North vs South
Transportation in the North
In the early 1800's many American roads were rutted boneshakers. The factory owners in the North needed inexpensive, fast ways to deliver their goods. In 1806, congress funded the construction of a National Highway across the Appalachian Mountains. Steam engine powered boats were built so traveling upriver would be easier. Inventors were inspired by the success of steamboats and created steampowered locomotives.
Transportation in the South
In the south people and goods moved by river because the slow current and broad channels of Southern rivers made water easy and cheap. On plantation docks slaves loaded cotton bales directly onto steam-powered boats then traveled hundreds of miles to port cities like Savannah, Georgia or Mobile Alabama. West of the Appalachians cooton traveled down the largest Southern waterway, the Mississippi River. Most southern cities sprung up near waterways. Southerners opposed bills in Congress that used federal funds for improvements on roads becasue the South didn't need them. In 1860, the South only had 10,000 miles of rails compared to 20,000 in the North.
Geography in the North
From the rocky shores of Maine to the rolling plains of Iowa was the North. In the North, there were four distinct seasons from freezing winters to hot humid summers. The most Northernly states such as Maine and Minnesota had very cold winters and shorter summer growing seasons. Natural features in the North included the jagged coast in New England that were perfect for making harbors. Inland from the sea were narrow flat plains with rocky soil, which made farming difficult so most people took up trade and crafts. The people who lived in New England made a living by harvesting the pine and spruce trees from the thick forests.However, in the Central Plains there was some of the best agricultural soil in the world