By Patrick Karl O'Brien
This can be a severe survey of latest ancient study into the relationship among the yank Civil conflict and the longer term fiscal progress of the U.S.. The critical concentration is at the tools utilized by financial historians to quantify the commercial results of drastic adjustments in taxation, govt borrowing, and armed forces expenditure, the destruction of human and actual capital, and the dying of slavery, which resulted from the warfare.
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There is evidence that legal and institutional changes contingent upon the defeat of the South may have exercised some stimulus to growth over the longrun. Butthatcaseis notstrongand needs to be modestly expressed because its proponents can no longer claim supplementary support from more traditional views which asserted that wartime expenditures by the Federal government made a significant contribution towards Northern industrialisation. (The historiography of this debate, which is focused on the Beard-Hackerthesis, can be read in [4; 126].
Such an outcome (which might hypothetically have followed from a different land settlement and some alternative and more efficient institutional arrangements for 42 the provision of agrarian credit) would have increased agricultural output. The argument continues to turn on the force of the constraints on the choice of crops exercised by 'flawed institutions' and the area of contention could presumably be narrowed by comparing the behaviour of the small credit-dependent sharecroppers with other more fortunate and free farmers of the South.
Banks tended to locate in towns and in 1880 only a tenth of the population of the South resided in urban centres of more than 2500 people. A majority of potential clients remained illiterate and bankers do not normally deal with customers who cannot readily comprehend their formal bureaucratic procedures. With its incomes, wealth and educational attainment well below the national average, perhaps the South obtained the banks it 'warranted' [9, 862-5]. Nevertheless, they were rather inaccessible and failed to meet the demand for loans required to carry small farmers over the months from sowing to harvest, which left much of the task of supplying credit to shopkeepers or merchants.
The Economic Effects of the American Civil War by Patrick Karl O'Brien