Appomattox Exhibits Greenback America Museum News

‘Greenback America’ is headed to ACWM-Appomattox

Our temporary exhibition, Greenback America,
is moving to ACWM-Appomattox!

(159 Horseshoe Rd, Appomattox, VA, 25422)

The Civil War remade the country that we see ourselves in today. Money and banking were among the radical changes that resulted from the conflict.  In the confusing post-war economic environment, the United States government had resulting debt and a decision to make – how to pay off the war.  Greenback America examines how relationships between government, the economy, banks, and citizens were transformed as a result of the American Civil War. 
Using poems, songs, cartoons, newspaper clippings, and more, visitors will explore how Americans assigned cultural meaning to money and how doing so helped them interpret politics, patriotism, and race. This exhibit tells the story of how the United States’ decision on how to pay off the Civil War transformed the relationship between the government, the economy, banks, and citizens.

Greenback America is a visually stunning and artful exhibit that will lead visitors to explore how Americans assigned cultural meaning to money and how doing so helped them interpret politics, patriotism and race. 

The exhibit was made possible by funding from the Mellon Foundation

Opening April 12, 2024

Greenback America Exhibition Teaser

How the United States Paid for the Civil War Transformed America

Interpretive Themes

• The United States had to borrow, tax, and create money in new ways to pay for war.

• New financial policies created new divisions in American life.

• The federal government became a new presence in individual lives and the economic life of the nation.

• Each generation defines the relationship between individuals, the federal government, and the economy.

Visitors Will…

• Connect with the exhibit’s historical actors through the complex and difficult decisions they made at critical points, and with the ways ordinary people gained or lost by the new system.

• Gain competence in understanding their place in the monetary system created during the Civil War, and in understanding that each generation defines monetary policy and the federal presence in the economy in its own way.

• Think of the Civil War in a different way; Stories beyond those defined by North-South military conflict, chronologically expansive beyond 1861-1865, impact lives today–in ways other than legacies of emancipation.