When a war occurs, it takes years for the society or societies involved to return to a more normal, calm state. In the case of the American Civil War, many aspects of the country were disrupted after the war ended in 1865. Relations were strained, land had been destroyed, families torn apart, and much more. The economy struggled, and many Southerners did not want to accept a loss. The death count for the American Civil War was also an amazing number, and made a large dent into families, businesses, and towns across the nation.
When examining the physical damage to the land after the end of the war, it was obvious that much of the country had been brutally trampled and scarred by the battles and rampages of the war. As troops had moved across areas, they had burnt many fields and homes in proof of their defiance against their enemies. Also, many cities, towns, and businesses had been set fire as the troops had captured and traveled through them. Many of these fires took lives, and often made making a fresh start and rebuilding seem like an impossible venture. The land that had been destroyed by these fires also was very tattered and would take many years to rehabilitate.
The countless buildings, homes, businesses and structures that had been torn down and broken apart, were definitely very discouraging matters for the citizens after the war ended. Many families had lost their homes to traveling troops during battles, and others had had their homes shot and bombed during the fight. Many of these families had also lost family members in the war as well, so rebuilding would become a very difficult task. Money was a great issue, as well as finding another place to build. The emotional stress of losing a home or business took a gigantic toll on survivors of the war too. The destruction left behind by the war overwhelmed many people; Northerners, Southerners, and blacks alike.
Economically, the huge cost of the war; which covered weapons, ammunition, clothes, food, and medical supplies, took a very large toll on the nations budget. The South was worse of then the North, but both sides would struggle for years due to the great loss. Millions of dollars were spent on these supplies, and the money came from many different places. For example, the South made some of their own paper money, while also borrowing from other countries. On top of the major expenses of the war as it had pressed on, the loss of businesses and important city buildings would cost a large amount of money for the people to replace; money that sometimes could not be raised for years to come after the end of the war.
With thousands of deaths on either side throughout the war, America’s population had been hit enormously. Besides the number count, the priceless lives of family members and friends had been stolen away, and could never be replaced. The brutal massacre that occurred over the four years of the war would be remembered as America’s bloodiest war with the largest death toll. So far, no other war compares to the high number of lives that were taken during the Civil War.
To the South, their slaves were their main source of employees, and through the war, had been stolen from them. They were in a predicament, and many were very enraged. The black men and women that they had relied on to work for them had been set free, and at the end of the war, they had to either look past their hatred of these people and hire them, or they would have to go without workers. In 1866, only a year after the war had ended, some terrible riots occurred in the South, namely in Memphis and New Orleans, which were essentially massacres conducted against black communities. The powerful and hateful feelings between Northerners and Southerners, and blacks and whites, would take years to settle down, and some would still haunt us today.
In our modern society of today’s American, blacks and whites are considered equal by many. The idea of slavery is almost always considered appalling, and usually plainly just considered an extinct concept. Though relations between these two races have become better, there is still evidence of pain and angst between the two groups. Hate crimes against blacks are still occurring today, and many African-Americans hold deep seeded grudges against the “white man.” In retrospect; though, without the Civil War, many features of America today would be extremely different. After the Civil War, it took several years for a black man to gain the same respect as a white man, and just as many years to become considered an acceptable part of many communities. Segregated bathrooms to restaurants to schools were once not uncommon, until another revolution of concepts occurred. It is without a doubt that even though the Civil War left behind massive amounts of destruction, without it, our world as we know it today could be very different. Relations between the blacks and whites of America could still be very prejudicial, perhaps even with slavery still taking place. The Civil War was a very devastating war for the United States of America, but ultimately, it has made us stronger.