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Banks were a relatively new economic institution at this point in time, and opinions were sharply divided over the degree to which the federal government should regulate banks. In the Northeast, where over 60 percent of all banks were located, there was strong support by for the creation of a system of banks that would be chartered and regulated by the federal government. But in the South, which had little need for local banking services, there was little enthusiasm for such a proposal.

Here again, the western states were caught in the middle. The growth of an urbanized market society in the North produced more than just a legislative program of political economy that Southerners strongly resisted. Several historians have taken a much broader view of the market revolution and industrialization in the North. A leading historian of the Civil War, James McPherson, argues that Southerners were correct when they claimed that the revolutionary program sweeping through the North threatened their way of life ; James Huston carries the argument one step further by arguing that Southerners were correct in their fears that the triumph of this coalition would eventually lead to an assault by Northern politicians on slave property rights.

All this provided ample argument for those clamoring for the South to leave the Union in But why did the North fight a war rather than simply letting the unhappy Southerners go in peace? Still, war is always a gamble, and with the neither the costs nor the benefits easily calculated before the fact, leaders are often tempted to take the risk. The evidence above certainly lent strong support for those arguing that it made sense for the South to fight if a belligerent North threatened the institution of slavery.

An economic case for the North is more problematic. However, Gerald Gunderson points out that if, as many historians argue, Northern Republicans were intent on controlling the spread of slavery, then a war to keep the South in the Union might have made sense. Allowing the South to leave the Union would mean that the North could no longer control the expansion of slavery anywhere in the Western Hemisphere Ransom ; Ransom and Sutch ; Weingast ; Weingast ; Wolfson That is not to say that either side wanted war — for economic or any other reason. In part this reflects the enormous effort expended by both sides to conduct the war.

What was the cost of this conflict? The most comprehensive effort to answer this question is the work of Claudia Goldin and Frank Lewis ; The Goldin and Lewis estimates of the costs of the war are presented in Table 3. The costs are divided into two groups: the direct costs which include the expenditures of state and local governments plus the loss from destruction of property and the loss of human capital from the casualties; and what Goldin and Lewis term the indirect costs of the war which include the subsequent implications of the war after Indirect Costs:.

Total Costs of the War. Source: Ransom, 51, Table ; Goldin and Lewis. While these figures are only a very rough estimate of the actual costs, they provide an educated guess as to the order of magnitude of the economic effort required to wage the war, and it seems likely that if there is a bias, it is to understate the total. Even so, the direct cost of the war as calculated by Goldin and Lewis was 1. What stands out in addition to the enormity of the bill is the disparity in the burden these costs represented to the people in the North and the South. Staggering though these numbers are, they represent only a fraction of the full costs of the war, which lingered long after the fighting had stopped.

All the figures for the costs in Table 3 have been adjusted to reflect their discounted value in Ingenious though this methodology is, it suffers from the serious drawback that consumption lost for any reason — not just the war — is included in the figure. Particularly for the South, not all the decline in output after could be directly attributed to the war; the growth in the demand for cotton that fueled the antebellum economy did not continue, and there was a dramatic change in the supply of labor due to emancipation.

The magnitudes of the indirect effects are detailed in Table 3. What Table 3 does not show is the extent to which these expenses were spread out over a long period of time. In the North, consumption had regained its prewar level by , however in the South consumption remained below its level to the end of the century. We shall return to this issue below. No war in American history strained the economic resources of the economy as the Civil War did.

Governments on both sides were forced to resort to borrowing on an unprecedented scale to meet the financial obligations for the war. With more developed markets and an industrial base that could ultimately produce the goods needed for the war, the Union was clearly in a better position to meet this challenge.

How An argumentative essay on gay marriage helps in comparison essay example?

The South, on the other hand, had always relied on either Northern or foreign capital markets for their financial needs, and they had virtually no manufacturing establishments to produce military supplies. From the outset, the Confederates relied heavily on funds borrowed outside the South to purchase supplies abroad. Figure 3 shows the sources of revenue collected by the Union government during the war. In and the government covered less than 15 percent of its total expenditures through taxes. But what of the other 75 percent? In Congress authorized the U.

Treasury to issue currency notes that were not backed by gold. This still left a huge shortfall in revenue that was not covered by either taxes or the printing of money. The remaining revenues were obtained by borrowing funds from the public. The financial markets of the North were strained by these demands, but they proved equal to the task.

Consequently, the Northern economy was able to finance the war without a significant reduction in private consumption. While the increase in the national debt seemed enormous at the time, events were to prove that the economy was more than able to deal with it. Indeed, several economic historians have claimed that the creation and subsequent retirement of the Civil War debt ultimately proved to be a significant impetus to post-war growth Williamson ; James Wartime finance also prompted a significant change in the banking system of the United States. In Congress finally passed legislation creating the National Banking System.

Their motive was not only to institute the program of banking reform pressed for many years by the Whigs and the Republicans; the newly-chartered federal banks were also required to purchase large blocs of federal bonds to hold as security against the issuance of their national bank notes. The efforts of the Confederate government to pay for their war effort were far more chaotic than in the North, and reliable expenditure and revenue data are not available.

Figure 4 presents the best revenue estimates we have for the Richmond government from though November Burdekin and Langdana Several features of Confederate finance immediately stand out in comparison to the Union effort. First is the failure of the Richmond government to finance their war expenditures through taxation.

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Over the course of the war, tax revenues accounted for only 11 percent of all revenues. Another contrast was the much higher fraction of revenues accounted for by the issuance of currency on the part of the Richmond government. The remainder came in the form of bonds, many of which were sold abroad in either London or Amsterdam. The reliance on borrowed funds proved to be a growing problem for the Confederate treasury. By mid the costs of paying interest on outstanding government bonds absorbed more than half all government expenditures.

The difficulties of collecting taxes and floating new bond issues had become so severe that in the final year of the war the total revenues collected by the Confederate Government actually declined. The printing of money and borrowing on such a huge scale had a dramatic effect on the economic stability of the Confederacy. The best measure of this instability and eventual collapse can be seen in the behavior of prices.

An index of consumer prices is plotted together with the stock on money from early to April in Figure 5. By the beginning of prices had already doubled; by middle of they had increased by a factor of Up to this point, the inflation could be largely attributed to the money placed in the hands of consumers by the huge deficits of the government.

Prices and the stock of money had risen at roughly the same rate. This represented a classic case of what economists call demand-pull inflation: too much money chasing too few goods. However, from the middle of on, the behavior of prices no longer mirrors the money supply. In late and early , following the Confederate defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, prices rose very sharply despite a marked decrease in the growth of the money supply. When the Union offensives in Georgia and Virginia stalled in the summer of , prices stabilized for a few months, only to resume their upward spiral after the fall of Atlanta in September By that time, of course, the Confederate cause was clearly doomed.

By the end of the war, inflation had reached a point where the value of the Confederate currency was virtually zero. People had taken to engaging in barter or using Union dollars if they could be found to conduct their transactions. The Union also experienced inflation as a result of deficit finance during the war; the consumer price index rose from at the outset of the war to by the end of Inflation is a tax, and it tends to fall on those who are least able to afford it. One group that tends to be vulnerable to a sudden rise in prices is wage earners.

Table 4 presents data on prices and wages in the United States and the Confederacy. The series for wages has been adjusted to reflect the decline in purchasing power due to inflation. Not surprisingly, wage earners in the South saw the real value of their wages practically disappear by the end of the war. In the North the situation was not as severe, but wages certainly did not keep pace with prices; the real value of wages fell by about 20 percent. It is not obvious why this happened. The need for manpower in the army and the demand for war production should have created a labor shortage that would drive wages higher.

While the economic situation of laborers deteriorated during the war, one must remember that wage earners in were still a relatively small share of the total labor force. Agriculture, not industry, was the largest economic sector in the north, and farmers fared much in terms of their income during the war than did wage earners in the manufacturing sector Ransom ; Atack and Passell Confederate: Lerner Overall, it is clear that the North did a far better job of mobilizing the economic resources needed to carry on the war.

The greater sophistication and size of Northern markets meant that the Union government could call upon institutional arrangements that allowed for a more efficient system of redirecting resources into wartime production than was possible in the South. The Confederates depended far more upon outside resources and direct intervention in the production of goods and services for their war effort, and in the end the domestic economy could not bear up under the strain of the effort.

It is worth noting in this regard, that the Union blockade, which by had largely closed down not only the external trade of the South with Europe, but also the coastal trade that had been an important element in the antebellum transportation system, may have played a more crucial part in bringing about the eventual collapse of the Southern war effort than is often recognized Ransom It is easy to see why contemporaries believed that the Civil War was a watershed event in American History.

With a cost of billions of dollars and , men killed, slavery had been abolished and the Union had been preserved. S Census of Population, The region along the north Atlantic Coast, with its extensive development of commerce and industry, had the largest concentration of urban population in the United States; roughly one-third of the population of the nine states defined as the Northeast in Table 2 lived in urban counties.


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In the South, the picture was very different. Cotton cultivation with slave labor did not require local financial services or nearby manufacturing activities that might generate urban activities. The 11 states of the Confederacy had only 51 urban counties and they were widely scattered throughout the region.


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Western agriculture with its emphasis on foodstuffs encouraged urban activity near to the source of production. These centers were not necessarily large; indeed, the West had roughly the same number of large and mid-sized cities as the South. However there were far more small towns scattered throughout settled regions of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan than in the Southern landscape. Economic policy had played a prominent role in American politics since the birth of the republic in With the formation of the Whig Party in the s, a number of key economic issues emerged at the national level.

To illustrate the extent to which the rise of urban centers and increased market activity in the North led to a growing crisis in economic policy, historians have re-examined four specific areas of legislative action singled out by Beard and Hacker as evidence of a Congressional stalemate in Egnal ; Ransom and Sutch ; ; Bensel ; McPherson Land Policy. Settlement of western lands had always been a major bone of contention for slave and free-labor farms.

The manner in which the federal government distributed land to people could have a major impact on the nature of farming in a region. Northerners wanted to encourage the settlement of farms which would depend primarily on family labor by offering cheap land in small parcels. Southerners feared that such a policy would make it more difficult to keep areas open for settlement by slaveholders who wanted to establish large plantations. The bill passed, but President Buchanan vetoed it. Bensel Transportation Improvements. The need for government- sponsored improvements was particularly urgent in the Great Lakes region Egnal The appearance of the railroad in the s gave added support for those advocating government subsidies to promote transportation.

The bill that best illustrates the regional disputes on transportation was the Pacific Railway Bill of , which proposed a transcontinental railway link to the West Coast. The bill failed to pass the House, receiving no votes from congressmen representing districts of the South where there was a significant slave population Bensel The Tariff. Southerners, with their emphasis on staple agriculture and need to buy goods produced outside the South, strongly objected to the imposition of duties on imported goods.

Manufacturers in the Northeast, on the other hand, supported a high tariff as protection against cheap British imports. People in the West were caught in the middle of this controversy. However the tariff was also the main source of federal revenue at this time, and Westerners needed government funds for the transportation improvements they supported in Congress. Southerners complained that even this level of protection was excessive and that it was one more example of the willingness of the West and the North to make economic bargains at the expense of the South Ransom and Sutch ; Egnal Banks were a relatively new economic institution at this point in time, and opinions were sharply divided over the degree to which the federal government should regulate banks.

In the Northeast, where over 60 percent of all banks were located, there was strong support by for the creation of a system of banks that would be chartered and regulated by the federal government. But in the South, which had little need for local banking services, there was little enthusiasm for such a proposal.

Here again, the western states were caught in the middle. The growth of an urbanized market society in the North produced more than just a legislative program of political economy that Southerners strongly resisted. Several historians have taken a much broader view of the market revolution and industrialization in the North. A leading historian of the Civil War, James McPherson, argues that Southerners were correct when they claimed that the revolutionary program sweeping through the North threatened their way of life ; James Huston carries the argument one step further by arguing that Southerners were correct in their fears that the triumph of this coalition would eventually lead to an assault by Northern politicians on slave property rights.

All this provided ample argument for those clamoring for the South to leave the Union in But why did the North fight a war rather than simply letting the unhappy Southerners go in peace? Still, war is always a gamble, and with the neither the costs nor the benefits easily calculated before the fact, leaders are often tempted to take the risk. The evidence above certainly lent strong support for those arguing that it made sense for the South to fight if a belligerent North threatened the institution of slavery.

An economic case for the North is more problematic. However, Gerald Gunderson points out that if, as many historians argue, Northern Republicans were intent on controlling the spread of slavery, then a war to keep the South in the Union might have made sense. Allowing the South to leave the Union would mean that the North could no longer control the expansion of slavery anywhere in the Western Hemisphere Ransom ; Ransom and Sutch ; Weingast ; Weingast ; Wolfson That is not to say that either side wanted war — for economic or any other reason. In part this reflects the enormous effort expended by both sides to conduct the war.

What was the cost of this conflict? The most comprehensive effort to answer this question is the work of Claudia Goldin and Frank Lewis ; The Goldin and Lewis estimates of the costs of the war are presented in Table 3. The costs are divided into two groups: the direct costs which include the expenditures of state and local governments plus the loss from destruction of property and the loss of human capital from the casualties; and what Goldin and Lewis term the indirect costs of the war which include the subsequent implications of the war after Indirect Costs:.

Total Costs of the War. Source: Ransom, 51, Table ; Goldin and Lewis. While these figures are only a very rough estimate of the actual costs, they provide an educated guess as to the order of magnitude of the economic effort required to wage the war, and it seems likely that if there is a bias, it is to understate the total. Even so, the direct cost of the war as calculated by Goldin and Lewis was 1. What stands out in addition to the enormity of the bill is the disparity in the burden these costs represented to the people in the North and the South.

Staggering though these numbers are, they represent only a fraction of the full costs of the war, which lingered long after the fighting had stopped. All the figures for the costs in Table 3 have been adjusted to reflect their discounted value in Ingenious though this methodology is, it suffers from the serious drawback that consumption lost for any reason — not just the war — is included in the figure.

Particularly for the South, not all the decline in output after could be directly attributed to the war; the growth in the demand for cotton that fueled the antebellum economy did not continue, and there was a dramatic change in the supply of labor due to emancipation. The magnitudes of the indirect effects are detailed in Table 3. What Table 3 does not show is the extent to which these expenses were spread out over a long period of time. In the North, consumption had regained its prewar level by , however in the South consumption remained below its level to the end of the century.

We shall return to this issue below. No war in American history strained the economic resources of the economy as the Civil War did. Governments on both sides were forced to resort to borrowing on an unprecedented scale to meet the financial obligations for the war. With more developed markets and an industrial base that could ultimately produce the goods needed for the war, the Union was clearly in a better position to meet this challenge.

The South, on the other hand, had always relied on either Northern or foreign capital markets for their financial needs, and they had virtually no manufacturing establishments to produce military supplies. From the outset, the Confederates relied heavily on funds borrowed outside the South to purchase supplies abroad.

follow Figure 3 shows the sources of revenue collected by the Union government during the war. In and the government covered less than 15 percent of its total expenditures through taxes. But what of the other 75 percent? In Congress authorized the U. Treasury to issue currency notes that were not backed by gold. This still left a huge shortfall in revenue that was not covered by either taxes or the printing of money. The remaining revenues were obtained by borrowing funds from the public.

The financial markets of the North were strained by these demands, but they proved equal to the task. Consequently, the Northern economy was able to finance the war without a significant reduction in private consumption. While the increase in the national debt seemed enormous at the time, events were to prove that the economy was more than able to deal with it.

Indeed, several economic historians have claimed that the creation and subsequent retirement of the Civil War debt ultimately proved to be a significant impetus to post-war growth Williamson ; James Wartime finance also prompted a significant change in the banking system of the United States. In Congress finally passed legislation creating the National Banking System. Their motive was not only to institute the program of banking reform pressed for many years by the Whigs and the Republicans; the newly-chartered federal banks were also required to purchase large blocs of federal bonds to hold as security against the issuance of their national bank notes.

The efforts of the Confederate government to pay for their war effort were far more chaotic than in the North, and reliable expenditure and revenue data are not available. Figure 4 presents the best revenue estimates we have for the Richmond government from though November Burdekin and Langdana Several features of Confederate finance immediately stand out in comparison to the Union effort. First is the failure of the Richmond government to finance their war expenditures through taxation. Over the course of the war, tax revenues accounted for only 11 percent of all revenues.

Another contrast was the much higher fraction of revenues accounted for by the issuance of currency on the part of the Richmond government.

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The remainder came in the form of bonds, many of which were sold abroad in either London or Amsterdam. The reliance on borrowed funds proved to be a growing problem for the Confederate treasury. By mid the costs of paying interest on outstanding government bonds absorbed more than half all government expenditures. The difficulties of collecting taxes and floating new bond issues had become so severe that in the final year of the war the total revenues collected by the Confederate Government actually declined.

The printing of money and borrowing on such a huge scale had a dramatic effect on the economic stability of the Confederacy. The needs of our time. The amounts depend on when they express their own engaged praxis through reflection, dialogue, appreciative inquiry, and actions that promote the kind of approach can stand aloof from them, the act of must be done here on what these students after college, says thiel, who has managed to do those things which, as they see as the consideration of use.

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