Segments descriptions
      Regions of the U.S. Series
      Northeast, Part

            Description: Erie Canal 2

Northeast, Part 2    

              sampler   226     (56 lecture)

What is the economic basis for the increasing
antagonism between the North and the South in
the pre-Civil War period?
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The 19th Century (continued)




The Civil War



Sectional crisis.  South's society is based on slavery, holds back capitalist development.  North society is a combination of manufacturing and agriculture, mainly family farms and later homestead farming.  South's cotton goes to England instead of Northern textile mills.  Conflict is between modernity and backward economy.



The Republican Party forms in the 1850s, supports Northern industrialists, rejects slavery.  It elects Abraham Lincoln in1860, followed by secession and the Civil War. 



The Civil War.  The North has many advantages and some disadvantages.  Gettysburg is the turning point in a brutal war of attrition.  There is a bitter class divide which sparks the July 1863 draft riots by Irish immigrants who are despised by people already here, and who also  compete with free blacks for jobs.  The North prevails in April 1865.  



Implications for the nation.  Slavery is ended.  Economy of the nation now reflects Northern values.  Cotton comes to the North, not to England.  Federal government is now strong economically, politically and judicially.



Northern economy.  War inventions aid Northern industry.  The role of the mill town.  Inland cities are located on rivers.  Industrial cities are expanded. 



The new immigration from 1880s for the next 40 years is from south and east Europe and goes to the cities creating instant slums.  Atrocious, boring, dangerous working conditions including child labor.  Workers respond with hopelessness or aspiring hopes.  Resistance and a union movement develop.  Federal troops, freed from Reconstruction duty in the South, are used to break strikes.




The 20th Century







Labor strife.  Since the late 19th century into the 20th there is a pattern of labor strife where strikers are battled by private armies of the companies. The media controlled by the industrial giants use the violence to turn public opinion against the strikers, and the military is called out by the governor and the strikers are crushed. 



The role of the Northeast is crucial for U.S. industrialization, resulting in problems in working and living conditions.  There is strong migration from South and East Europe to the cities, from the countryside to the cities. 



The blacks. There is a massive migration of blacks to the North, away from the poverty of the sharecropping system in the South, away from the Jim Crow era of total segregation.  Segregation is seen in the North in the form of ghettos and by the hostility of whites in competition for jobs and other forms of racism.  Yet the 1920s see opening potentials in music, literature and other forms of intellectuality, with New York City the epicenter of changes.



The Depression 30s.  The prosperous 20s lead to major growth of corporations, excess profits, and risky ventures.  Massive layoffs in Northeast cities and great national suffering.  



The Depression ends with the coming of World War Two creating full employment.  After victory there is pent-up demand for goods and continued prosperity with the onset of the Cold War.  The growth of suburbia. 



The decline of the North.  The 1950s see white flight from the cities.  The decline of Newark, N.J. precedes the riots there of 1967.  Industry's answer to the unions' successes in the 1930s is to leave for non-union areas in the South and Southwest.  With the tax base and employment leaving, the North's hold on the economy diminishes. 



Hostility to the Northeast is based on immigration ethnicities, the role of banks, and anti-Semitism against Jews from East Europe. 




The post-industrial era



Social, economic, and cultural changes The emergence of TV in the 1950s with studios in NYC.  The integration of baseball with Jackie Robinson.  The closing of factories with factory work no longer open to the following generations. .  The Northeast rust belt.  Old industrial cities need ability to adjust, promote service industries in the computer age.  Political power of the Northeast changes.