The Defeat of The Confederacy

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There were several reasons for the defeat of the Confederacy which included no industrial base, (Donald 1996, p. 99) inadequate transportation net (Donald, 1996, p. 99), and bickering among the generals (McPherson & Hogue, 2009, p. 365) etc., but the overriding factor was that the Confederacy never became a nation (Donald, 1996, p. 100). That is, they seceded because the Southern states believed they had the right as independent States to do so (Donald, 1996, p. 7). The South lost because they never stopped believing this. No state could depend on any other for full support of the war. The Governor of Georgia specifically prohibited his troops from fighting outside the state for many months. Many governors set limits on how many troops they would spare and where they could be used. The States kept home guards far beyond the actual need for internal security. The Confederacy was more of a coalition than a Confederacy. General Lee spoke of his "country" when he talked of Virginia (Bowman, 2006, p.49).

This is a simplistic answer to a very complicated question that needs a great deal more discussion and investigation. But of course the factors that enter into the South's ultimate defeat are those things that are consistently emphasized with a great amount of validity: the North's industrial base; the North's manpower resources and the fact that foreign recognition was denied the Confederacy. Why did the South lose? When the question is asked that way, it presupposes that the South lost the war all by itself and that it really never could have won it. The South lost because the North outmanned and outclassed it at almost every point, even militarily (Donald, 1996, pp. 99-100). The North was able to bring its industry a...

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