Some scholars have depicted the war as a decisive event in the progress of domestic industrialization and class formation. In 1927 Charles and Mary Beard described the Civil War as 'a social war' in which the capitalist bourgeoisie of the Northeast aligned themselves with the commercial farmers of the Midwest to remove the slaveholding planter aristocracy from power.2 This result, they contended, paved the way for the country's surging industrial growth in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Within forty years this orthodoxy had been undermined by scholars working on the politics and economy of the Civil War era. The business elite of the day, it was suggested, was not a monolithic group - industrial and financial capitalists had very different ideas about important issues such as federal monetary policy and the tariff. Economic historians questioned the Beards' notion that the war had been a boon to industrialization by observing that important sectors of the economy had been adversely affected by the shift to a war footing. Walt Rostow, one of the most influential econometricians of the 1950s and 1960s, drove in the knife by positing that the US economy had reached industrial 'take off in the late antebellum period.3