The post Civil War South: a changing landscape - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
If the South would have been victorious in the American Civil war the Confederacy would have ranked as one of the world's wealthiest nations and cotton would have been king. However,the North's triumph over the South brought several changes to the South that fundamentally changed the way they worked,produced,and socialized…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.5% of users find it useful
The post Civil War South: a changing landscape
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"The post Civil War South: a changing landscape"

Download file to see previous pages If the South would have been victorious in the American Civil war the Confederacy would have ranked as one of the world's wealthiest nations and cotton would have been king. However, the North's triumph over the South brought several changes to the South that fundamentally changed the way they worked, produced, and socialized. The plantations of the antebellum era were replaced in the face of the abolition of slavery and new economic demands. The Freedman now were able to own land, work their own fields, and seek employment as a wage earner. The freed slaves had also lost the only social structure that they had known, which was the slave system. New social systems rose up to fill the void as plantation owners fled the country when plantation economics were no longer viable. Political organizations suddenly felt the pressure of the newly emancipated African Americans. The loss of the Civil War restructured the South economically, agriculturally, economically, and politically.Before the Civil War, the South was dotted with plantations that had all the outward appearances of style, grace, and aristocratic status. However, this status was dependent upon the slave labor that sowed, produced, and harvested the crops. Plantations grew cash crops as well as food crops to be consumed by the owners and workers. Cotton, a very labor-intensive crop, was one of the South's leading economic commodities. After the Civil War, much of the South's agricultural system had been destroyed and the machine for producing cotton, the slave system, had been dismantled. Plantations lay in ruins at the hands of Union troops. As the land stood idle, the freedmen had little real economic opportunity to begin life as a free citizen and the system of sharecropping began be the major method of agricultural production.
The South was additionally changed agriculturally from being a labor-intensive system to being a land intensive system. By 1870, land ownership would become more concentrated with one tenth of the wealthiest landowners owning 60 percent of the tillable average (Nash et al.557). This concentrated land ownership further made cotton the crop of choice as food crop production began to fall off. To produce cotton on the land, owners went from a system of contracts to tenant farming and eventually sharecropping. Tenant farming and sharecropping kept the laborers in debt to buy seed and fertilizer or paying expenses on their living quarters and food. None of these systems of agriculture were acceptable to many blacks that demanded their own land and believed private ownership was an expression of freedom. Though progress was slow in this area, by 1900 25 percent of the black population were landowners (Nash et al. 559). The proliferation of small farms in an environment where large landholders dictated the economics of farming resulted in a great devaluation of the South in terms of agricultural worth.
The changing face of agriculture in the South also changed the economics of the South. In the South, economics and agriculture went hand in hand. After the end of the Civil War the value of agriculture in the South had fallen dramatically, while industrialization began to take hold. Southern states would offer financial incentives to bring railroads and industry to the South. Throughout the South, the value of farms had been cut nearly in half, while the number of factories had nearly doubled between 1860 and 1870 (Reconstruction: The Second Civil War). This transformed the South's economy from an agricultural subsistence economy to a wage earner and merchant economy. Wage earners could purchase goods from local merchants, who could then hire help and recycle their pay through the local economy. Mississippi was typical of the states in the Deep South where "The legislature enacted policies to attract Northern capital, including huge land grants to railroads, and almost no taxes for railroads and other corporations" (Reconstruction: ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The post Civil War South: a changing landscape Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Post Civil War South: A Changing Landscape Essay)
“The Post Civil War South: A Changing Landscape Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
Slavery in Post-Civil War America
...Task Slavery in Post-Civil War America In post civil war America, racism and slavery were at their highest and African Americans were on the receiving end as they were forced to do hard labor in firms owned by Whites. African Americans were accused of crimes they did not commit and then sold out to white firms, where they would be subjected to hard labor with no compensation. They were bought and sold repeatedly by their white masters who did not provide much for quality life. Blacks were accused of crimes, and they could not prove their innocence in courts since authorities only wanted to arrest and use their cheap labor. Southern...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
U.S History Post Civil War to Present
...? U.S. History Post Civil War to Present The United s is located in North America; it is one of the most populous and richest countries in the world. The country has a range of vast settlements from secluded farms located in the prairies to collections of urban towns. Many industrial cities have developed since the nation gained independence in 1776. A large population in the United States today is found in the urban areas with people coming from different ethnic backgrounds. Growth in old cities found in the northeast and Midwest of the United States has slowed down in recent years since majority of people continue to move from these congested towns to newer cities in the west and...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
America's Post-Civil War Growing Pains
...America’s Post Civil War Growing Pains The period of 1865-1900 was when American civil war ended and this was marked theturning point of the American history. During this period, America faced with lack of coherence, cohesion or any kind of unity as it was marred with fast, sweeping and violent change which is a contradictory of the present day America. This provided the roots of the conventional stereotype of American society which was rootless, constantly changing, dynamic and fast moving. This period is however different from the America’s earlier 19th century. It was during this period that Abraham Lincoln died. The...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment
America's Post-Civil War Growing Pains
...the Reconstruction Era, some of the insurgent groups and Democrat used force and manipulations to regain power in the legislatures. They used this power to oppress many blacks and also poor whites in the South. Following decisions from the Supreme Court in the 19th and 20th centuries upholding many of these oppressive laws, the blacks could not vote in the South. This only changed in the mid 1960s following the African –American Civil Rights Movement. Conclusion It is evident from the above discussion that although the Reconstruction was meant to reintegrate the African Americans in the United States system after the American Civil War,...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
America Post-Civil War Growing Pains
...?America’s Post-Civil War Growing Pains America’s Post-Civil War Growing Pains [Institute’s American’s post civil war Growing Pains The Civil War is recognized as one of the major turning points in American history, which led the nation to become a strong political and economic nation. As stated by President Abraham Lincoln, the war brought to America “a new birth of freedom”. Since the war had been initiated to end slavery and redefine freedom, the post-civil war brought...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
America's Post-Civil War Growing Pains
...? America's Post Civil War Growing Pains America's Post Civil War Growing Pains In the United s history, there were two major historical turning points, and these periods were termed as the reconstruction and Industrialization. In the years (1865-1877), there was much of the reconstruction which happened towards the south. The rebuilding of the southern region began quickly and progressed massively although it was a difficult process. This was due to the social question of integrating more than 4 million freed slaves and the political question of integrating the rebel states in the nation (Seldn, 2010). Lincoln gave out...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper
The Post Civil War South Essay
...Where Land Was King: The Post Civil War South Man's relationship with the land has been told in literature since the days of Moses when he pleaded with the Pharaoh to free his people. In the Southern United States during the 19th century, land ownership became a social division between the elite landowners and the slaves and poor whites. For the antebellum South, cotton was king and land ownership provided the social capital necessary to acquire and maintain economic status. The South's heavy reliance on agriculture, as opposed to industry, as a means to flourish economically during this period depended on the plantation system of landowners and slavery. African-Americans and poor whites living in the South were denied land... and the...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
The south after the civil war
...and cultivation of huge plots of land. This measure had dual advantage. Firstly, the wage or cost per labor was considerably low and secondly this cost benefit was ploughed back into the agricultural business by buying large plots of land and cultivating huge area at one time. Thus it is obvious that the yield this way used to be generating formidable surplus out of the business. Once the civil war was lost and the advantage of slave energy was diminished the landlords or the region found it difficult to adjust with the changed situation of escalated labor cost and in the process they were forced to employ tenants and divide the land into smaller plots. Both these factors diminished...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
America's Post-Civil War Growing Pains
...Section/# Introduction: Although it may be convenient to view the reconstruction as something of an individual period of time that helped to define the post-Civil War experience as a function of rebuilding the South and seeking to re-engage and re-incorporate many formerly hostile individuals under the umbrella of a shared republic, the fact of the matter is that a simple and concise definition of the process itself eludes historians and political scientists alike. Due to the fact that the period of reconstruction was punctuated by many factors, both positive and negative, a firm understanding of the ways in which reconstruction affected the United States much...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper
Post Civil War Industrialization and Its Impacts
...Post Civil War Industrialization and Its Impacts The period of time immediately after the Civil War was one of great change. Society experienced dynamic changes with respect to the way in which African-Americans were treated and how they were included within society. Naturally, issues of discrimination persisted within the United States in and around this period of time; however, the practice of slavery was concluded and a greater degree of self-determination was possible. Yet, many individuals would accurately argue that the process of industrialization was the single most important factor with respect to the way in...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic The post Civil War South: a changing landscape for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us