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Impact of the Economies to the North and the South During the American Civil War

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1. Describe the impact of the war on the economies of the North and South.

The impact of the economies of the war on the North and South were opposite. The South endured a lot of hardship as the war went on. The North in contrast experienced a boom to the economy.

As the war was nearing its end the South began to feel its economy suffer. The Confederate War Bureau would concede "things are getting worse very rapidly...Ten days ago the last meat ration was issued (to Lee's army) and not a pound remained in Richmond...The truth is we are prostrated in all our energies and resources."(McPherson 816) The Confederate dollar began to plummet to less than 2% of what it was in 1861 as gold prices began to rise. Things were getting so hopeless that General Gorgas stated in January 1865 "Where is this to end? No money in the Treasury-- no troops to oppose General Sherman...Is the cause really hopeless? Is it to be lost and abandoned in this way?...Wife and I sit talking of going to Mexico to live out there the remnant of our days." (McPherson 816)

In contrast to the South the North's wartime economy was booming. President Lincoln would would address the Congress "The purpose of the people...to maintain the integrity of the Union was never more firm, nor more nearly unanimous, then now," the resources to do the job "are unexhausted, and , as we believe, inexhaustible." (McPherson 816) The Union boasted the largest navy in the world with 671 warships and the army was the largest and best equipped that it had ever been in the past. As stated by Lincoln "material resources are now more complete and abundant than ever," we also "have more men now than we had when the war began... We are gaining strength, and may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely." (McPherson 816) In the beginning of the war the North had to import rifles but by 1864 they produced an abundant amount of both rifles and artillery. The North would also double its exports of wheat, corn, pork, and beef during the war.

In stark contrast to the South the North had a booming economy. Because of the war the North was able to produce more of what it needed. The South had many difficulties in being able to provide for its population which would be a downfall in moral of its troops and progress in the war.

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