Prior to the Civil War, North Carolinians united in their disgust towards the poor and poor relief. They often associated poverty with illness and petty crime and the local and state governments did little to help combat it. During the Civil War, thousands of small North Carolina fell into poverty which forced the state and its citizens to reexamine its view of the subject. Local county governments took unheard of actions to solve the problem but ultimately failed. By the end of the Civil War, North Carolinians suffered from hunger and poverty on a scale unheard of to that point in North Carolina history.