Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the following questions: How did the institution of slavery pose an insurmountable obstacle to sectional compromise? What were the “economic costs” of the war to the North and the South? How did the emancipation of four million slaves impact the American economy? What was the economic legacy of the war? The chapter argues that the war was indeed what Charles and Mary Beard termed a “Second American Revolution.” The presence of the “slave power” defeated all efforts at compromise. The wartime expenditures and loss of 750,000 men placed an economic burden that lasted into the twentieth century. Emancipation and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 were the enduring accomplishments of the war.
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