Essay Sample on Social Changes Caused By Civil War and Reconstruction

Published: 2023-03-14
Essay Sample on Social Changes Caused By Civil War and Reconstruction
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American Civil War Slavery Abraham Lincoln American history
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1131 words
10 min read

During the 19th century, the United stated experienced the greatest historical crisis of the time. The southern and the northern states become less alike economically socially, politically, and financially due to the civil war which negatively affected African Americans. The bloody war led to the death of more than 620,000 Americans as they fought to end the economic and social differences among their people.

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Some of the factors that led to the unfortunate war were the election of Abraham Lincoln as the president leading to a four-year-long war battle to end slavery in the Nation - considering the civil war as the modern war can be regarded as a debated issue. This is due to the tremendous industrial impact brought by the war. For instance, Atlanta and Chattanooga railroad junctions become the best military objectives, also not forgetting Telegraph, which made communication between the battlefield, generals, and home fronts. In 1865 the civil war was over, and broken America needs to unite back its people. However, the massive death was evident in the minds of the American people, making it hard for the nation to heal. The essay critically analyses how the civil war and reconstruction changed the social standard of African Americans during the 19th century.

The civil war started from 1861 to 1865, whereby the Americans in the southern state knows as the united and the Americans in the north known as the unions fought against themselves. Based on historical research by Urton, (2001) stated that the root cause of the civil war was a breach of social contracts between societies leading to immense disputes over taxation, resources, and revenues, which triggered the greed. The coalition engaged in the war since they wanted to end whiles; on the other hand, the confederates wanted to continue slavery since it the basis for the economy. The southern state was more devastated since the fighting was taking place in the south. The wars had a positive effect on the northern people since they played a critical role in the growth of the economy. There was massive growth of cotton in the south since they relied on labor from the salve workers who worked the large plantation in the west. From 1790 to 1860, the number of salves had risen from 500,000 to over 4 million saves. This also led to an increased in production since during the same period, from 1000 tonnes to over 1 million tonnes. The social status of the American people had changed drastically since slavery had become a way of life in the south.

Additionally, the south was a low economy state; therefore, for people to maintain their social status, they had to create wealth through hard work. The social standard of loyal families has elevated to high levels since they used African Americans as slaves. This raised question if people still had humanity by ensiling or owning other human beings and enslaving their families

Moreover, social changes in the American and reconstruction era drastically affected the United States in the years that followed. Some of the changes included decisions, including African American freedom and women's rights decisions, as well as free of slaves in the north by Abraham Lincoln. This free of slaves positively impacted the lives of Americans. Reconstruction of African Americans from the civil war was a turning point to the United States. The new freedom the Americans got after the abolishment of slavery with not having to provide the labor to the white people. African American became more knowledgeable and demanded their rights to vote

Additionally, according to research by Foner, indicates that it is evident that the conditions of the lives of the African American in unite states changes drastically. At the beginning of the war, slavery was not the only thing that was legal in different districts, such as Columbia. It is evident that racism was a big challenge, and individuals with black color were discriminated against receiving equal rights.

Consequently, African Americans, especially in Washington, D.C, were forced to pay the high licensing fee at their workplaces, carry their passes whenever they moved around, and also to stay indoors during the night. Due to the fear of being sold to other states as slaves, the African American had to follow every single rule to the latter. However, by the end of the civil war, slavery had been outlawed in almost all the states, and freedom to all the American people had been regained. The African American brave men who were in the battles as soldiers had the change from the organizations for the blacks, which played a critical role in society.

Moreover, African American schools flourished to the intervention of the missionaries, freedmen's bureau, and the local educators who joined hands to uplift the society. These facilities were some of the factors that led to increase of population the city since thousands of migrants who had been slaves relocated from countryside to the cities. The migrants faced several challenges in the city such as shortage of employment and housing, therefore, this was a hard time from the people since they were disrupted by the civil war which was beyond their control at the beginning. After the end of the war, the Americans had to deal with facts about the rights of citizens, politics, and race amongst its people.

During the era of reconstruction, the Americans had to struggle to accept the drastic change of shifting from ash slavery terms to form a democratic government with new rules to govern its people. Notably, the civil war altered the future of several generations who perished during the war period. Those who were lucky to survive the bloody battles lived to define the deadly experience that occurred. During the war period, the social standard of the American civilians was changed since they had to join the military and take part in the war since they main intentions of the war had shifted, and the war had become a social dilemma.

In conclusion, it is undoubted that the civil war had both negative and positive effects on Americans. Some of the negative included the death of civilians and soldiers while, on the other hand, the positive include economic growth and industrialization. The reconstruction of the united states played a critical role in ensuring the slaves were freed, and racial prejudice was increased. The social standard had to change since the slaves' owners had no right to mistreat other human beings hence lowering their social classes and enjoying equal rights the same way their former slaves. The triumphant reconstruction after the war was a strategic move to rebuild the societal standards that had been altered during the war period.


Foner, Eric. "Slavery, the civil war, and reconstruction." The new American history (1997): 85-106.

Urton, Vernon B. "Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861a1877." A Companion to 19th-Century America (2001): 47.

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