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:
1. First Change: The Southern States’ Economy Transformed From Agricultural Sector To Industrialization.
2. Second Change: Increased The Number of Wage-Based Laborers In The Production System of The South Instead of The Traditional Slavery System.
3. Third Change: Rapid Growth In Production, And Economic Development. This Happened Because of The Rise of Capitalism And The Use of Modern Machines In The Production System of The Southen States.
4. Fourth Change: Women Started Participating In Economic Activities. This Strengthened Women’s Empowerment In The United States.
Now, let’s discuss in-depth on each one of them.
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.
Because of 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 the machinery’s lack, landlords here mostly used slaves for agricultural activities.
But the Civil War created a massive impact on their main traditional economic dependency.
The end of Slavery led the majority of landlords into bankruptcy.
Now it became necessary to conduct machines for the production system.
Northern states’ capitalists took this opportunity for making money.
They started arriving 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.
[Do You Know? This Economic Change In The United States Is Also Known As The Second Industrial Revolution]
2. Increased The Number of Wage-Based Laborers Instead of Slaves
After the Civil War, the US Congress officially banned slavery from the whole United States of America.
Now, the previous 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 now became able to live their lives in a much more advanced way with the money they made from wages.
On the other side, because they worked with the hope of money, their dedication 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.
3. Massive Growth In Production
After the Civil War, northern capitalists began investing large amounts of money in the south.
They brought here advanced modern machines.
After a period of time, the use of machines became so much that it entirely changed the production system of the southern states.
Because of 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.
This helped to grow production in agriculture and industry ten times greater than ever before.
As a result, it accelerated the economic growth of the south, as well as the whole USA.
4. Women Started Participating In Economic Activities
Before the Civil War, women in southern society didn’t participate 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.