Baylor College Medical School

Civil War History

Why did the steel industry become important after the Civil War?

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In the years after the Civil War, the American steel industry grew with astonishing speed as the nation's economy expanded to become the largest in the world. Between 1880 and the turn of the century, steel production increased from 1.25 million tons to more than 10 million tons. By 1910 America was producing more than 24 million tons, by far the greatest of any country. Railways, cars, furnaces, city infrastructure and pretty much everything that would shoot America into a modern era required steel.