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07 - The Americans Chapter 7 Balancing Nationalism and...

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The Americans Chapter 7: Balancing Nationalism and Sectionalism CHAPTER OVERVIEW American leaders devise a farsighted policy of improvements as North, South, and West develop distinct economies; but the sections gradually grow to guard their sectional interests. Section 1: Regional Economies Create Differences MAIN IDEA The North and the South developed different economic systems that led to political differences between the regions. In the early 1800s, an Industrial Revolution that had begun in Britain spread to the United States. Before, craft workers made one product at a time. Now, business owners achieved mass production. They hired teams of workers who worked in factories powered by water. Using interchangeable parts, the workers produced more products in less time than before. Troubles with Britain helped spur these changes. When the embargo halted American shipping, investors put their money into building factories. The New England states pioneered the American industrial age. The first factories were textile mills, but other industries soon followed. The West—the old Northwest Territory—was mostly agricultural. Farming was changing, though. Farm families began to raise livestock and crops for sale, using the cash they earned to buy supplies. Labor in the North was free; by 1804, all states north of Delaware had abolished slavery. Slavery was growing in the South, however. Eli Whitney’s new invention—the cotton gin—made it possible to clean cotton more quickly than before, and Britain’s and New England’s textile mills demanded more and more cotton. Southern farmers turned their land into vast cotton fields. As a result, the number of slaves nearly doubled. Some African Americans living in the South were free, but they were few, and their lives were not much better than those of the slaves.
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