Tuesday, June 22, 2010
US National Debt in 1860 was $64,842,287.00
Population was 31,443,000
The year was 1861
The US was in the throws of a civil war. President Abraham Lincoln needed money for the war and went with his Secretary of the Treasury Solomon P. Chase, to get loans. The banks offered the Union loans with a 24 to 36% interest. Lincoln refused.
An old friend of Lincoln's, Colonel Dick Taylor of Chicago was put in charge of solving the problem of how to finance the war. His solution is recorded as this.
"Just get Congress to pass a bill authorizing the printing of full legal tender treasury notes... and pay your soldiers with them and go ahead and win your war with them also." — Colonel Dick Taylor
There are two versions of how well this worked. The official version in many textbooks states that the union currency became worthless. The Unofficial version states that debts were paid and the money was accepted.
The American Civil War started and lasted until 1865.
Mention the American Civil War and the first thing that springs to mind is the emancipation of the slaves but which was started like so many wars for economic reasons.
The northern elite wanted economic expansion, free land, free labor, a free market, a high protective tariff for manufacturers and a Bank of the United States. The Southern slave owners opposed all that. They viewed Lincoln and the Republicans as making impossible the continuation of their pleasant and prosperous way of life.
The Civil War killed more than 2% of the population of the US.
Two percent would be approximately 628,860 killed.
The 1860 U.S. Census showed a population of 31,443,000
Posted by Tom Stanford