Civil War and The South's Loss

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Civil War and The South's Loss “In all history, no nation of mere agriculturists ever made successful war against a nation of mechanics…You are bound to fail.” Union officer William Tecumseh Sherman to a Southern friend. “Why did the North win the Civil War?” is only half of a question by itself, for the other half is “Why did the South lose the Civil War?” To this day historians have tried to put their finger on the exact reason for the South losing the war. Some historians blame the head of the confederacy Jefferson Davis; however others believe that it was the shear numbers of the Union (North). The advantages and disadvantages are abundant on either sides of the argument, but the most dominate arguments on why the South lost the war would be the fact that state’s rights prevented unification of the South, Jefferson Davis' poor leadership and his failure to work together with his generals, the South failed to gain the recognition of the European nations, North's superior resources made the outcome inevitable, and moral of the South towards the end of the war. First, the South couldn’t have won the civil war because state’s rights prevented unification of the South. The very issue that created the Confederacy helped to destroy it. In waging war, the South faced problems of politics and government that greatly complicated its problem of economic mobilization. No one would deny the troublesome effect of the conflict generated by differing ideas of how best to protect liberty and to organize southern society for the war effort. Southern people insisted upon retaining their democratic liberties in wartime, which proved fatal for the South. They had to struggle with a “confederacy formed by particularistic politicians [that] could hardly be expected to adopt promptly those centralists polices which victory demanded” (Donald, p. 26). Individual state governors fought bitterly with Jefferson Davis to prevent him from consolidating power to fight the war. They withheld troops and supplies while the Confederate Congress spent its time arguing over the rights of the states instead of prosecuting a war of national survival. Many internal conflicts within the South were acquiring and weakening the South’s unity. Internal conflicts caused confederate officials to choose between moving troops from the coasts and strengthening their armies, or leaving the... ... middle of paper ... ...iled to gain the recognition of the European nations, North's superior resources made the outcome inevitable, and moral of the South towards the end of the war. The Civil War was a trying time for both the North and the South alike, but the question of its outcome was obvious from the start. The North was guaranteed a decisive victory over the ill-equipped South. Northerners, prepared to endure the deficit of war, were startled to find that they were experiencing an enormous industrial boom even after the first year of war. To the South, however, the war was a draining and debilitating leech, sucking the land dry of any appearance of economical formidability. The debate continues whether or not the South could have won the Civil war. It’s always going to be a bunch of “what ifs?” Works Cited Beringer, Richard. et al. Why the South Lost the Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986. Boritt, Gabor S. Why the Confederacy Lost. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992 Donald, David. et al. Why the North Won the Civil War. London: Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1960. Gallagher, Gary. The Confederate War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.

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