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The Impact the Civil War 1861-1865 on Economic, Politic and Industry Development in the USA

The Impact the Civil War 1861-1865 on Economic, Politic and Industry Development in the USA



Tne Impact the Civil War 1861-1865 on Economic, Politic and Industry

Development in the USA

Written by

53-th group student

Tatiana Ryabchun

Kyiv, 2000


(1865-77), in U.S. history, period during and after the American

Civil War in which attempts were made to solve the political, social, and

economic problems arising from the readmission to the Union of the 11

Confederate states that had seceded at or before the outbreak of war.

As early as 1862, Pres. Abraham Lincoln had appointed provisional

military governors for Louisiana, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The

following year, initial steps were taken to reestablish governments in

newly occupied states in which at least 10 percent of the voting population

had taken the prescribed oath of allegiance. Aware that the presidential

plan omitted any provision for social or economic reconstruction, the

Radical Republicans in Congress resented such a lenient political

arrangement under solely executive jurisdiction. As a result, the stricter

Wade-Davis Bill was passed in 1864 but pocket vetoed by the President.

After Lincoln's assassination (April 1865), Pres. Andrew Johnson

further alienated Congress by continuing Lincoln's moderate policies. The

Fourteenth Amendment, defining national citizenship so as to include

blacks, passed Congress in June 1866 and was ratified, despite rejection by

most Southern states (July 28, 1868). In response to Johnson's intemperate

outbursts against the opposition as well as to several reactionary

developments in the South (e.g., race riots and passage of the repugnant

black codes severely restricting rights of blacks), the North gave a

smashing victory to the Radical Republicans in the 1866 congressional


That victory launched the era of congressional Reconstruction (usually

called Radical Reconstruction), which lasted 10 years starting with the

Reconstruction Acts of 1867. Under that legislation, the 10 remaining

Southern states (Tennessee had been readmitted to the Union in 1866) were

divided into five military districts; and, under supervision of the U.S.

Army, all were readmitted between 1868 and 1870. Each state had to accept

the Fourteenth or, if readmitted after its passage, the Fifteenth

Constitutional Amendment, intended to ensure civil rights of the freedmen.

The newly created state governments were generally Republican in character

and were governed by political coalitions of blacks, carpetbaggers

(Northerners who had gone into the South), and scalawags (Southerners who

collaborated with the blacks and carpetbaggers). The Republican governments

of the former Confederate states were seen by most Southern whites as

artificial creations imposed from without, and the conservative element in

the region remained hostile to them. Southerners particularly resented the

activities of the Freedmen's Bureau, which Congress had established to

feed, protect, and help educate the newly emancipated blacks. This

resentment led to formation of secret terroristic organizations, such as

the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camelia. The use of fraud,

violence, and intimidation helped Southern conservatives regain control of

their state governments, and, by the time the last Federal troops had been

withdrawn in 1877, the Democratic Party was back in power.

About 1900, many U.S. historians espoused a theory of racial

inferiority of blacks. The Reconstruction governments were viewed as an

abyss of corruption resulting from Northern vindictiveness and the desire

for political and economic domination. Later, revisionist historians noted

that not only was public and private dishonesty widespread in all regions

of the country at that time but also that a number of constructive reforms

actually were introduced into the South during that period: courts were

reorganized, judicial procedures improved, public-school systems

established, and more feasible methods of taxation devised. Many provisions

of the state constitutions adopted during the postwar years have continued

in existence.

The Reconstruction experience led to an increase in sectional

bitterness, an intensification of the racial issue, and the development of

one-party politics in the South. Scholarship has suggested that the most

fundamental failure of Reconstruction was in not effecting a distribution

of land in the South that would have offered an economic base to support

the newly won political rights of black citizens.

Wade-Davis Bill

(1864), unsuccessful attempt by Radical Republicans and others in the U.S.

Congress to set Reconstruction policy before the end of the Civil War. The

bill, sponsored by senators Benjamin F. Wade and Henry W. Davis, provided

for the appointment of provisional military governors in the seceded

states. When a majority of a state's white citizens swore allegiance to the

Union, a constitutional convention could be called. Each state's

constitution was to be required to abolish slavery, repudiate secession,

and disqualify Confederate officials from voting or holding office. In

order to qualify for the franchise, a person would be required to take an

oath that he had never voluntarily given aid to the Confederacy. President

Abraham Lincoln's pocket veto of the bill presaged the struggle that was to

take place after the war between President Andrew Johnson and the Radical

Republicans in Congress.

Property law

Ownership as the absolute right to possession

One may thus define ownership in the same way that the legal philosopher

Felix Cohen defined property: "That is property to which the following

label can be attached: To the world: Keep off X unless you have my

permission, which I may grant or withhold. Signed: Private citizen.

Endorsed: The state." Cohen, however, goes on to warn that all the terms of

the definition "shade off imperceptibly into other things." Consider, for

example, the large range of possibilities encompassed in the phrase

"permission, which I may grant or withhold." In all Western legal systems

there are a number of situations in which the law will either assume that

permission has been granted or will require the private citizen to grant

his permission. The situations tend to be dramatic: Firefighters, for

example, are usually allowed to enter private property to prevent the

spread of a fire and frequently are authorized to destroy private property

in order to prevent the spread of a fire.

In the 1960s a number of U.S. Supreme Court cases starkly posed the

conflict between the property owner's right to exclude and civil rights, in

the context of "sit-ins" in restaurants that were excluding customers on

racial grounds. These cases suggested, if they did not quite hold, that in

this context the possessory right of the restaurant owner would have to

yield to the civil-rights claim of those sitting in. In the same period a

number of courts held that owners of farms could not exclude visitors from

agricultural migrant labour camps.

The conflict in these cases between property rights and civil rights was

made starker by the practice in the United States of treating social issues

as constitutional controversies. The issue, however, of the use of property

to discriminate against members of the society whom the property owner

disfavours is present throughout the Western world. Ultimately in the

United States the problem of restaurant sit-ins was resolved by national

legislation that made it the duty of anyone providing food or lodging to

serve all comers without regard to race. Similar legislation exists in many

Western countries, as does legislation allowing access to premises in which

workers are employed.

Black code

in the United States, any of numerous laws enacted in the states of the

former Confederacy after the American Civil War, in 1865 and 1866; the laws

were designed to replace the social controls of slavery that had been

removed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to

the Constitution, and were thus intended to assure continuance of white


The black codes had their roots in the slave codes that had formerly been

in effect. The general philosophy supporting the institution of chattel

slavery in America was based on the concept that slaves were property, not

persons, and that the law must protect not only the property but also the

property owner from the danger of violence. Slave rebellions were not

unknown, and the possibility of uprisings was a constant source of anxiety

in colonies and then states with large slave populations. (In Virginia

during 1780-1864, 1,418 slaves were convicted of crimes; 91 of these

convictions were for insurrection and 346 for murder.) Slaves also ran

away. In the British possessions in the New World, the settlers were free

to promulgate any regulations they saw fit to govern their labour supply.

As early as the 17th century, a set of rules was in effect in Virginia and

elsewhere; but the codes were constantly being altered to adapt to new

needs, and they varied from one colony, and later one state, to another.

All the slave codes, however, had certain provisions in common. In all of

them the colour line was firmly drawn, and any amount of Negro blood

established the race of a person, whether slave or free, as Negro. The

status of the offspring followed that of the mother, so that the child of a

free father and a slave mother was a slave. Slaves had few legal rights: in

court their testimony was inadmissible in any litigation involving whites;

they could make no contract, nor could they own property; even if attacked,

they could not strike a white person. There were numerous restrictions to

enforce social control: slaves could not be away from their owner's

premises without permission; they could not assemble unless a white person

was present; they could not own firearms; they could not be taught to read

or write, or transmit or possess "inflammatory" literature; they were not

permitted to marry.

Obedience to the slave codes was exacted in a variety of ways. Such

punishments as whipping, branding, and imprisonment were commonly used, but

death (which meant destruction of property) was rarely called for except in

such extreme cases as the rape or murder of a white person. White patrols

kept the slaves under surveillance, especially at night. Slave codes were

not always strictly enforced, but whenever any signs of unrest were

detected the appropriate machinery of the state would be alerted and the

laws more strictly enforced.

The black codes enacted immediately after the American Civil War, though

varying from state to state, were all intended to secure a steady supply of

cheap labour, and all continued to assume the inferiority of the freed

slaves. There were vagrancy laws that declared a black to be vagrant if

unemployed and without permanent residence; a person so defined could be

arrested, fined, and bound out for a term of labour if unable to pay the

fine. Apprentice laws provided for the "hiring out" of orphans and other

young dependents to whites, who often turned out to be their former owners.

Some states limited the type of property blacks could own, and in others

blacks were excluded from certain businesses or from the skilled trades.

Former slaves were forbidden to carry firearms or to testify in court,

except in cases concerning other blacks. Legal marriage between blacks was

provided for, but interracial marriage was prohibited.

It was Northern reaction to the black codes (as well as to the bloody

antiblack riots in Memphis and New Orleans in 1866; see New Orleans Race

Riot) that helped produce Radical Reconstruction (see Reconstruction) and

the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments. The Freedmen's Bureau was created

in 1865 to help the former slaves. Reconstruction did away with the black

codes, but, after Reconstruction was over, many of their provisions were

reenacted in the Jim Crow laws, which were not finally done away with until

passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


1. Garraty, John A

A short history of the American nation, - 6th ed. – New York Collons

college publ, 1992

2. Ray Allen Willington,

American frontier heritage,- New Mexico, Press 1991

3. Thomas A. Bailey

David M. Kennedy

The American pageant, - 9th ed.- Toronto




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