Abstract

The transportation revolution had several important effects on the antebellum political equilibrium. First, it caused western and southern political views to differ by bringing more easterners and European immigrants into the West. Second, it reduced the costs of rerouting western exports to the non-South, which decreased the expected costs to the West of conflict with the South. Third, it greatly increased western population, which brought more free states into the Union and changed the balance in the Senate. Fourth, it increased northern numerical superiority over the South, giving the North a major advantage if an armed conflict did occur. These changes led the West to ally with the East and caused the South to secede.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 19-57
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-29
Open Access
No
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