Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

1678 words - 7 pages

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The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865

In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years.

Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished... View More »

Body Sample...


? This quote forces us to consider that if slavery had been immediately abolished the wreckage and destruction that would have been rendered to the Southern economy.

At the beginning of the war, to make France and Europe recognize the Confederacy as a separate power, no attempt was made to export cotton to them. Before long, no cotton could be exported because of the invading Northern troops that were seizing and or blocking the ports. These effective sieges decimated the foreign trade for the Confederacy.

Every aspect of the Southern economy was stimulated by the war, and domestic production especially because of the need to supply the army and replacing the goods that could no longer be imported. This was, however, offset by the invading Union troupes that destroyed many businesses.

The Civil War augmented the nation greatly, and one of these changes was the routine use of paper currency. In 1861, Congress issued Demand Notes to finance the civil war. It was the first paper money issued since Continentals, which were first issued in 1775. In 1862, Congress discontinued the issuance of Demand Notes and instead circulated Legal Tender notes. Confidence in these notes waned when the Treasury stopped redeeming them during the war to save gold and silver. People followed this example, as the need for money was great, hence coin-hoarding. This in turn led to the exchange of small change substitutes, everything from bills and tickets to postage stamps.

From 1862 to 1876, 368 million dollars in fractional currency was being distributed. This currency was often called ...

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