Why the South Lost the Civil War Assignment

Why the South Lost the Civil War Assignment Words: 1116

When the Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army General, Ulysses S. Grant at the Appoint Courthouse on April 9, 1865, many considered the Civil War to be over. The fact that the North was victorious over the South was accepted and the process of reconstruction began in America. It was never openly discussed on why the North defeated the South. However, the question began to slowly arise over time on why the South lost the Civil War. Many historians have become interested in this question and many reasons have been given on why the South lost the Civil War.

Lack of manpower, shortages of supplies, and inferior leadership and government were the three main reasons on why the South was defeated in the Civil War. With a shortage of supplies due to lack of industrial bases, the South suffered greatly in the Civil War, ultimately causing their loss. The North’s ability to bring its industry to manufacture supplies allowed it to gain and maintain its dominance over the South. The South, having Just 20,000 factories, was no competition for the North, which had 105,000 factories.

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However, the South at one point did have an opportunity to gain more supplies through foreign aid, which might have caused the Civil War to have a different outcome if the South would have received that aid. Britain and France were willing to give the South money, food, drugs, weapons, and many more supplies. However, the South practiced the institution of slavery, which prevented European aid. Because the middle-classes of France and Britain were against the “peculiar institution”, they chose to side with the North, rather than the South. The South’s deficiency of materials ultimately caused them to lose the Civil

War because they were often not prepared for battles and did not have the necessary supplies to compete with the North’s numerous weapons from their large industries. With numbers that could not compete with the North, the South’s lack of manpower was a second reason why they lost the Civil War. The North had a large population of 18. 5 million people, while the South only had 9 million people. Of the 9 million people that the South had, a little over 3 million of them were slaves, who were not allowed to fight in the war, decreasing their overall population by one-third.

The South did not have the reinforcements that they needed and the amount of men necessary to fight against the North. An example where the South was heavily outnumbered was the Battle of Vicksburg, one of the battles that was considered a turning point in the Civil War for the North. General Grant, the commander of the Union Army had nearly twice as many men as the leader of the Confederate Army, General Phenomenon. The Union Army also had an advantage that the Confederate army needed, but did not have; they had reinforcements and large numbers.

With o reinforcements and a lack of supplies, the South finally had to surrender to Grant after forty days of fighting. Grant gained the city of Vicksburg and the Confederate army that had surrendered to him at that battle. With the loss of Phenomenon’s army and Grant having control over the Mississippi, the South was virtually split in half. This later affected the South in the battles to come because they had fewer men to fight, since about 29,000 surrendered to Grant at Vicksburg. This battle also cut off the South’s communication with the major military and naval operations West of the

Mississippi River. A strong central government and superior leadership in the North, as opposed to the inferior leadership and weak government in the South, was a third reason why the North was victorious in the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln, the president of the Union, was probably not only a better president than Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, but Lincoln gave his people a better explanation for their reason for fighting the war. The morale in the North was high and their military leadership developed many strong strategies that furthered them in the war.

However, the South had inferior political leaders, such as Davis who never won the affection of the Southerners, and lacked a sense of nationalism. The South was built on state sovereignty, which steadily decreased the South’s strength as a nation. The South’s state supreme courts annulled the Confederate Laws, and there was no supreme court to appeal to. The interests of the nation were put behind the interests of the individual states as seen when the states would not supply the Confederate army with soldiers and supplies within the first year of the war.

If they would have given heir men to the army, adding 200,000 more, there might have been a change in the outcome of the war. Governor Brown of Georgia was a key example of how the states kept supplies for themselves rather than giving them to the army. Brown not only kept his troops well supplied with many uniforms and blankets, but he had a large amount of extras in a warehouse and would not surrender them to the army. He had the proper amount of clothes to dress the Confederate army; however he chose to keep them for his state.

This could have potentially changed the war because Lee’s army would march barefoot and freeze most of the time, which brought about diseases and illnesses that often caused death. If they would have prevented these diseases and illnesses, Lee’s army would have been larger. The South’s state sovereignty and weak political leaders were one of the main causes of why the South lost the Civil War, because the nation was not united as a whole and did not support the war effort to its fullest, and the political leaders were not strong enough to change that. There are many arguments on why the North was victorious over the South.

Some ay the North had better military commanders, while others say that the North was more determined to win the war than the South was. However, the three main reasons why the South lost the Civil War were that their army was constantly short on supplies, the North automated the South’s army, and the South had a weak national government, along with weak leaders. If the South would have had a larger population with more supplies and a stronger central government, there might have been a different outcome in the Civil War, which would have shaped the world in a whole other way.

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