Western Development And Economic Growth After The Civil War

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The Civil War was a four-year battle fought in the United States from April 1861 to April 1865 between the North and South states because of slavery, state rights, and westward expansion. The Civil War aided western development and economic and industrial growth. Western development significantly grew after the war because of the Homestead Act, freedom of slaves, and mining opportunities. The economy remarkably grew post-Civil War, which was caused by natural resources, immigrants, and advancements in technology. Lastly, industrial growth was on a rise, transportation vastly improved, communication and business were developing, and the Second Industrial Revolution led to the expansion of the industrial industry. Although the Civil War caused …show more content…

“Americans settled more land in the West than they had on the entire continent in the centuries before 1870.” Expanding the western settlements was important because it brought population growth, which meant more farming leading to a booming economy. The Homestead Act was a major incentive for people to move their families to a new homeland. Passed by Abraham Lincoln in May of 1862, it provided 160 acres of federal land to people who agreed to farm, make improvements, and build a home. As long as you were 21, a United States citizen, or agreed to intend to become one, and promised to never fight against the United States or help the enemy, you could obtain land. This would also be beneficial for slaves since they were assumed not to own very much once freed from their owners after the Civil War. Moreover, the freedom of slaves provided a population increase. Projected to have four million Southern slaves freed, the Western states expected a flood of people. Furthermore, there were opportunities to mine for gold and silver, which applied to money-hungry men. “California gold rush had set typical pattern, in which mobs of prospectors rushed to a new find, followed by camp followers - peddlers, saloon keepers, prostitutes, gamblers, hustlers, and assorted desperadoes eager to ‘mine the miners.’” With the implementation of railroads, traveling westward also became easier, which attracted a lot of people. Without the Civil War, the progression of westward expansion would have been abundantly

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