Social And Economic Changes During The Civil War
Much of the Southern railway system was destroyed during the war, making it difficult to bring food from one area to another. By far the largest changes to Southern society were due to the changing role of slaves. As Union armies advanced, especially after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves were freed.
New communities of freed slaves blossomed throughout the South, and post-war Radical Reconstruction allowed Blacks, for a time, to enjoy some political power in the South. The Civil War upended Southern society, ending forever the planter-dominated social hierarchy that was a hallmark of the antebellum South. The Politics of WarAn exhaustive list of American political factors during the 1860s would fill volumes. The Civil War (1861-1865) was an intensely complex political period in American history, politics that were not limited to war. Conflict within and between political parties raged on, the business of running the rest of the country needed attending and relations with foreign powers were sometimes delicate. At the political center stage was an American president that history would remember as perhaps the nation’s greatest.
The dominating political issue at the outset of the American Civil War was the effort of the United States to hold the nation together. After the South’s secession, the work shifted toward uniting the country to restore the Union. Some of the political actions taken by the administration of Abraham Lincoln bordered on dictatorial, such as the suspension of habeas corpus and the arrest of members of the Maryland legislature.
The economy in the United States had depending of agricultural and the cotton was the most valuable export in the united states. Southern agriculture remained labor intensive while northern agriculture became increasingly mechanized. People were making the farms more efficient and to help industries develop new and better equipment, as well as provide opportunities for students in the industrial classes.
Northern transportation industries boomed during the conflict as well – particularly railroads. The North’s larger number of tracks and better ability to construct and move parts gave it a distinct advantage over the South. Union forces moving south or west to fight often rode to battle on trains traveling on freshly lain tracks. In fact, as Northern forces traveled further south to fight and occupy the Confederacy, the War Department created the United States Military Railroads, designed to build rails to carry troops and supplies as well as operating captured Southern rail lines and equipment. By war’s end, it was the world’s largest railroad system.
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