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Sectionalism - Essay Example

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Sectionalism as defined by Webster's dictionary is a narrow-minded concern with regional interests which was exemplified in American history by the conflict between North and South sections. This led to many revolutions as both tried to put their interests first than thinking on their needs as a nation…
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Download file to see previous pages... They had plantations. These were large family farms that produced tobacco and cotton that relied on cheap labor in the form of slaves which was actually intensified as economic sectionalism grew stronger as well. Both North and South sections tried to have representatives in Congress for them to have the power to pass laws that would benefit their sections. Both wanted to have equal States rights and reasonable government tax on imports or exports. The West was also a section but was not part of the sectional conflict between North and South.
However, the presence of the West aggravated their conflict as both sections fought to control the West. The people then moved westward and settled there, of course with the additional struggles faced with the first Indian settlers. They saw the west as an "open land", a free land where new opportunities awaited. As more people moved into the west, they realized how potential the land was which then showed the American development. The presence of fertile soil and flat lands attracted the farmers to Great Plains. The discovery of gold and animals rushed in miners and hunters. The people started to acknowledge that additional development to the land could provide them with lots of money. The settlers then slowly started to develop the land and made it prosperous that appealed to investors. The complexity of city life eventually became simple as people tried to embrace the new culture and economy of the West.
There were traders, ranchers, miners and farmers that eventually boost the West economy. The opening of the West was indeed an avenue where people started to have hope, rights and duties in expanding and owning a free land. The opening of the West slowly neutralized the sectional conflict between the North and the South. Slavery, one of the four main issues starts to find its voice and freedom. Slavery was believed to be a sectional trait and since the west did not acknowledge this, slaves were not anymore half-free nor half-slave. They can also enjoy what a free man can. No racial discrimination. Black Americans can as well live and work freely with white Americans. Representation, second issue, the North and South as mentioned above seek representatives that will speak on their behalf and propose laws that will benefit their own sections. This is not the case with the West, as people continue to possess economic power, political power arises as well. As new settlers realized their independency in trading, managing and controlling of their new lands, it was also the beginning of intolerance to the government, the individualism of the people. We are to see here that economic opportunities slowly closed the gap caused by sectionalism; however, it also opened to individualism. Individualism in America has allowed a laxity in regard to governmental affairs which has rendered possible the spoils system and all the manifest evils that follow from the lack of a highly developed civic spirit (Turner). An individualism which made the government out of its function due to the immense success of the West economy that encouraged the people to rule the land expecting limited participation from the government. The individualism made them neglectful on their duties and responsibilities as citizens of America. Looking closely to it, the individualism of the West is as worse as sectionalism. Sectionalism only thinks of its own section while individualism only thinks ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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