7 Dec 2011
How the Civil War Affected the United States Economy
“The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 and it was one of the most devastating wars in history.”(Kelly) Should the Union have helped the South become more industrialized like the northeastern part, or should it have just left the South like it was, an agrarian-based economy that relied heavily on slave-worked plantations for the production of cotton for export to Europe and the northern U.S. states. “If the economy of the South would have been ranked independently in 1860, it would have been the fourth richest country in world.”(Carter) The northern states were ...view middle of the document...
The Northern Economy boomed during the late 1800’s with the invention of steel. Steel then became one of the main products for the North.(Pearl) It would go on to create a more advanced transportation system in the North, which would lead on to more products to get traveled faster and in a better quality to there destination.(Weinstein) Women were also starting to get there benefits to start working, usually they started working out in textile mills before getting into more advanced jobs. All of this created more capital for the owners of the business of these jobs.
The South’s economy lacked of what the Northerners wanted, the Southerners didn’t really want new technology, they just wanted there “old jobs.”(The Economy in the South) There were many good jobs in the south such as a plantation owner, a minister, and a lawyer. The South farmed cash crops, but they weren’t the ones who sold products and managed business, that title belonged to the North and the Britain. The north sold the products after they were managed there, and this cycle worked pretty well.(Pearl) Many of the Southern Plantation’s farmed tobacco, sugar, rice, and cotton.(Dattel) Nothing can really have helped the slaves for better working conditions in the south ,it just mattered what the Slave owner thought.(Kelly)
Well as the Civil War is taking place, the Union having a population that was more than twice that of the South, the North had enough food to feed all of its people, including its armies. Plus, it boasted many factories that produced much of what those armies needed.("The Economy in the South.")“The federal arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts alone produced over one million rifles for the army, and countless rounds of ammunition. The North enjoyed 69% of the railroad capacity compared to only 31% in the South, and held all of the currency reserves of the federal government.”(Brennan) The Midwest and Northeast were the most industrialized areas of the country, and those factories quickly turned to making war supplies that kept the massive Union armies relatively well-equipped. Despite these advantages, the government needed money, and it went to great lengths to get it.(Trinkley) First, it issued a massive bond measure in which citizens and financial institutions were asked to buy bonds to fund the war. The Greenbacks as paper money became known, were initially backed by gold, and then later by the bonds that the government sold.(Levy) The value of the paper money varied according to the fortunes of the Union Army, and at times they were worth almost one-third less than face value.(Weinstien) In contrast to the economic plan in the Confederacy, the Union made the greenbacks "legal tender for all debts public...