How did the Revolutionary War disrupt the American economy and what were the consequences during the 1780s?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One primary manner in which the war helped to disrupt the economy was to generate a large amount of debt.  Fighting the war was a very expensive proposition. The newly formed nation lacked the funds to be able to undertake financing the war.  The new administration was confronted with this staggering debt and the different approaches to generate the funds to pay this off and set a new economic course.  With a new Constitution that made the collection of federal taxes difficult to undertake without state consent, this only added to the challenge of being able to pay off the debt generated by the war.  Indeed, America quickly learned that declaring independence and paying for it resulted in two different solution sets from an economic standpoint.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main thing to remember here is that the colonial economy had been completely dependent upon Great Britain.  This was because the English had run the colonies on the basis of mercantilism -- they had not let the colonies develop industries and they had forced all colonial trade to go through the "mother country."

Because of this, the war completely disrupted the American economy.  All ties were eventually cut with the country that had been the basis of the American economy.  This caused a major slump (a depression with high inflation thrown in as well) in the American economy right after independence.