American Social Status During The Pre-Civil War Era

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The American social status changed drastically from the era before to the era after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Prior to the assassination, and even before the beginning of the Civil War, differing ideological ideas and economic disparities grew between the North and South. Therefore, a macro view of the nation will be utilized to compare and contrast the social status changes that occurred, primarily in the South. Once war broke out, it carried devastating effects to the South’s economy and infrastructure. Conversely, the North was strengthened both economically and with infrastructure due to the war efforts (703). Furthermore, the wealth of the South fell by nearly 60% while the North showed 50% growth (703). This caused the overall social status of the North to be significantly higher than that of the South, a disparity that continued much after Lincoln’s …show more content…
Another aspect of the devastation experienced by the South is that of the wealth it provided the entire nation. Prior to the war, in 1860, the South generated 30 percent of the nation’s wealth and in 1870 was reduced to 12 percent (704). When considering the social status in America wealth is often the most significant factor (site?). However, the pre-Civil War era may have also considered social status to include free or enslaved people, especially that of African Americans in the South. This in turn created a social status class that was considered below the poverty class, or the enslaved class. While the assassination of Lincoln, and ultimately the end of the war saw the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, this once enslaved class continued to struggle for independence and self-reliance (702). While there were several other factors, the social status of the newly freed slaves was a major driving force to reconstruction before and after the assassination of