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American Economy After the Civil War and the Methods Used to Help Them Get Back on Their Feet

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Autor:   •  April 15, 2018  •  Essay  •  791 Words (4 Pages)  •  113 Views

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Back on their feet

Daisy Martinez

DelCampo International School

United States History

Mr. Juan Herrera

January 26 2018



This paper discusses the American economy after the Civil War and the methods used to help them get back on their feet. Unfortunately, the South suffered immense damages to their population, infrastructure, land and others. With the Reconstruction plan, African Americans were able to earn their rights back, and become free citizens. Part of their aid was granted by the Freedmen’s Bureau which provided assistance to former slaves. American economy still consisted on agriculture but in the search for wider opportunities, people traveled through states in order to get better job offers. Eventually, the economy in the South managed to stabilize and prosper through the years.

Back on their feet

        A time existed before the United States became the powerful successful country it is today, they experienced times of difficulty such as the Civil War. In 1865 when the war ended, a new period began for the country and was called the Reconstruction Era. This new period tried to redress the injustices that slavery left behind in the political, social and economic fields of the country. Additionally, at a national level, new laws and constitutional amendments indelibly transformed the American Government and citizenship. Most importantly, the South went through a series of drastic changes which improved their economy and helped the reformation of former slaves into proud citizens of a reborn country.

        Since America was divided into two regions, the North had benefited from the war by bringing economic growth to the factory and farms. However, the South had suffered immense damage due to completely destroyed cities, lack of resources and the lack of laborers to work the land. Having abolished slavery almost in its entirety, a new system of labor had to be implemented in order to replace it. Soon enough, slavery was replaced by sharecropping which consisted of tenant farmers, mostly black, taking care of other lands and receiving a portion of the crops in exchange. Despite still working for someone else, former slaves now had control of their lives outside of work.

        Regardless of the small efforts made to improve the economy, its progress and growth were slow. However, they never gave up and looked for more ways to improve the South’s lifestyle. Even though white Southerners wanted to keep the blacks an impoverished and despised underclass, in 1865 the Congress created the Bureau of refugees in order to provide the

support they needed. The bureau’s purpose was to help freed African Americans in their transition from slavery to freedom by providing food, shelter, employment, and clothing. In order to help the affected victims, they built schools and colleges for blacks to promote education, hospitals, and camps to locate lost family members and helped legalize marriages.

        With the help of the bureau, black families were able to unite again. African Americans found a broader variety of employment opportunities in other states, now that they were allowed to travel. Moreover, women were now allowed to get a job, which is why they would travel to the North and become domestic servants for the rich. Sadly, with agriculture being the main source for the Southerners’ income, the path to recovery was harder than in the North. Still, cotton remained their most popular crop, and the North provided machinery to harvest it given the lack of manual laborers.


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