How did the different social and economic characteristics of the northern and southern colonies later play a crucial, and tragic, role in American history? The northern and southern colonies had various social and economic differences, all of which eventually contributed to a tragic event in American history. The northern colonies were composed of individuals that mainly came from the eastern part of England. Mainly small farmers and artisans, they were puritans that had money and valued education. They became shipbuilders and fisherman, grew food and were well supplied to trade goods. On the other hand, the southerners had a high death rate due to disease which influenced the small growth of population. The southern colonies' major industry was agriculture due to their long growing season.

Additionally, the south was composed of many slaves because they were needed for the labor intensive crops found in the south such as cotton, tobacco, and indigo. The various sectional differences in the northern and southern colonies, eventually created tension. These tensions led to a tragic civil war. The Civil War was the greatest crisis that the United States would ever encounter. The south wanted to establish its own independence, while trying to decide whether the United States was a nation or temporary alliance of sovereign states. The Civil War finally abolished slavery, but killed more than half a million people and cost billions of dollars along the way.

Other than the civil war, the effects of sectional differences are still present today. For instance, the importance of education in the northern colonies reflects why various school of prestige are found in the north.