During the 40 years before the Civil War the northern and southern states were evolving as two distinct societies. How did the regions differ and how do you explain those differences?
Industrial versus Agrarian
In northern cities large textile factories in particular were being built and, ironically, to handle the cotton from the south as well as wool. The north also had all the large gun manufacturers, iron mills, and a majority of ship building ports.
The south was an agrarian economy relying heavily on cotton and tobacco for the majority of its income.