The civil war has often been called “ The second American Revolution,” primary because many Americans actually thought they were once again fighting for their freedom and rights. While this is true, the Civil War itself was revolutionary. It was revolutionary in the political, social and economic conduct of the war. Each Revolutionary conduct of the war impacted America then and some still impact the world today.
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Politically specking The Civil War brought about new ways or revolutionary ways of taking charge of a country during a war. Such thinking and ways includes the six things President Lincoln did with the Constitution. First of all, he ordered a blockade when it wasn’t his call to do so. Lincoln then took two million dollars out of the treasury and increased the size of the army with out going to congress. He also suspended Habeus Corpus, which was guaranteed by the constitution and gave people rights like right to a speedy trial. He used Martial law or Military rule to keep every thing running smoothly. Lincoln then took away freedom of Speech and Press, the first Amendment, when he shut some newspapers down.
Socially things changed with ways of the conduct of the Civil War. Both sides needed soldiers especially north, so for the first time in American History a draft was issued called the conscription law. Unfortunately, the wealthy were able to get out of fighting by substitutions, where they would pay the government money and find a replacement. Both the North and South allowed exemptions for $300. In the South, masters with 20+ slave were also exempt. The poor people especially the new immigrants at this time became very upset and started rioting. Also to get people to join the army the Government used bounty brokers, people who were paid by the government to what ever it takes to get people to get people in the army. Often the bounty brokers would sober men up by buying them drinks at bar and get them to sign up for the army. One of the famous riots was the New York riots. The New York riots were composed of manly immigrants rioting because they just got there and because they were poor; they would have to fight.
Another thing that changed America socially was the use of exemptions people not physically able to go fight were issued exemptions. Another thing that changed during the Civil War was Blacks were allowed to fight in all Black regiments, although the regiments were first set up to only allow people of color to do the dirty work instead of fighting. However, later they gained the right to fight. Speaking of freedom African Americans in south were given their freedom with the 13th amendment in 1865. Activist movements socially moved a far way in the civil war. Shortly after the war, Blacks were declared free, given full citizenship, and black men were allowed to vote. All of these rights were granted to African Americans with what is called the Reconstruction Amendments. (Amendments 13, 14, and 15) Socially the impact of total war, the idea to do what is necessary to win the war, devastated the south.
Economically the Civil War devastated the whole nation, both the North and the south. For the first time since the Jackson administration there was a national bank, put into affect by the National Banking act. Perhaps the nation was on the right path but economically suffering from the war. There were some positives in a unified banking system. Then the question comes up whether it did any good with all of the Runaways inflations. In most case in the south inflations was up 9000% and the north was hit with 80% inflation. To make things worse there were tons of greenbacks or bluebacks, paper money that was almost worthless issued to soldiers.
How could the family of a solider survive or for that matter how could anyone? The government was having hard times too so they issued war bonds where a person deposit a certain amount of cash in a CD and some number of years later the person would get back that amount and a set percentage The war Bonds were definitely a plus in the revolutionary and will continue to use in every war in American History. Another revolutionary aspect that came along with the Civil War the Oil rush in Pennsylvania. The people in the rush were called the 59ers. But like the gold rush in ’49 not all people struck their luck and were or became out of a job.
In conclusion the Civil War was truly revolutionary especially with the Political, social, and economic conduct of the war. Some of the Conduct left America for the worse or a crisis. Some of the Conducts like the war bond will be used again and again though out all of American wars. In addition, some of the conducts affected America for the better but won’t be used again in American History. Nevertheless, The Civil War with all the different types of conduct of the war truly affected America.