North-South Gap as a Cause of American Civil War

Table of Contents


The terms ‘North’ and ‘South’ have always been used in social, scientific, and political realms in reference to the relationships between the industrial-dependent states in the Northern parts of the USA and those that are agriculturally dependent and historically slave-reliant in the South. The term does not refer to a specific boundary between the two geographic regions. The central concepts of North and South terminologies are used with reference to comparisons of the social, political, and economic status of the two regions. There exist numerous indicators used in the determination of the North-South segregations. Social political and economic analyses of the North-South regions have indications of the development of various alliances and organisations, signifying some issues of interest for the regions. Additionally, historical issues of the two regions also play a significant role given that the states provide the grounds of colonial conquest and subjugation.

North and South relations

The impact of the economic and political divisions between the northern and southern states contributed to the civil war. It was after this that issues pertaining to socio-political and economic development in the southern states became a center of focus for the policymakers in the North. Further emphasis on the policy issues on the south can be related when the United States President Truman, in the1949, indicated that a new program would be initiated for the maximisation of contemporary science and technology in the growth and development of the US. The president further noted that the new program would ensure fair trade with the regions in the south. The president argued that the concept would not have relations with the initial systems because they were perceived to be highly imperialistic in nature.

The concept of Modernization and South-North Relations

The contemporary modernization paradigms are based on the notion that the process of transition involves moving from conventional practises to contemporaneousness is a common process. The process of modernisation that is currently observed in the developing countries is believed to be the same process that the industrialised countries underwent. According to some debates, modernisation can be described as the process of changing social practises. Within the same context of modernisation prototype, western countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have been perceived to be the epitome of modernisation. The regions have been characterised as the leading in industrialisation, creativity, diversity of business, rationality, and freedom. On the other hand, regions such as Africa and Asia have been associated with slow developments in particularly all issues.

Modernisation theories state that for a region to attain developments, they should overcome their cultural beliefs and norms. Moreover, the relationship of the North-South and the influence of the relation of the two regions are dependent on the individual country. However, most of the modernisation theories do not focus on the interest of the North to the developing countries, but places its focus on the ability of the developing countries to learn from the industrialised regions. It is a general assumption that it is the sole responsibility of the developing countries to cooperate with the South while maintaining a close relationship as possible with the South.

Modernisation theory has its focus on an individual country’s relationship with the South. On the contrary, dependency theory focuses on the general North-South relationship. The theory further argues that the actual situation of the South countries cannot be evaluated without taking into considerations the historical and external influences and involvements. The external influences and involvements are attributed that have a significant role in the structuring and affecting the internal issues. The theory’s dogma states that the undeveloped situation of the south is because of oppressive and exploitative actions the North took against the south. In addition, that there are various avenues by which the exploitative and oppression actions of the North to the South can be analyzed.

Different Economic Systems of the North and South

Additionally, there are various political and development debates over the existence of numerous losers and the degree to which conflicts have divided the two regions. It is also believed that there are mechanisms responsible for the propagation of modernisation to political tumult. This can be attributed to the belief that modernisation has a polarizing effect, creating a rift between political partialities among the various members of the community. However, the basic grounds of the preference choices that divide the community are questionable.

However, there are debates that try to reason out that the preferences could be different choices on the varied opinions on unrestricted trade and security. From this perspective, those who tend to gain more from modernisation will yearn more of it while those who do not benefit more from it will be against modernisation. Those who do not benefit from the relationships with other countries in terms of modernisation will prefer to withdraw from the globalisation path. Despite the fact that withdrawing from the globalisation path is characterised by a negative impact on the economic and social issues, it remains the only prudent cause of action for the losing countries.

Despite the fact that the losers may not be vocally audible on the objection of their counterparts’ policy position on the issue of modernisation, various debates state that losers would object the modernisation policies set up by the winners. Various research scholars note that there would be predominant political conflicts between the two sides. The modernisation-induced conflicts are depending on the process and act of cooperating in the global modernisation. The issue of intensifying domestic conflicts are capable of creating major rifts on the national and the international policy development processes, creating an imbalance on the national politics while jeopardizing domestic unity. Nevertheless, this notion is questionable.


The American society is highly industrialised. It has often been used as the reference point of modernisation. Over the decades, America has faced economic, social and political tensions between the northern and southern states, which have had a major effect on the relations of the societies. Some of the countries in the developing regions decided to be independent and free from any association. The decision of America to cooperate with the other nations in the globalisation process without conflicts and civil wars is entirely dependent on its ability to cooperate with the rest of the world. America’s unwillingness to be on the losers end is a factor that can result to American civil war. On the other hand, the United Nations has facilitated the establishment of measures that are responsible for regulating the relationship of the North-South under the (UNCTAD).

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Place New Order
It's Free, Fast & Safe

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!