Post-Civil War Conditions

By 1865, the North was extremely prosperous. Its economy boomed during the war with growth in the factories and farms. The North did not have to rebuild as the war had been fought mostly in the South. However, the war was extremely expensive for the North. Three methods were employed to raise funds:

Taxation: Tariffs, excise taxes on luxury goods and income tax during the war.

Printing money: The Union government printed more than $450 million during the war.

Selling bond (borrowing): Union securities to investors both in the North and in Europe.

Northern attitudes reflected much bitterness toward the South, but few calls for outright revenge. Few Confederate leaders were imprisoned.

The South sustained much damage. Cities were destroyed and people lacked the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing for themselves or their dependents. The federal government did little to help the needy. One of their efforts to help was the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

The South had deep feelings of hatred toward the North but didn’t have the platform to air their sentiments. Efforts to regulate the relationships between the newly freed slaves and their former masters were made in black codes.

The Confederacy printed more than $800 million in paper money during the war. There was massive inflation. The currency and other government securities were worthless, destroying the savings of thousands.

Source: Post-Civil War Conditions
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