Civil War: The Economic Effects Of The Gilded Age

Words: 1230
Pages: 5

The civil war was one of great division. With the differing opinions across the nation, many believed the aftermath of the war would be just as gruesome as the battles during. After the war America made a change in its economic and social structures, which affects life as we know it today. These changes during the after-war period did not benefit all, but they were found advantageous to some and led to attainable goals in the future of the country. The period after the Civil War referred by some as the “Gilded Age” can be marked as a time of opportunity, a booming economy with constant technological innovation, and increased immigration.
The Civil War was fought for many reasons, one of them being the crippling reliance the South had on slaves
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Westward expansion made it easier for people to populate the west with workers; stirring trade with China, access to gold and silver mines, and cattle markets. This period of westward expansion was caused by private owners building railroads with the help of government subsidies and the many immigrants that needed work. Railroads helped to deliver goods across vast distances and connected people to the west. Richard White in his essay says that, “the railroads transformed western America, bringing into national and world markets with speed and thoroughness that is rarely seen in other parts of the globe. (Richard White, pg. 85)” The railroads steered the country to a more modern, developed society. Another productive economic opportunity was the Homestead Act. The act gave free land to encourage movement to the west. This made many flee to the west in hopes of a better life and allowed large farming companies to expand as they would pay people to live on these lands, also increasing industrialization and …show more content…
This land of promise and probabilities is what enticed many disadvantaged people to leave their home country. Immigration and the freeing of slaves in the beginning of the after war period is what led to the rise of a powerful industrial America. The growing populations caused a demand for industry, leading to the rise of big business, job opportunities, and