The Civil WarNorth Success Essay Research Paper

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The Civil War,North Success Essay, Research Paper Why Did the North Win the Civil War? In 1861, following the secession of the Deep South on a platform of states rights, the right to property and the event of Fort Sumnter, the inevitable conflict Seward had predicted emerged as the Civil War. Four years later Lee surrendered and so returned the Confederate states to the Union – the victory of the North was never as forgone as the onslaught of secession, and certainly historians such as McPherson have judged it would be dangerous to generalise over causes of the Northern Victory, since events on the battlefield could have taken a different course into Southern favour, changing the War s final outcome. However, there are several factors that were certainly crucial for

northern victory – such as economic growth and stability, the political prowess and generalship of Lincoln and Military manpower and technique. Many historians of the post-war era and in the 20th century noted the economic might and manpower of the North as one of the main reasons for success. Economic factors were certainly crucial for the defeat of the South in 1865. By 1861, the North was, economically, in line with the Industrialised world of Northern Europe and Britain, and was way ahead of the backward South, still mostly reliant on the peculiar institution of slave labour in the cotton fields. It possessed 4 out of 5 factories, America s Banking system, 15 times more Iron and 38 times more Coal; it made it s own clothing and even during the war was never short of new

migrants from Ireland and Germany. Northerners outnumbered Southerners 22 million to a measly five million whites (slaves, who made up the remaining 4 million, were constitutionally only 3/5s of a citizen each, and so were not legible for the draft). The North had to rely little on Europe; it was self-sufficient, it had a variegated economy compared to the Southern reliance on cash crops as a source of income and could make everything required to fight the war – obtaining clothing, drugs and weaponry was never a problem for Northern battalions. Life continued as normal, arts and politics flourished and thanks to the never ending draft queue a defeat for the Union could always be healed by a reinforcement of new recruits. The contemporary Confederate general Robert E. Lee said,

after his defeat at Appomattox in 1865, the Virginian army had been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. The 20th century historian Richard Current agreed, suggesting that God was on the side of the heaviest battalions. The impressive figures certainly show a North who seemed well equipped to crush the Southern dissent, but perhaps without Lincoln s leadership economic might may have left the North in a similar position to the British Empire during the War of Independence. Lincoln s presidency was also a very important, crucial factor for Northern Victory. Lincoln was elected (in 1860) on a platform of anti-slavery through the back door, within a party who nominated him as a candidate to shy public opinion away from their abolitionist, free soiler roots. The

Republicans themselves were, however, never likely to allow the South to simply secede quietly, as a recognition of the Confederacy would recognise Slavery as legitimate – free soilers belived that such labour practices threatened the spread of free labour (and jobs for whites) with respect to westward expansion. Through the war aims, set up by Lincoln, the South found itself described as law breaking Union rebels who had torn up the Constitution to keep their right to hold slaves. Lincoln managed to unite his people whilst preaching eloquently in public address – the site of the Ghettysburg battle, for example, was announced as a national cemetary, in a speech where he emphasised Democracy and Liberty as goals of the Civil War, reminding his compatriots of the values that