American Presidency

In the early 1600s New Englanders lacked a marketable staple like the south had; sugar or tobacco, so they turned to fishing and timber exports.   Family farms produced food for their own use and a small surplus to market.   Although slavery was allowed in the region few slaves were used and indentured servants were not as central to the economy as in Chesapeake.
During the move west settlers created towns and systems much like they had left behind; Upstate New York and the Upper Northwest resembled New England and the Lower South replicated the plantation-based society of the South Atlantic states.   In 1860, about 80 percent of southerners still worked the land—same proportion as in 1800.   Their banking and transportation systems remained adjuncts to the plantation economy.  
In the North, the Market Revolution and westward expansion set in motion dramatic changes.   The region became an integrated economy of commercial farms and manufacturing cities.   As the Northwest became a settled society, surrounded by a web of transportation with eastern centers of commerce and banking the small farmer found himself drawn into the market economy.   They began to grow crops just for market and to raise livestock for sale.   The farmer then began to buy the goods previously made at home.
While the northeast transformed from producing mainly, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables for nearby urban markets to an industrial center; the south remained virtually unchanged.   The North did buy cotton products from the south but the south remained the biggest purchaser of commodities because they were still producing mainly cotton and that with slave labor.   Their economy was precarious and subject to the vagaries of the slave market.   Slavery led the south down a very different path than that of cities in the north.   Mostly, it inhibited people from moving there and inhibited technological progress.   In 1860, the south produced less than 10 percent of the nation’s manufactured goods....