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Sectionalism in the American History Report

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Updated: Aug 22nd, 2020

Sectionalism is an extremely disruptive factor in the existence of a society. This can be experienced in an urban area or the entire country. In the past, the United States observed some incidents of sectionalism and has continued to play a major part in the current affairs in the country, such as in politics and economic development. Sectionalism is considered the loyalty of a community or individual to certain issue or regions above the interest of the country as a whole.

In the past, Northerners and Southerners in the United States had some differences regarding their social, economic, and political affairs. Southerners followed their traditional practices, while Northerners were undergoing a revolution and were cosmopolitan. The northern part was mainly made up of “blue states” (McKee & Teigen, 2009), where it signifies that they were on the left side in the political status and voting. Northerners allowed the change in technology and social activities. However, the Southerners were made up mainly of “red states”, which signifies that they were on the right side of the political status and voting. Southerners followed their traditional activities and moral values.

The best example of sectionalism is the recognition of red states and blue states during various elections in the country. Although the separation of Northern and Southern regions is not seen in modern society, the red states and blue states are experienced during the elections. The blue states are likely to vote for Democratic Party in the general election, while the red states are likely to vote for the Republican Party. The states that are considered red states are Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma (McKee & Teigen, 2009).

The differences in red states and blue states have been observed mostly in the current political affairs, especially regarding Republicans and Democrats. Red states are mostly considered being conservative, while blue states are considered to be mainly liberal. This separation in elections is recognized mostly by Americans as sectionalism. The sectionalism that existed between the red states and blue states was formerly based on the social, ideological, and economic differences that carried on between the Southern and Northern communities into the current activities in the United States. However, the geographical divide is no longer used to define the red states and blue states. In the last presidential election, blue states and red states were observed to exist in every state and city of the United States (McKee & Teigen, 2009).

Another example of sectionalism is observed also in the activities of Congress. Sectionalism has a significant influence on the decisions of the government and Congress. Senators and representatives make their own decisions based on their alliance with their voters, where they prefer to be seen supporting the constituents that they represent. They even make their decisions at the cost of their party unity or loyalty. If senators and representatives do not support their constituents, they are likely not to be elected during the next elections (McKee & Teigen, 2009).

In conclusion, Sectionalism is not a new experience in the country, but it is a phenomenon that has resurfaced. In the past, party members divided themselves based on the geographical sides: Northern and Southern alliances. However, sectionalism has reappeared in a varied shape, where the party members have grouped themselves based on the states or cities. Sectionalism may take a longer time to disappear in the United States since it keeps on reappearing mostly during political activities, especially presidential elections.

Reference

McKee, S., & Teigen, J. (2009). Probing the reds and blues: Sectionalism and voter location in the 2000 and 2004 U. S. presidential elections. Political Geography , 28, 484-495.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Sectionalism in the American History." August 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sectionalism-in-the-american-history/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Sectionalism in the American History'. 22 August.

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