The prosperity of the 1850s aggravated the divisions over slavery. Areas in western North Carolina grew less cotton and more wheat, which meant that those areas needed slaves less than they had in the past.

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North Carolinians and Abolition

After the War of 1812, North Carolinians and other Americans argued the great question of the day: Should slavery be continued? In 1820, North Carolina's leadership supported a compromise that allowed slavery to spread across the South but not the North.

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North Carolinians and the Mexican War

While North Carolina worked hard to shed its Rip Van Winkle image in the 1830s and 1840s, many Americans rushed to the American West to settle new lands and set up new lives.