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Power of 50

The Civil War

Freedom and 49 other ways it changed American life

Two civil war soldiers and the innovative items and technology the war produced

Lt. Col. Alex B. Elder, left, and unknown Civil War soldier. — Corbis; Library of Congress

Political and social impact

No other conflict has so profoundly changed our society:

1. 13th Amendment: slavery banned

2. 14th: citizenship for all born in the U.S.

3. 15th: voting rights for all male citizens regardless of race

4. Women's rights gain momentum

5. 1862 Homestead Act passed

6. Censorship of battlefield photos

7. Reconstruction laws passed

8. Ku Klux Klan organized

9. Jim Crow laws passed

10. Federal law trumps states' rights

Next: The Civil War set the stage for modern medicine.  >>

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