AskDefine | Define sectionalism

Dictionary Definition

sectionalism n : a partiality for some particular place [syn: provincialism, localism]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. Promoting the good of one region over that of others.
    Sectionalism is tearing the country apart. Everyone wants the other regions to do the work and pay the taxes while they reap the benefits.

Extensive Definition

Sectionalism''' is to develop a distinct identity based on ethnicity,color, customs, laws, language, economics, or culture. Since the 18th century, this has led to many revolutions as people have tried to establish their right to self-determination, which is why sectionalism is often a precursor to separatism. In a political context, sectionalism is loyalty to the interests of one's own region or section of the country, rather than the nation as a whole.
One instance of sectionalism began in America in the 1850s. By then, the North and the South were loyal only to their interests, not the interests of the country. One example was the Wilmot Proviso, which proposed an end to slavery in all territory won by Mexico. The bill was defeated and the North and the South continued to argue over the issue of slavery. When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, the South felt as though their voice no longer mattered in Washington. As a result, South Carolina eventually seceded on December 20th, 1860. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas were quick to follow. This led to the American Civil War.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

autarky, bimetallism, clannishness, clanship, cliqueyness, cliquishness, cliquism, denominationalism, economic self-sufficiency, esprit de corps, ethnocentricity, exclusiveness, faction, factionalism, free enterprise, free trade, governmentalism, laissez-faire, laissez-faireism, line, localism, managed currency, noninterference, nonintervention, nullification, partiality, partisanism, partisanship, party line, party principle, party spirit, planned economy, policy, polity, position, price supports, protection, protectionism, public policy, pump-priming, sectarianism
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