The Civil War was perhaps the greatest change agent in US history. Economically, the war opened the eyes of everyone to the importance of the railroad. Railroads helped the North win the war by allowing it to move men and supplies more efficiently than the South. After the war, railroad...
The Civil War was perhaps the greatest change agent in US history. Economically, the war opened the eyes of everyone to the importance of the railroad. Railroads helped the North win the war by allowing it to move men and supplies more efficiently than the South. After the war, railroad production in the United States skyrocketed. The war also saw the end of the cotton kingdom in the South as the slaves who worked the fields gained their independence.
While the South would still continue to grow cotton, the region's economy diversified with industry after the war. The war also popularized mass production techniques. The same technologies that allowed the North to field over one million men in uniform were used to mass produce clothing and preserved food after the war for the public at large.
Politically, the war established the Republican party as a permanent fixture in American politics. The freed slaves associated Republicans with emancipation and the veterans of the Civil War equated Republicans with the Union. The Union veterans also successfully lobbied Congress for veterans' pensions—this was quite a big step for a government that largely stayed out of the private sector and did not give money directly to citizens. The end of the war saw new constitutional amendments giving African Americans their freedom, citizenship, and suffrage.
The end of the war also saw the beginning and end of military Reconstruction for the South as Washington tried to prevent a new civil war. The end of the war also saw the first impeachment as Congress and President Johnson disagreed on how the future of the United States should look. The Democratic Party would be the party of Southerners who resented the Union and any attempt at creating civil rights.
Socially, the end of the war saw the rise of the Jim Crow era in the South where African Americans were persecuted by local statutes as well as customs. The South would be hit with crippling poverty as poor white citizens and African Americans alike turned to sharecropping. This would lead to generational poverty that would not end until WWII.
The end of the war also saw a rise in the creation of national cemeteries as people struggled to make sense of the war. Some Southerners tried to remember the antebellum days as predominantly good; this would lead to the Civil War being remembered as "The Lost Cause" in histories written by Southerners immediately after the war.