What fueled the growth of the economy after the Civil War?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several factors that led to the growth of our economy after the Civil War. One factor was the development and completion of the transcontinental railroad. This made it easier for people to move to the West and to the South. It also made it easier and quicker for products to be shipped to and from these regions. Additionally, the process of building the transcontinental railroad provided jobs for people.

A second factor was the development of industries. The North always had plenty of industries. After the Civil War ended, the South became more industrialized. New industries formed in the South. As people began to move to new areas, especially in the West, industries also expanded to these regions.

After the Civil War, the South had to be rebuilt. This created economic opportunities for people who were willing to help rebuild the South. It also gave the South an opportunity to diversify its economy.

The government encouraged settlement of the West with the passage of the Homestead Act. This law gave people 160 acres of land for free if they lived on the land for at least five years. This led to additional economic opportunities for farmers. It also gave businesses a reason to expand since more people were moving to the West.

Our economy grew after the Civil War for several reasons.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main thing that fueled the growth of the post-Civil War economy was industrialization.  Specifically, the growth in heavy industry was behind this boom. 

The most important two parts of this boom were the boom in railroads and the steel boom that allowed it to happen and fed off of it.  After the Civil War, a new process for making steel became widely used.  It made steel quicker and cheaper than had previously been possible.  This helped allow the huge boom in railroads as the transcontinental lines were being built.  The boom in railroads helped to create a national market that allowed for rapid growth in the US economy.

Thus, railroads and steel were the main drivers of this economic growth. 

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