The Homestead Act of 1862, providing (nearly) free land for settlers in designated parts of the West
The National Banking Act of 1863, creating a national banking system and currency
Several transcontinental railroad bills
The first federal income tax
Created the National Academy of Sciences
Establishment of the Department of Agriculture (which had a significant R&D component), the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Immigration.
Love it or hate it or both, that’s a lot. Not only do the pressures of war lead to “things getting done,” but of course the Southern states and their representatives had dropped out of Congress.
That is all from Walter Licht, Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century.