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How did the Civil War affect the economies of the North and of the South?

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barbiedot | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted April 28, 2012 at 12:44 AM via web

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How did the Civil War affect the economies of the North and of the South?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 28, 2012 at 1:06 AM (Answer #1)

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The Civil War greatly improved the economy of the North but harmed the economy of the South.

The Civil War disrupted the Southern economy badly.  First of all, it freed the slaves, thus removing the bulk of the Southern work force and forcing the South to readjust its economy.  Second, it devastated much of the South's infrastructure.  Destruction of things like railroad tracks caused short-term damage to the South's economy.

Meanwhile, the Northern economy was helped by the war.  It experienced a railroad boom as railroads were built with federal government support.  This was the most important change in the Northern economy as it led to westward expansion and to a much better transportation grid for the North's economy.

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