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The American Civil War from 1861-1865 marked one of the most permanent changes in American history transforming the country economically politically and socially leading to the virtual reconstruction of a burgeoning nation Whilst the war increased northern prosperity the Souths entire society consequently collapsed entirely Today the conflict remains the USAs most important internal struggle in its relatively brief history The wars impact on northern livelihood was a positive one profiting immensely in areas unobtainable to the south resulting in the devastation of southern economy and the advancement of the norths The Civil War was largely a product of divergent economic organisation between the North and the South of the United States Revolving around King Cotton the Southern economy relied upon slave labour to work its vast plantations From 1790 to 1860 some 500000 slaves grew to 4 million and in the same period 1000 tonnes of cotton grew to 1 million Zinn 92 1980 Slavery had become essential to the Southern way of life agriculture was depended upon wholly and all available funds were used to perpetuate it preventing development in other industries The Souths was a low capital economy that permitted wealth to be created by hard work given the opportunity of free trade unimpeded by tariffs findout81 1976 African slaves once paid for were owned for life and all their children became slaves This served to firmly establish slavery as a cheap and effective labour source for the Southern plantation owners This lasted for more than two hundred years Cotton production nearly doubled in the 1850s Berkley78 illustrating increased slave labour to further develop the Gulf Plains and frontier land Appendix 1 Eventually the southern plantation owners went into debt to the northern traders for the transportation of slaves and as a result a general dislike of Northerners grew in the South Southerners attributed the backwardness of their own section to Northern aggrandisement Berkley 79
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