The slave market in Atlanta, Georgia, Library of Congress When the North American continent was first colonized by Europeans, the land was vast, the work was harsh, and there was a severe shortage of labor.
Introduction The most difficult task confronting many Southerners during Reconstruction was devising a new system of labor to replace the shattered world of slavery. The economic lives of planters, former slaves, and nonslaveholding whites, were transformed after the Civil War.
Planters found it hard to adjust to the end of slavery. Accustomed to absolute control over their labor force, many sought to restore the old discipline, only to meet determined opposition from the freedpeople, who equated freedom with economic autonomy.
Many former slaves believed that their years of unrequited labor gave them a claim to land; "forty acres and a mule" became their rallying cry. White reluctance to sell to blacks, and the federal government's decision not to redistribute land in the South, meant that only a small percentage of the freedpeople became landowners.
|is for Teachers.||Slavery in the United States Percentage of slaves in each county of the slave states in There have been many different ways to estimate the amount of slaveholding in the south. Richmond, Virginia was the Confederate capital and was a major industrial and commercial center.|
Most rented land or worked for wages on white-owned plantations. During Reconstruction, many small white farmers, thrown into poverty by the war, entered into cotton production, a major change from prewar days when they concentrated on growing food for their own families. Out of the conflicts on the plantations, new systems of labor slowly emerged to take the place of slavery.
Sharecropping dominated the cotton and tobacco South, while wage labor was the rule on sugar plantations. Increasingly, both white and black farmers came to depend on local merchants for credit. A cycle of debt often ensued, and year by year the promise of economic independence faded.The Civil War that raged across the nation from to was the violent conclusion to decades of diversification.
Gradually, throughout the beginning of the nineteenth century, the North and South followed different paths, developing into two distinct and very different regions.
Economy in The Civil War. BACK; NEXT ; A War of Unequals. Economically, the Civil War wasn't a contest between equals. The South had no factories to produce guns or ammunition, and its railroads were small and weren't interconnected, meaning that it was hard for the South to move food, weapons, and men quickly and over long distances.
The outbreak of the Civil War forever changed the future of the American nation. The war began as a struggle to preserve the Union, not a struggle to free the slaves, but many in the North and South felt that the conflict would ultimately decide both issues.
slavery during the civil war Although slavery was at the heart of the sectional impasse between North and South in , it was not the singular cause of the Civil War. Rather, it was the multitude of differences arising from the slavery issue that impelled the Southern states to secede.
There was great wealth in the South, but it was primarily tied up in the slave economy.
In , the economic value of slaves in the United States exceeded the invested value of all of the nation's railroads, factories, and banks combined. On the eve of the Civil War, cotton prices were at an all-time high.
The Confederate States of America had an agrarian-based economy that relied heavily on slave-worked plantations for the production of cotton for export to Europe and the northern US states. Salt was a crucial resource during the Civil War.
The Confederate States of America, , ().