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Lesson 3 - Unit 5 Lesson 3 Sectionalism Lesson Objective In...

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Unit 5 Lesson 3 - Sectionalism Lesson Objective:  In this lesson, the student will:  describe how sectionalism caused the Civil War.  explore how adding new states to the Union upset the balance of power in the Senate with emphasis on  the Missouri Compromise.  Sectionalism   Even after the Revolutionary War, Americans were more concerned with local interests than with the interests of  the nation as a whole. This focus on local or regional interests is known as sectionalism. Just before the Civil War  sectionalism  was at its peak. The U.S. was divided into three sections, each with its own concerns, culture and  economic system: the North, South, and West.  The west was sparsely populated and wild. Westerners were primarily concerned with Indian problems, clearing  the land for small farms and the lack of hard currency.  The north had the largest portion of the population and was the primary destination of immigrants from Europe.  Even though the north was still dominated by small farms, northern concerns centered on urban life,  manufacturing, and shipping. In the North there was a new spirit of pride and national unity, called nationalism.  The South was dominated by the plantation system with an economy that was based on agricultural products sold  worldwide. The three prevailing “cash crops” were tobacco, rice and “King Cotton”. Southern politics, society and  the economy were dependent on cheap slave labor. The South championed the idea of  states’ rights , first  introduced by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the late 1700’s.
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New Western Lands Expansion to the west brought on new sectionalist feelings. Southerners wanted to bring their slaves with them as  they moved west and many Northerners felt slavery should stay within already existing slave states. Every time  new lands were opened for settlement the argument intensified. The first conflict related to sectionalist interests resulted from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Settlers began  moving into areas of the territory just west of the Mississippi River, bringing their customs, ideologies and slaves.
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