State by State
In the years between the U.S. Census surveys of 1860 and 1870, the nation split apart and waged a war that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, and wounded or disabled many more. Farms and property were destroyed; capital was diverted; and Southern agriculture was transformed when four million black people were emancipated from slavery.
Census data from 1860 and 1870 reveals trends in farm values and manufacturing output, and highlights each state's fortunes.
Alabama, Confederate State
Alabama's economy plunged into crisis during the war. Confederate general Braxton Bragg returned home to find "all was lost, except my debts."
With fields destroyed and slaves gone, the state's farms recaptured less than 40% of their pre-war value. Alabama built railroads and restarted cotton production, but the state's coal and iron industries would not develop until the 1880s.
|Number of Farms||50,064||67,382|
|Value of Farm Land||$175.8 million||$67.7 million|
|Number of Factories||1,459||2,188|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$10.6 million||$13 million|
Arkansas, Confederate State
Railroads opened up new areas to development and commercial farming throughout Arkansas. Many subsistence farmers were forced into commercial production by their debts, having borrowed against their future crops.
|Number of Farms||33,190||49,424|
|Value of Farm Land||$91.6 million||$40 million|
|Number of Factories||518||1,070|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$2.9 million||$4.6 million|
California, Union State
California's mines and farms dominated the state economy. The transcontinental railroad opened in 1869, linking California with eastern markets.
|Number of Farms||14,044||23,724|
|Value of Farm Land||$48.7 million||$141.2 million|
|Number of Factories||8,468||3,984|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$68.3 million||$66.6 million|
Connecticut, Union State
The number of farms in long-settled Connecticut did not change much during or after the Civil War. Already the home of business successes like the Colt firearms factory, the state experienced growth in manufacturing and finance during Reconstruction.
|Number of Farms||25,101||25,508|
|Value of Farm Land||$90.8 million||$124.2 million|
|Number of Factories||3,019||5,128|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$81.9 million||$161.1 million|
Delaware, Border State
Tiny Delaware could not compete with larger states' agriculture and industry, but both sectors grew within the state during and after the war. The DuPont Company, which had supplied a large percentage of the Union Army's gunpowder, was -- and still is -- one of Delaware's major businesses.
|Number of Farms||6,588||7,615|
|Value of Farm Land||$31.4 million||$46.7 million|
|Number of Factories||615||800|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$9.9 million||$16.8 million|
Florida, Confederate State
During Reconstruction, Florida attracted Northern capital to build tourism, but the state was not spared economic hardship. In the 1870s, the Florida legislature was forced to close the state penitentiary and halt the construction of the state's first institution of higher learning.
Freedmen in Florida became landowners more readily than those in cotton states, under the Southern Homestead Act, since there was less competition for land.
|Number of Farms||6,396||10,241|
|Value of Farm Land||$16.4 million||$9.9 million|
|Number of Factories||185||659|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$2.4 million||$4.7 million|
Georgia, Confederate State
Wartime destruction and a subsequent economic depression forced many of the state's rice plantations into bankruptcy. New railroad lines and commercial fertilizers increased cotton cultivation in Georgia's upcountry, but rice growers never recovered, and the state's coastal plantation homes, as Northerner Edward King reported,were abandoned "like sorrowful ghosts lamenting the past." However, freed slaves found more landowning opportunities in lowcountry Georgia.
|Number of Farms||53,897||69,956|
|Value of Farm Land||$157.1 million||$94.6 million|
|Number of Factories||1,890||3,836|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$16.9 million||$31.2 million|
Illinois, Union State
Illinois was among the big economic winners during the Civil War and Reconstruction, as Americans moved west. Chicago had built itself into a major industrial and economic center and a railroad hub, attracting tens of thousands of settlers to the state, and growth and investment continued rapidly.
Illinois farm values rose 125% in a decade, and the state's manufactured output -- including the meat, brushes, glue, and other products of Philip Armour's pork-packing operation -- skyrocketed 257% in value.
|Number of Farms||142,338||202,803|
|Value of Farm Land||$408.9 million||$920.5 million|
|Number of Factories||4,268||12,597|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$57.6 million||$205.6 million|
Indiana, Union State
Before the Civil War, rural, agricultural Indiana had only a few small industries. After the war manufactuing expanded greatly, especially in the city of Indianapolis.
|Number of Farms||126,898||161,289|
|Value of Farm Land||$356.7 million||$634.8 million|
|Number of Factories||5,110||11,847|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$41.8 million||$108.6 million|
Iowa, Union State
The Homestead Act and low land prices brought migrants to Iowa. The state's agricultural growth was phenomenal; as part of the "Corn Belt," Iowa became a center of corn and hog production.
|Number of Farms||59,629||116,292|
|Value of Farm Land||$119.9 million||$392.7 million|
|Number of Factories||1,939||6,566|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$14 million||$46.5 million|
Kansas, Union State
Kansas' population grew dramatically as settlers pushed west, creating a mostly agrarian economy based on small family farms. After the Civil War, Kansas became a cattle distribution center, as Texas herds were driven to Dodge City, Abilene, and other cowtowns en route to Kansas City, Chicago, and the East coast.
|Number of Farms||10,108||38,202|
|Value of Farm Land||$12.3 million||$90.3 million|
|Number of Factories||344||1,477|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$4.4 million||$11.8 million|
Kentucky, Border State
Before the Civil War, Kentucky was primarily an agricultural state, with extensive hemp and tobacco plantings. After the war, the hemp industry declined but the tobacco industry boomed.
|Number of Farms||83,689||118,422|
|Value of Farm Land||$291.5 million||$311.2 million|
|Number of Factories||3,450||5,390|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$37.9 million||$54.6 million|
Louisiana, Confederate State
New Orleans remained an important port city during Reconstruction, but it faced an ever-increasing threat from the railroads. Louisiana sugar planters, unable to pay wartime debts, lost much of their land to Northern investors. Though some of the land was redistributed to former slaves, the plantation system largely persisted.
|Number of Farms||17,281||28,481|
|Value of Farm Land||$204.8 million||$68.2 million|
|Number of Factories||1,744||2,557|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$15.6 million||$24.2 million|
Maine, Union State
Shipbuilding and fishing led Maine's fast-growing economy before the Civil War. After the war, population growth slowed as residents migrated west and the state became more dependent on forestry products and textile industries.
|Number of Farms||55,675||59,804|
|Value of Farm Land||$78.7 million||$103 million|
|Number of Factories||3,810||5,550|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$38.2 million||$79.5 million|
Maryland, Border State
Before the war, Maryland's economy was divided between slave plantations in the south, small farms in the north, and manufacturing industry in Baltimore. Manufacturing became dominant after the war.
|Number of Farms||25,244||27,000|
|Value of Farm Land||$146 million||$170.4 million|
|Number of Factories||3,083||5,812|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$41.7 million||$76.6 million|
Massachusetts, Union State
Massachusetts was one of the most industrialized states before the war and remained so afterwards, with Boston continuing to act as a magnet for massive European immigration. The agricultural economy that remained revolved around small family farms.
|Number of Farms||35,556||26,500|
|Value of Farm Land||$123.3 million||$116.4 million|
|Number of Factories||8,176||13,212|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$255.5 million||$553.9 million|
Michigan, Union State
Michigan's timber and mining industries were expanded under the control of large Eastern corporations and their output rose dramatically during Reconstruction.
|Number of Farms||62,389||98,786|
|Value of Farm Land||$160.8 million||$398.2 million|
|Number of Factories||3,448||9,455|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$32.7 million||$118.4 million|
Minnesota, Union State
New railroad construction shifted Minnesota's agricultural economy away from independent farmers and towards larger farms. Extensive wheat fields and forests fueled growth in the flour milling and lumber industries.
|Number of Farms||17,999||46,500|
|Value of Farm Land||$27.5 million||$97.8 million|
|Number of Factories||562||2,270|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$3.4 million||$23.1 million|
Mississippi, Confederate State
Mississippi attempted to modernize its plantation economy after the end of slavery. The legislature enacted policies to attract Northern capital, including huge land grants to railroads, and almost no taxes for railroads and other corporations.
|Number of Farms||37,007||68,023|
|Value of Farm Land||$190.8 million||$81.7 million|
|Number of Factories||976||1,731|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$6.6 million||$8.2 million|
Missouri, Border State
New railroads in Missouri created better conditions for large companies, who squeezed out small, independent producers. The railroads opened up new markets for mined, agricultural and manufactured goods. The invention of refrigerated railroad cars would make meat packing, once a part-time local industry, a mainstay of the state's economy.
|Number of Farms||88,552||148,328|
|Value of Farm Land||$230.6 million||$392.9 million|
|Number of Factories||3,157||11,871|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$41.8 million||$206.2 million|
Nebraska, Entered the Union 1867
The new state of Nebraska experienced a postwar population surge. Connected to the East via newly built railroad lines, Nebraska became a prime provider of agricultural products.
|Number of Farms||12,301|
|Value of Farm Land||$30.2 million|
|Number of Factories||670|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$5.7 million|
Nevada, Entered the Union 1864
Nevada, made a state to help President Lincoln win reelection, prospered from mining. By 1880, Nevada would have the highest per capita income in the nation.
|Number of Farms||1,036|
|Value of Farm Land||$1.5 million|
|Number of Factories||330|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$15.9 million|
New Hampshire, Union State
Though the manufacturing grew in New Hampshire from 1860 to 1870, its share of the national market dwindled. Agriculture was based in small farms.
|Number of Farms||30,444||29,642|
|Value of Farm Land||$69.7 million||$80.6 million|
|Number of Factories||2,592||3,342|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$37.6 million||$71 million|
New Jersey, Union State
After the Civil War, technological improvements and new markets stimulated New Jersey's manufacturing sector. An influx of immigrants during Reconstruction helped alleviate labor shortages caused by wartime casualties.
|Number of Farms||27,460||30,652|
|Value of Farm Land||$180.3 million||$257.5 million|
|Number of Factories||4,173||6,636|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$76.3 million||$169.2 million|
New York, Union State
New York boasted the nation's most valuable farm land both before and after the Civil War. New York City was the nation's biggest commercial, manufacturing and financial center during Reconstruction. New railroads shifted commercial traffic away from canals and other waterways.
|Number of Farms||195,459||216,253|
|Value of Farm Land||$803.3 million||$1.27 billion|
|Number of Factories||22,624||36,206|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$378.9 million||$785.2 million|
North Carolina, Confederate State
After the Civil War, North Carolina aggressively attempted to lure Northern capital to stimulate mineral extraction. Subsidized railroad companies opened up new farming opportunities in undeveloped parts of the state.
|Number of Farms||67,022||93,565|
|Value of Farm Land||$143.3 million||$78.2 million|
|Number of Factories||3,689||3,642|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$16.7 million||$19 million|
Ohio, Union State
Ohio's farm values were second highest in the nation both before and after the Civil War. Ohio developed large industrial and mining industries supporting the railroad industry.
|Number of Farms||173,383||195,953|
|Value of Farm Land||$678.1 million||$1.05 billion|
|Number of Factories||11,123||22,773|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$121.7 million||$269.7 million|
Oregon, Union State
Agriculture, mining and logging remained the major industries in Oregon during Reconstruction.
|Number of Farms||5,657||7,587|
|Value of Farm Land||$15 million||$22.4 million|
|Number of Factories||309||969|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$3 million||$6.9 million|
Pennsylvania, Union State
While Pennsylvania's farms increased in value following the war, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh became manufacturing centers in an industrial boom.
|Number of Farms||156,021||174,041|
|Value of Farm Land||$662.1 million||$1.04 billion|
|Number of Factories||22,363||37,200|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$290.1 million||$711.9 million|
Rhode Island, Union State
Foreign immigrants provided labor for Rhode Island's manufacturing sector after the war, and agriculture began to decline in importance.
|Number of Farms||5,364||5,368|
|Value of Farm Land||$19.6 million||$21.6 million|
|Number of Factories||1,191||1,850|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$40.7 million||$111.4 million|
South Carolina, Confederate State
Seeking to alleviate economic hardship during Reconstruction, South Carolina offered incentives to railroads and other corporations to build in the state.
|Number of Farms||28,456||51,889|
|Value of Farm Land||$139.7 million||$44.8 million|
|Number of Factories||1,230||1,584|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$8.6 million||$9.9 million|
Tennessee, Confederate State
Tennessee sought to spur the growth of manufacturing through state-sponsored development, but agriculture remained important to the state.
|Number of Farms||77,741||118,141|
|Value of Farm Land||$271.4 million||$218.7 million|
|Number of Factories||2,572||5,317|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$18 million||$34.4 million|
Texas, Confederate State
Following the Civil War, Northern investors helped to develop a thriving cattle industry in Texas. Thousands of former slaves found work as cooks or cattle herders.
|Number of Farms||37,363||61,125|
|Value of Farm Land||$88.1 million||$60.1 million|
|Number of Factories||983||2,399|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$6.6 million||$11.5 million|
Vermont, Union State
Though manufacturing grew in some parts of Vermont, agriculture remained important. During Reconstruction, the state experienced a loss of labor, as Vermonters migrated West.
|Number of Farms||30,976||33,827|
|Value of Farm Land||$94.3 million||$139.4 million|
|Number of Factories||1,883||3,270|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$14.6 million||$32.2 million|
Virginia, Confederate State
Richmond, the capital city of the Confederacy and an important port city, languished after the war, unable to compete with new railroads. Covered with battle sites, Virginia was one of the states most damaged by war; farm values plummeted from the fifth-highest in the nation to the 10th. The state attempted to attract capital with low taxes and subsidies.
|Number of Farms||86,468||73,849|
|Value of Farm Land||$371.8 million||$213 million|
|Number of Factories||5,385||5,933|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$50.7 million||$38.4 million|
West Virginia, Entered the Union in 1863
West Virginia emancipated its slaves during the war, seceding from Virginia. The new state's economy moved away from plantation farming toward smaller-scale farming and manufacturing.
|Number of Farms||39,778|
|Value of Farm Land||$101.6 million|
|Number of Factories||2,444|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$24.1 million|
Wisconsin, Union State
Already a major agricultural center during the war, Wisconsin had flour milling and timber industries that grew substantially during Reconstruction.
|Number of Farms||68,782||102,904|
|Value of Farm Land||$131.1 million||$300.4 million|
|Number of Factories||3,064||7,013|
|Value of Manufactured Products||$27.8 million||$77.2 million|
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.