of other factors, the divergent economic interests contributed to the animosity that existed between the North and the South. They contributed to the establishment of the confederacy and the victory achieved by the union. The United States of America was an agricultural hub before, during and just after the civil war. Three quarters of the population in America lived in rural areas. The rural areas comprised of farms and small towns. Despite the fact that factories were established in the North and South, the establishment of industries and industrial manufacturing activities took place in the North.
In 1860, the South had an estimated 25 percent of free population but only accounted for 10 percent of the capital of the country. The development of industries in the North was five times more that of the South. The number of factory workers in the North exceeded that of the South by ten times. Ninety percent of the skilled labor in the United States of America was in the North (Levine, 2005). The above information shows that the labor characteristics in the North and South were remarkably different. Labor in the North was expensive and laborers were not tied to a particular station. Workers were very active and mobile. The competition in the labor market was intensified by the immigration from Europe and Asia. This influenced the rising of wages in the sense that wages remained relatively constant (Levine, 2005). The economy of the south was founded on the labor provided by African Americans who worked as slaves. They were exploited, oppressed and forced to provide cheap labor. Most white families did not own slaves. Out of 1.6 million families, about 384,000 owned slaves. Most of the families who owned slaves had about 20 slaves or less. However, those who owned many slaves were about 10,000 and owned large plantations. When Eli Whitney invented cotton gin, southern planters and farmers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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