Great Plains and the Balance Between North and South

“The Great Plains presented a barrier which arrested for a time the whole westward movement, but the barrier was greater for the South than for the North. The Northern system, founded in individual ownership of land and free labor, was modified when it entered the Great Plains region, but its essential character was not changed. The Southern system, founded on slavery and cotton, was barred by an infrangible law – bounded on the west by aridity just as effectually as it was on the north by cold. Thus did the Great Plains break the balance between the North and the South and turn the advantage to the Northern section, making its ideals, rather than those of the South, national.”