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The Dramatic Effects of the American Civil War

The American Civil War, from 1861-1865, signified one of the most important
changes in American history. It transformed the country economically, politically
and socially, leading to the reconstruction of a burgeoning and successful nation.
While the war increased northern prosperity, the South's entire society
consequently collapsed entirely. Today the conflict remains the USA's most
important internal struggle in its relatively brief history. This magnificent event had,
as it is already written, political, economic, labor and social effects.
As it is clearly known, a war always leaves political effects in the country where it
takes place. This case is not the exception, but just the opposite because of the
historical events that took place there. As the north won the civil war, it forced the
South to rejoin the United States. It also meant that the South had to emancipate its
slaves (as well as anyone in the north who may have had slaves). Insofar as this
latter consequence had huge implications on the other effects mentioned, this was
indeed a political move.
Politics always goes hand in hand with a country's economy, and the Civil War
produced very different economic effects in the North and South. The Civil War (with
its enormous destruction and disruption of society) was definitely a stimulus to
industrialization in the north. The massive need for war material stimulated a
massive growth in northern industrialization and the need to fund the war also
caused a great expansion of the financial services industry in the US, particularly in
New York City. Contradicting to this success, the South's economy took a huge hit
because of the war, thereby experiencing devastating effects such as it became
increasingly difficult to export goods due to the naval blockade imposed by the
But the most important effect in the south was labor because to the AfricanAmericans who had been held in bondage their entire lives, freedom meant many
things. It meant freedom from white control, autonomy both as individuals and as a
community, freedom from the innumerable regulations of slavery and freedom to
own property. In other words, black people wanted to work for themselves, not for
their bosses. Nevertheless, many black people chose to leave the south
altogether, causing the lives of everyone in the south to changed dramatically.
White farmers suffered devastating losses.
Explaining the economic effects of the American Civil War is the perfect prologue to
understanding that the greatest effect that happened in the society as a
consequence of the political and economic changes. The most important event that
took place as a social effect was the women's liberation. In the North there was a
change in gender roles and women took positions as teachers, nurses, factory
workers and as leaders of family business. In the west, settlement continued and
women took over such as men went off to war. Finally, in the South free slaves and
women took over formerly white male-dominated positions and also learned how to
work the land themselves, and that caused that southern nationalism
develop further.

As we can see, the US Civil War had several positive and negative effects but
whether the war was a stimulus to self-improvement and industrialization or a
devastating event that caused many irreparable economic and human losses, it was
an event that not only changed the whole direction of the country and also its way
of seeing things, but also made United States the country it is and will be, a
burgeoning and successful nation full of a proud population.
Jose Andres Cueva Moscoso