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United States was originally an agricultural state all the way to the outbreak of civil war, which was brought about by the different paths to economic development. Approximately three-quarters of the population had their source of livelihood in rural areas, and their main occupational activities were farming whose products were sold in small towns. However, the industrial revolution in England set the foundation for many changes that was to come. During the national period, each state was fighting for independence and economic growth. Factories were built in both north and South America but major manufacturing industries were built in the North. With this major development in the North, more population move there, this was made up of people from diverse societies ranging from Indians, Britons, and African Americans. This diversity contributed to different cultural practices and religions. In the South, the population growth rate remained considerably slow for quite some time. The slaves were oppressed and had no freedom of worship, speech, movement, or expression thus the cultural practices in this region was mainly Anglicans.

The work force in the North and South were significantly varied. The Northern labor force comprised mainly of highly skilled personnel who were expensive to hire for they were mobile and very active. However, their influences were checked by the invasion of the immigrants from Europe and Asia who offered alternative labor force. Whereas, the southern economy was largely built by the African American slaves, who were unskilled and due to this were mistreated to offer cheap labor, the Southern natives' minority owned slaves and were regarded as farmers instead of planters. The Southern slaves comprised of a total population of about 4 million and out of these around 1 million labored in industries, constructions, transportation, homes, and lumbering while the rest worked in cotton fields.

The other notable feature that distinguishes North from South is the tariffs. Since the South major relied on the agricultural products, any increase of tariffs would affect the trade with the importers. They therefore maintain low tariff rates to suit their interests but in the Northern States that was not an issue since the manufactures wanted to market their products locally, hence would raise taxes on imported goods to discourage the competitors from venturing into their markets. Before the onset of the civil war, the Northern states were highly developed with many industries across the country but the Southern States were still struggling with their agricultural activities, which gave them low returns hence had little funds to finance the war.

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