During the years leading up to the American Civil War, there were many factors that lead to the occurrence of tension and conflict between the Northern states, the Southern states, and the Western States. The main causes of this tensions were differences between the economies, the social lives of the citizens, political differences, and differences in the definition of freedom in different places. All of these factors were particularly present between the Northern states and the Southern states, and the differences were so huge that they eventually were the cause of war.
The first major difference between the North and the South were in the economies. Down South, cotton was king. This was a common saying used by Southerners to describe their economy. The saying means that cotton is the most important item in their economy. Most Southerners had most if not all of their money invested in cotton, whether it be in land to grow cotton, or the people who did all of the actual manual labor, slaves. Slavery was a massively important thing in the South. Without slavery, the entire economy of the South would tumble and fall. If they did not have slaves, they would have nobody to do all the work in the fields, like picking and then "cleaning" the cotton, either by hand or with a cotton gin, which would ruin most slave owners. In the North, the economy functioned very differently. In Northern states leading up to the civil war, slavery was abolished. In turn this created an economy that was not reliant on slavery. One of the main items that was manufactured in the north was textiles. There are still to this day a lot of mills remaining from this time. These mills, however, needed cotton, which was grown in the South, by slaves, to function. This proves to be highly contradictory leading up to the civil war. Due to the conditions of both of these economies and what made them run smoothly, there was a lot of conflict between the two regions.