Southern Economy After The Civil War?


Southern Economy After The Civil War

So how did the Civil War affect the economy of the southern states of America?

And how did it entirely change the southern states’ economic lifestyle?

Let’s discuss it.

Short & Quick Answer:

  • The Southern States’ Economy Moved From Agricultural Sector To Industrialization.
  • Increased The Number of Wage-Based Laborers Instead of Slaves.
  • Rapid Growth of Production And Economic Development.
  • Women Started Participating In Economic Activities.

Southern Economy After The Civil War

1. After The Civil War, The Southern States’ Economy Moved From Agriculture Sector To Industrialization

Before the Civil War, most of the southern states were dependent upon agriculture.

Due to the suitable weather and fertile lands, farming here was quite profitable; especially for producing cotton, tobacco, corn, wheat, peanuts, hay, and oats.

Although, in the industrialization field, they were standing in a far backward position than the northern part.

Because of machinery lack, landlords here mostly used slaves in their agro fields.

But the Civil War created a massive impact on their main traditional economic dependency.

Due to the end of Slavery, the majority of the landlords went bankrupt.

Now it became necessary to conduct machines for the production system.

Northern states’ capitalists took this opportunity for making money.

They started coming here for investment.

It created rapid growth in its industrialization sector and reduced its dependency on agriculture.

Over time, the south also emerged as an industrial hub of the United States. Such states are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, etc.


2. Increased The Number of Wage-Based Laborers Instead of Slaves

After the civil combat, the US Congress officially banned slavery from the whole United States of America.

Now, the old slaves became wage-based laborers.

Because of this reason, the number of laborers started growing in the southern states, and against it, slave numbers started decreasing.

These new laborers were now becoming able to live their lives in a much more advanced way with the money they made from wages.

On the other side, due to working with the hope of money, their way of working also started improving more than ever before.

As a result, the production system improved very fast.

This was another huge change that came to the southern economy after the civil war.

Southern Economy After The Civil War

3. Massive Growth In Production

After the Civil War, American capitalists began investing large amounts of money in the south.

They brought here advanced modern machines in large quantities.

With the flow of time, the use of machines became so much that it entirely changed the production system of the southern states.

Due to the decline of the traditional slavery system, it was no longer profitable to get workers to work with wages.

For this reason, machines started to be used in large quantities in the industry and agriculture sectors.

After this, production in agriculture and industry went ten times greater than ever before.

As a result, this accelerated the economic growth of the south, as well as the whole USA.


4. Women Started Participating In Economic Activities

Earlier, women in the southern society didn’t participate too much in economic activities, nor they got chances to do that.

Compared to the northern states, women here lived quite conservative life.

Mostly, men took the main role in economic activities.

But after the Civil War; industrialization and urbanization rapidly increased in those states.

Here, new opportunities open up for women to make money doing such jobs as sewing and selling clothes, selling butter, etc. 

It expanded women’s participation in economic activities.

Especially, in later years, women’s education helped them to become further self-reliant economically.


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