The American war was fought between the North (The Union) and the South (The confederacy) Americans from 1861 to 1865. The Civil War was basically initiated due to the long-standing controversy of black people slavery. It destroyed the infrastructure of the South and especially the transportation system was affected. The confederacy was collapsed, slavery ended, and millions of black slaves got freedom. In the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln became the president and banned slavery in all territories of the United States. According to the Southern states, it was the violation of their rights to abolish slavery. He was the first Republican candidate to won the presidency in the history of the USA. It was basically one of the earliest industrial wars. During these four years war more than 750,000 soldiers died and the huge number of civilians as well. Here we will discuss the causes and reasons behind the winner of the North, and the loss of the South in the civil war.
Reasons for North’s Victory
There were certain reasons that led the Southern States of America to win the war against the confederate states. The confederate states included eleven northern states which left the union due to the disagreement over the slavery constitution. The United States defeated the rebellions and abolished slavery nation-wide. Slavery was the main concentration in the South because they used them as farm laborers and house servants (Hallwood, 2018). The Southern economy was based on agriculture, and slavery formed its backbone. They were against the constitution’s decision to abolish slavery. Many people from both sides believed that slavery was inhumane and immoral. The southern people felt pressure from the northern people and their politicians. The Southern states were not in favor to abolish slavery because their economy was depended on these slaves. Politicians from both sides tried to resolve this issue with dialogue, however, they were all failed to steer the country away from this war. The Northern States had more army and weapons than the south. The north was economically, politically, and socially stronger, and they had more unity. While the Southern States had only 9 million people among which approximately 50 percent were slaves.
Strengths of North
The northern territory of the United States had about 22 million population while the south had 9 million population. Among these 9 million, almost half were slaves. The major cause of this war was to free the slaves, so the southern side had no cooperation from the slave population. The union had a heavy industry, richer, and had diversified agricultural products. One of the major reasons for North victory was moral support from the people of both sides. Not everybody in the south was supporting confederate states, they were still plenty of local people to support the Union. The Union had a well-trained navy force that stopped all the trades of confederacy with Europe. They had stopped all the supply lines of the South to access France and Britain for trade and help. The southern States believed that these countries would come to their help because they would need more cotton. However, they had enough cotton in their stock, while they needed corn of the North. Many slaves from the south fled to the north and joined the Union’s army against the South, which strengthens the Union’s army. The Union had a stable army and having a strong political structure, while the Southern States were comparatively weaker, and their cause was immoral and wrong. The Confederate States were politically weaker because the public and army were not on the same page. They didn’t get the confidence of their people, and they got slight support from people. They didn’t have moral support from a large number of people living in the south. The southern economy was poorly planned and they were not able to win this war. Northern states had a strong infrastructure; including roads, and railway lines for transportation, which was helpful in the war to supply food and weapons to their army easily. On the other hand, Southern States had poor infrastructure which caused hurdles to supply food and weapons to their army.
Reasons for South’s defeat
There are many reasons behind the defeat of the Confederacy, here we will discuss it briefly. From the beginning of this war, the confederacy was at a disadvantage. They didn’t get support from their politicians because of war taxes, and martial law. These eleven states were newly separated from the Union, and they lacked unity. The armies of these states were capable to protect their states, however, they were not in a position to fight against a strong opponent. There was a conflict of interest among the people and the army. The newly emerged confederacy had several financial, political, and social issues. They were only dependent on the agriculture sector, and most of these states were underdeveloped. The social division was another root cause of their loss. Their economy was based on cotton and other Agri products, which were run by the slaves. They felt insecurity when the new president was elected, and he announced his anti-slavery policy within the Union. Many people in the South were against the war, and they were aware of the losses. While the remaining people turned against it due to higher taxes, and huge losses during the war. The major social issue was slavery itself because half of the population of South included slaves, so they didn’t support the cause of the Confederacy. The morale of the Confederate army was down because they had a lack of support from their civilians, and lack of will to win is one of the major causes of their defeat. The role of leadership is in war can not be denied, the president of Confederation was Jefferson Davis who was not a good leader. He was not able to lead the nation and army to win this war. On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln was a charismatic leader with strong political and leadership skills (Gallagher, 2016). He knew the skills to win people to his side. He knew much more about the war strategies, and his leadership had great influence in this victory. Their stance of war was not supported by half of its population because people were aware to provide all the rights to the slaves and abolish slavery from their states.
Weaknesses of South
One of the major weaknesses which led the Confederacy to defeat was its small population. The ratio of their population was 1:2, it means that North has double of their army and men. Moreover, about half of the population included slaves. So the slave community was supporting the Union. A large number of the slaves moved to the south and joined the Union’s Army. Another reason for Confederation’s defeat was their weaker economy. They didn’t have a huge industry, and they relied only on agriculture and cotton. The infrastructure and transport system of southern states were least developed. So the supply of food to the army was not easy during the war. Moral support from the general public could be denied because most of the population included slaves, while the war taxes compelled people to oppose the strategy of the newly formed government.
Gallagher, Gary W. The American Civil War: The War in the East 1861-May 1863. Routledge, 2016.
Hallwood, Paul. “The Confederacy and the American Civil War, 1861-1865: Greed Or Grievance?.” Journal of Economic Literature 41 (2018): F54.