US Economy After the Civil War
The north and the south both experienced a slight struggle after the Civil War concerning agriculture, commerce and the state of the economy. A southern newspaper out of Augustus County, The Staunton Spectator, offered several articles that gave insight as to what the conditions were like after the war had ended. One article, “Grape Culture” explained the possible profit one could obtain by adding grapes to their normal crops. Grapes were extremely expensive when fully grown since they were used mostly for wine. Although farmers were not skilled enough to make the wine themselves, they could sell the grapes and make a total of 400-500 dollars per acre after purchasing seeds for less than 100 dollars. This article shows that most agriculture in the south was not as profitable as it was before the war. The push to increase agricultural revenue shows that this was a time of struggle.
Another article, “Our Town and Its Business” stated that the farmers had been doing well and making some profit despite the poor conditions that followed the war. It described the south as thriftier than ever, with more energy and industry than they had before the war. The article “Home Industry” pushed the notion of making their own products at home in the south rather than supporting the north and sending away for household items. Both articles seemed optimistic and supported the idea that southern industry would become stronger in the future.
The Valley Spirit was a newspaper from the north in Franklin County, whose articles provided the same insights. One article “The Coming Crops of this Country” explained that the year before had not been very profitable but that in the coming harvest, conditions were ideal. The crops would have a much higher yield than the year before, leading to much more revenue for northern farmers. This article shows the northerners had high hopes for larger profits than the preceding year and for agricultural...