Before and After the Civil War

Audrey DeJong

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution Era was right before the civil war. Many of its inventions created arguments and jealousy from the North and South, like the cotton gin and interchangeable parts. The telegraph made communication between sides immediate over long distances, and was very useful. The steam engine was highly valued as it could transport goods overseas fairly quickly.

Effects on Industry, Land, and Technology in the North and South.

The South and North were always rivals when it came to taxes, industry, or making the most profit. But slavery really took the cake. The North disliked slavery because of the abuse and cruelty of it, while the South relied on it to make money from cotton. This disagreement ultimately let to a 4 year war.

Before the Civil War

The South

Southern states produced 2/3 of the world's cotton and an considerable part of the US's profit. Farmers needed slaves to pick the cotton and work on the plantations. Without slaves, the whole cotton industry would collapse. The cotton was a major influence in the South's economy and played a major role in the start of the civil war. During the industrial revolution, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. This boosted cotton production from 750,000 cotton bales in 1830, to 2.85 million bales in 1850. This called for a huge increase in the amount of slaves the South would need.

The South had little factories (usually for farming equipment) and not many railroads.

The North

The North on the other hand, was almost completely the opposite. It specialized in factories that created farming equipment. processed food, created machinery, and textiles. This made up about 90% of America's manufactured goods. The cotton gin boosted cotton production in the south. Likewise, interchangeable parts created faster and more efficient factories.

After the Civil War

The South

Since the two economies of the north and south are so different they relied on each other before the war. For example, the south didn't really manufacture goods, so they had to import them from the north and vice versa. However, since the war they couldn't work together. The south created more factories for firearms, bullets, and clothing.

The south also had a considerable amount of railroads built to transport goods and soldiers.


Reconstruction refers to the time when when the US was to be rebuilt. Under what terms would the Confederacy be allowed in the Union? President Andrew Johnson was very forgiving and lenient toward the Southern states. As long as they respected amendments 13,14, and 15. However, they adopted Black Codes that angered the North. These laws restricted the free slave's rights and where they could and couldn't work.
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13th Amendment: all slavery of any kind is permanently abolished.

14th Amendment: anyone born in the US including African Americans are citizens with rights.

15th Amendment: anyone not based on race or color can vote.

The North

Like mentioned above, the north had to create farms to sustain the farmers and the population during the war. Of course, the two sides would trade to make money, but they didn't want to do it to excess as to which they would be benefiting the enemy.


With helpful technological innovations and the need for profit to power the war more and more jobs were created at factories. People used the railroad to move into the big cities in hopes of landing a job.
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Labor Movements

Women were seen in a new light after the Civil War. Many supported the troops by giving food or rationing. It was also very common for women to work in factories making bullets and firearms, while their men where in the field. Some courageous women would disguise themselves and actually fight, some were recruited and inconspicuous spies. Women had new and improved rights after they proved their worth. Labor Unions were springing up rapidly with urbanization. Many were permanent and large groups, for higher wages and better working environments like the National Labor Union which was founded in 1866.