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The Legacy of the War. Political, Social, and Economic Changes Brought on Post-Civil War. Political Changes. Before the war, the federal government had not had supreme authority over the nation. The Civil War changed the powers of the government, and no state ever threatened secession again.

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The legacy of the war

The Legacy of the War

Political, Social, and Economic

Changes Brought on Post-Civil War

Political changes
Political Changes

Before the war, the federal government had not had supreme authority over the nation. The Civil War changed the powers of the government, and no state ever threatened secession again.

What powers of the government were increased through and after the war?

The government did not have much impact on people’s lives prior to the war, but during the war it used its powers to tax people’s incomes as well as conscripting people to fight.

After the war, the government also forced the populous to use the new paper currency. Many people had been contracted to be paid in coin, and therefore lost money in this change.

Economic changes
Economic Changes

The Federal Government stepped up during the war to help with business. They also helped by paying for the building of the national railroad system.

The government also passed the National Bank Act of 1863, which established a network of federally chartered banks, set requirements for loans, and a system to inspect banks.

In the North, the economy boomed, and large-scale commercial agriculture had taken hold due to the sale of reapers. The South was devastated by the war and only held 12% of the nations wealth.

Costs of war
Costs of War

The biggest toll the war took was in lives. A total of 620,000 troops died, and this would be the most deaths the U.S. ever saw in any war.

Military service took 2.4 million men away from their families, homes, and businesses for four years.

A combined total of $3.3 billion was spent by both sides. This was more money spent in 4yrs than the nation had spent in the past 80yrs.

Even 20yrs later, interest payments on the war debt and veterans pensions accounted for almost 2/3rds of the federal budget.

New freedom
New Freedom

Since the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves behind enemy lines, Lincoln had to decide what to do about the border states. He chose to amend the constitution to abolish it formally.

Initially , the amendment passed in the Republican dominate Senate, but failed in the Southern Democrat dominated House of Representatives. After being promised government jobs in return for votes, a few Democrats changed their votes.

The 13th Amendment was passed in January 1865, and slavery was officially ended in the U.S.

Civilians post civil war
Civilians Post-Civil War

Following the war, many soldiers tried to resume normal lives. Many returned to their farms and homes, while others moved to the growing cities or the west in search of opportunities.

Some men remained with the military as a career choice. Lee, although he had sworn renewed allegiance to the Union, was mistakenly not granted citizenship until 1975.

Some turned wartime experience into opportunities, such as Clara Barton who went to Europe and became a nurse in the Franco-Prussian War, and later founded the Red Cross in 1881 in the US.

Lincoln assassinated
Lincoln Assassinated

On April 14, 1865, five days after the surrender was signed at Appomattox Court House, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington.

John Wilkes Booth, a 26yr old actor and Southern sympathizer, was the assassin. He leapt down from the box seat, and broke his leg with the fall. He yelled to the crowd, “Sic SemperTyrannis,” (Thus be it ever to tyrants) and escaped. He was found 12 days later and hanged.


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