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Civil War – North vs. South

In the early American colonies, the south and the north developed into two distinctly different colonies. Although their origins were both from Europe, their customs and living habits became so different that it would play a major role in America’s history. There are many reasons why these differences occurred but only a few major reasons stand out. Religion, greed and the composition of the colonies are some of the major reasons why the north and south grew to be so different in the late 1600’s.

Different religions in specific colonies varied, but the people from the New England region were generally more devoted to their religious beliefs, whereas people from the south felt religion wasn’t as important. Children from the north are taught from The Bible as soon as possible and this instills high moral values into the people. In the south only the wealthiest families could afford education, causing the common population to be ignorant and un-educated. The people of New England were willing to work together and help each other for the sake of the community because they felt that they were working under God’s will.

The south on the other hand worked to better themselves through the Headright System, which ended up pitting the people against each other instead of working with each other. The people of Massachusetts agreed: "We whose names are underwritten, being by God’s providence engaged together to make a plantation" (Doc. D) This shows that religion greatly influenced the people of New England and the decisions they made. The South was influenced by greed and factors other than religion causing the values in the south to deteriorate.

Differences in the way the colony members felt about religion is important in showing why the two regions became so diverse but it is not the only reason. Another reason why the two regions became so different was due to the greedy nature of the south and the generous nature of the north. The two were basically the opposite of each other as far as working as a community. This caused the regions to grow apart even more. The people from the south are more worried with the amount of money they make than with all of the other problems in the south.

The people from the New England area were willing to make sacrifices, which often was money, to better the colony. John Smith wrote: "There was no talk but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold" (Doc. F) this shows the intensity the south was willing to devote to achieving wealth, but this left other matters to be unattended and led to failure amongst colony members. The south was so filled with greed that the social classes didn’t even get along with one another.

The north didn’t have diverse social classes because all of the people felt equal and content with themselves instead of the paranoia and distrust that was common in the south. Therefore it was much easier for the north to prosper and the south kept struggling and this was due to the south’s greed. The composition of colonies, from the early stages to the more developed times of the colonies, plays an extremely important role in the diversities of the two regions and the topic deserves some major consideration.

The south consisted of mostly men and kept receiving ships filled with men to inhabit the colonies. (Doc. B) The New England area was different from the south in that their colonies had families that included females. (Doc. C) This difference in composition in the beginning gave New England an advantage towards prosperity. Since the Chesapeake Bay area lacked women, it also lacked structure and added to the confusion amongst the people. A few years later the south started to develop more and women were brought over from England.

These women were different from those of the north; the women from the south were prostitutes. The puritan women from the north had experience in raising children and taught morals, but the women from the south had no education, which reflected onto their children. Another difference is that the work force of New England consisted of skilled laborers and the south had mostly indentured servants. This added to the lack of trust amongst the people because the indentured servants didn’t respect their debtors and were willing to cheat them to get ahead in the social classes.

The north was better off with trustworthy people that were educated as opposed to the south’s uneducated prostitutes and indentured servants. The north’s composition made it more prosperous where the south was moving backwards. In conclusion, religion, greed, and the composition of the colonies were main factors adding to the differences amongst the north and the south. The north and south were close in location but grew to become extremely different to each other. These differences occurred by chance, but the history of America was greatly shaped around these differences.

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