Effects of the American Civil War on Selected Group
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The American civil war forever changed face of the nation and the way different groups interacted with each other. In the attempt to understand these effects, concurrent sections of this essay shall highlight on plights of several groups involved in the production process, including: factory workers and owners, plantation workers and owners, and women on northern and southern regions.
Employees in the North saw job opportunities diminish during the war, because of disruption in the production process (Boyer 51). However, individuals working in the industries manufacturing used in the war saw their work increase. This resulted to the increased job opportunities for many employees in the North. The downside was that few industries participated in the production of war goods, meaning that just few individuals benefited. Other than seeing reduction in job opportunities, some employees in northern factories found themselves being sent to fight in the war. This meant being involved in something that was not directly related with their interests.
Considering that most of southern plantation workers were slaves, the end of American civil war meant liberation from hardships that had affected them for many years. Most of the former slaves embarked on going to the North in search for better working conditions that would be beneficial to them and their descendants (Boyer 104). On the other hand, southern plantation workers that had not been slaves saw their work increase rapidly as the labor supply had just decreased. They therefore started embarking on responsibilities that had been allocated to former slaves. This groups also started moving north to look for better jobs. On their part, plantation owners had to face challenges of running their operations without slaves that had been sources of labor for many decades. Plantation owners were forced top enter into contractual agreements with former slaves through share-cropping—an arrangement where former slaves labored in the plantations and shared proceeds (harvests) with plantation owners (Boyer 151).
End of the American civil war was also a boom time for the northern industrialists for two main reasons. First reason was due to the surge in the labor force due to the former slaves and plantation workers coming from the south. Increase in labor force meant that the cost of labor was decreasing significantly. To the industrialists, decrease in the cost of labor led to competitive prices for their products in the North, South, as well as in European market. Indeed, end of the civil war marked the beginning of surge in northern industrial productivity, something that had eloped the region previously. Secondly, end of the civil war help northern industrialist to venture into southern part of the country, something they had resisted to do before the war.
Effects of the American civil war did not spare women in both sides of the divide. In the North for instance, the role of women was to provide unpaid labor to the army. This was taken as opportunities for the female folk to show patriotism to the country—North (Boyer 596). The end of the thus saw the elevation of place of Northern women in the country’s political process. A similar role of taking care of the wounded soldiers was played by the southern women, and equally resulted change in her role in regional and national politics. Souther women were however faced with increased duties since the home and garden help that use to be provided by former slaved had dried up or had to be compensated henceforth.
Boyer, Paul. Enduring Vision. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1992.