What where the consequences of the Civil War for the South physically, socially, politically, and economically?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There were many consequences for the South as a result of the Civil War.  One consequence was economic.  The South was devastated economically by the Civil War.  Most of the fighting was done in the South.  The land was ruined in many places.  Thus, the South had to be rebuilt.  While the war was devastating to the South economically, there was a silver lining. As a result of the rebuilding of the South, the South had more industries develop.  Instead of being almost completely agricultural, after the Civil War, there was more diversification economically in the region.

Another consequence of the Civil War was the physical damage done to the region.  Since most of the fighting was in South, many buildings were destroyed.  Lots of farmland was also damaged.  As a result of this, when the South was rebuilt, there were more changes to the region. Railroads and roads expanded in the South, and new buildings were constructed.  Just as with the economic consequences, these gave a silver lining physically for the South. 

Socially, there were many changes.  Slaves were freed and given rights.  There was an attempt to change the white controlled social order in the South.  For a while, these changes had positive results for the former slaves.  However, after Reconstruction ended, many of the gains they made were reversed, and conditions worsened.

The South was affected politically also. For a period of time, many white southerners were not allowed to vote or hold political office. Once Reconstruction ended, this changed. As a result many white southerners voted Democrat because they were furious with the changes imposed on the region by the Radical Republicans.  The South was greatly impacted by the Civil War in many ways.