(GED Social Studies/U.S. History; Lesson 2) Westward Expansion, The Civil War, And Reconstruction

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In the early history of Americans, the north and the south diverged in terms of economics.

The north created and focused more on agriculture, industry and commerce. As at that time, slavery was already legal throughout the north (during the colonial period). Every one even immigrant contributed to the growing economy by providing labor.

While the southern economy focused on planting and harvesting of cotton. This process requires lot of labor which makes the southern farmers to depend more on slaves to do work, and the number of enslaved persons grew in the south.

Source; https://www.sutori.com/en/story/civil-war-reconstruction-1850-1877-american-expansion-1877-1920–preeVAyUDr69GyqRAmbMjDWD

As United States expanded during the early 1800s, the north and south worked together to balance power. Every new state created was added in pairs; meaning one Free State and one slave state. But there was increasing tension over the vast western territories that are increasingly becoming part of the united states (in the mid-1800s). In the 1850s, the congress voted that the western territories should decide if they want to established slavery or not. This later resulted into war in kansas, the northern and southern region has to come in to settle the disagreement. The voter frauds lead to war produce two warring government in the western region.

In the late 1850s, there was a fractured between the political parties about the issue of slavery. As at that time four candidates ran for president and Abraham Lincoln won, this still lead to the rise of a new government among state that still practice slavery (known as the confederacy and the united states known as union), they war against each other for a long time.

The confederacy had well trained military leader and soldiers, which seemed to be working in their favor. At first the confederacy was winning battles until summer (1863) when things start turning bad for them. They lack materials that are needed for war, this is as result of not having industries that produce these materials in the south, and then they started wearing out. The confederacy was limited in supply of food for soldiers and civilians altogether. After four years (in the year 1865) the confederate General Robert E. L surrendered to union General Ulysses S. Grant. And that was how the civil war ended.

Before the civil war ended, the war was always at the south which leads to several destructions and improvisation in the south. After the war was settled reconstruction had to take place in the south.   


  1. According to the passage the main economy of the south is?

A. Planting and harvesting of wheat

B. Planting and harvesting of cotton

C. Coffee

D. Weapons

Ans= B

2. Who need slaves in their region to grow their economics?

A. The west

B. The south

C. The north

D. Both north and south

Ans= B

3. What led to the first civil war in the United States?

A. Misunderstanding

B. Racism

C. Tradition and diversities

D. Whether slavery should come to an end

Ans= D

4. What led to the second civil war between the union of United States and the confederacy?

A. Slavery issues

B. Western settlement

C. Abraham Lincoln

D. Shortage of food

Ans= A

5. What do the south lack most?

A. Industries

B. Money

C. Soldiers

D. Expertise

Ans= A