With all of this war brought to the North, a period of tremendous growth and development. A commercial and industrial boom like nothing the country had imagined before took place. During the first year, to be sure, times were hard: the country had not entirely recovered from the Panic of 0857, and when the Southern states seceded the three hundred million dollars which Southerners owed to Northern businessmen went up in smoke, briefly intensifying the depression in the North. But recovery was rapid; the Federal government was spending as much money that no depression could endure, and by the summer of 1862 the northern states were waist-deep in property. (States,p.82)
The overriding desire for victory led to sweeping measures on the South. Some affected the master-slave relationship. Southern slaveholders had defended their right to absolute control over their bondsmen in antebellum days. When war came, they watched helplessly as the Confederate government and Southern states governments transferred hundreds of thousands of slaves from private plantations to more urgent labor in the war effort. Slaves even become Confederate soldiers shortly before Appomattox. And throughout the war Southerners relaxed their close supervision of slave movements and activities. (States, p.132)
As the postwar years passed the remembrances became formalized. In cities and in small towns the Decoration Day parade became a ritual : rank after rank of men who unaccountably kept on growing older and less military-looking would tramp down dusty streets, bands playing , flags flying , ranks growing thinner year by year until finally nobldy remained to march at all. In the South the same ceremonial was performed , although the date of the calendar was different; and in both sections orators spoke at vast length, reciting deeds of bravery and devotion which somehow , considered from the increasing distance, had the power to knit the country together again. Their stereotyped speeches were oddly made significant by the deeds which they commemorated. (Nation,p.425)
And , finally, comparing the effects of the Civil War on the North and the South: the South had the bitterer events and memories , and it wrapped them in a heavier trapping of nostalgia. Decaying plantation buildings, with empty verandas slowly falling apart under porticoes upheld by insecure wooden pillars, became shrines simply because they somehow spoke for the dream that had died, the vitality of the dream gaining in strength as the physical embodiment of it drifted off into ruin. There were cemeteries for both sections— quite , peaceful fields where soldiers who had never cared about military formality lay in the last sleep, precisely ranked in rows of white headstones which bespoke personal tragedies blunted at last by time. (Civil,p.284)
Perhaps most important in the North, as in the confederacy, was the role-played by the government in stimulating economic growth. Southern Democrats had dominated Congress and executive branch until the 1850s. They blocked measures such as the protective tariff, a national banking system, and railroad subsidies. The Republicans were in control. They favored industrialization and economic growth. To further their aims, they adopted the Morrill Tariff of 1861, which raised duties. They passed the National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864: these aided national banks at the expense of state banks. In addition, congress awarded land-grant subsidies to transcontinental railroad and stimulated western settlement with the 1862 Homestead Act, which offered land to settlers at nominal sums. (North,p.225)
Murray, Boston Globe Correspondent, 10/3/2000 I marched with the 82nd Airborne in the World War II Victory Parade down Fifth Avenue in New York and hated every long minute of the celebration.
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