• Photo of cannon at Antietam National Battlefield

    The Civil War

Industry and Economics

Photo of a locomotive and the Union supply base at City Point.

The Civil War spurred industry in both the North and South. As the war progressed, Northern industry mobilized to conduct a war designed not just to defend Union territory, but to invade the South, defeat Confederate armies, and occupy Southern territory-a huge and unprecedented task that required all of the resources the North could muster.

The Civil War displayed America's industrial potential, and foreshadowed the decisive role American industry would play in shaping the political, economic, and military realities of the 20th century.

Stories from Industry and Economics

Showing results 1-5 of 6

  • Manassas National Battlefield Park

    A New Economy of War

    Photo of the Stone House at Manassas National Battlefield Park

    Dozens of wounded Federal troops found shelter inside the massive walls of the Stone House during both Battles of Manassas. Its location at the junction of two major turnpikes put it in the center of battle each time. Read more

  • Industry and Economy during the Civil War

    Lithograph showing industrial and technological advancements of the Civil War

    Both North and South mobilized industry to an unprecedented degree. But the North, which already had a head start in nearly every realm of industrial and agricultural development, far outpaced the South during the war. Unhampered by the southern opposition in such areas as providing free land to farmers and subsidizing a transcontinental railroad before the war, Congress passed sweeping legislation to expand the economy. As the war dragged on, in part because many of the battles were fought on southern soil, and in part because the South fell further behind in its economic development, the North was better able to muster its economic might for the war effort. As a result, the United States was a much different country after the war. Read more

  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

    Lifeblood of a Nation

    Photo of Monocacy Aqueduct along the C&O Canal

    The blood of a nation - its life, its health, its wealth - is carried by arteries of railroads, rivers, roads and canals. During the Civil War, as the armies marched back and forth across the landscape and the blood of its citizens was spilled, these arteries became more important than ever. Read more

  • Fort Donelson National Battlefield

    Severing the Confederate Artery

    Photo of Ulysses S. Grant

    Early in the Civil War with the Union in desperate need of a victory, Ulysses S. Grant's capture of Forts Henry and Donelson electrified the North and began his rise to prominence. Read more

  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    The United States Military Railroad

    Depot at the U.S. Military Railroads, City Point, Va., showing the engine

    How do you make sure an army of 100,000 men encamped in front of Petersburg, Virginia for nine months, gets the food and supplies they need? Ulysses S. Grant turned to the U.S. Military Railroads for the solution. Read more