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Ultimately, the North's financial well being depended on tariffs, and forcing the south to purchase goods from the north. This was the main reason for the pressure put on the south by the north.
Tariffs are a common way to nurture home-grown industry at the expense of inports. Railroad iron was a primary target (as was furniture). It's difficult to say the 'North' benifited more than the 'South'. The tariff was the government's major funding source...
Slavery was at the time not the primary focus or reason for discord and tension.
The Compromise of 1820, Kansas-Nebraska Act, publication of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', Compromise of 1850, Fugitve Slave Act, Lincoln-Douglas debates and Dred Scott decision are pretty fair indicators of the nation's political and social focus. I'm not aware of any major event concerning the tariff after the South Carolina nullifiation crisis which was more of a trumped-up personal battle between Jackson and Calhoun than anything.
Massachusetts had a law that forbade "freedmen" from settling within it's borders. Sounds pretty darn racist to me.
Absolutely. Racism pervaded the entire country.
Remember, the slave trade was started by, and profits were enjoyed by the north. Don't be foolish in thinking that the North was innocent in the institution of slavery. In addition, the North only abolished slavery, as it was an unworkable model for thier economy. Instead they created indentured servitude, and treated the irish workers worse than slaves. Beatings, evictions, slums, etc. were typical.
Frequently true...North, south, east and west - all were culpable (some more or less than others) in the institution of slavery. 340,000 Yankees and 280,000 southerners died to destroy it...