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The States Buy


States did what they could for their role in mobilization. Some states had no problem financing their soldiers, such as Massachusetts and New York, with their efficient taxation methods, strong banks, ready and willing organizations, and wealthy citizens.1 New York’s banks and private citizens financed the Union, not just New York soldiers, throughout the war.2 For all of the states, borrowing from banks and prominent citizens was the preferred way to raise money, over that of taxation 3.


Funding Mobilization

In 1861 Massachusetts was one of the largest spenders procuring arms and equipment, a total of $1,254,000. Other large spenders were New York with $883,000 spent on equipment and arms and Illinois with $855,000 spent on those same supplies.4 A significant portion of these spendings were used on foreign arms, because many national companies could not keep up with the large order of rifles.5 However, any money spent towards carbines would have mostly been on orders from American companies rather than foreign, because most carbines used in the Civil War were American-made.

Other states, such as Iowa, could not afford mobilization, because their economic system was insecure. The federal government stepped in rather quickly to help those states. However for struggling western states, such as Iowa, the government’s supply was not of top quality, because the federal supplies were usually picked over by other, more eastern states
.6 Despite their initial struggle, some states’, including Iowa’s, economies became secure or grew due to the wartime demand and resulting expansion.


1 Paul A. C. Koistinen, Beating Plowshares Into Swords:  The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1606¬1865 (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1996), 107. 109
2 Koistinen, Beating Plowshares Into Swords, 109

3 Koistinen, Beating Plowshares Into Swords, 111

4 Mark Wilson, The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861 – 1865 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 13

5 Wilson, The Business of Civil War, 15

6 Koistinen, Beating Plowshares Into Swords, 115

7 Koistinen, Beating Plowshares Into Swords, 116

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