Daniel has actually a bachelor's degree in history from CSUF. While love all aspects of history, there’s always those one-of-a-kind moments in history.

You are watching: What advantage did the south have in the civil war


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Union victory was not inescapable

The Lost reason tradition is a famous myth of the American Civil battle that believes that the southern was never able to success the war. However, it is frequently accepted among modern historians that the South had a very an excellent chance at winning, particularly at the beginning of the war, due to numerous advantages. This write-up will examine how the physiological, geographic, and leadership advantages of the South confirmed to have a really decisive role in the war. There to be nothing inevitable around the north winning the war, the Confederacy's many benefits proved that the American Civil battle would be a long, bloody war that the Union would need to fight tremendously hard to win.


The emotional Advantage

The South had exponential advantages going into the war, most of which became obvious in the first couple of campaigns. The very first and many well seen advantage at the beginning of the battle was the psychological advantage; the Southerner's house was being invaded and they required to protect themselves, their families, and their way of life. A Confederate soldier was asked why that is fighting versus the Union soldiers and also simply replied, "because they room down here". The southern saw the war as an act of northern aggression as well as a battle of independence, and also their fight against the Union was vital to protect their dwellings from the invading North. It seems as the Confederacy ongoing to gain momentum through each success as they an ext or less overcame the battlefield and came relatively close come marching ~ above Washington. Also after Gettysburg, i m sorry many mention as the turning point in the war (but is the topic of historic debate), moral among Southern troops remained high prior to it slowly dwindled v each new Union victory. Yet for the very first years that the war the southern seemed practically unstoppable and also their confidence was proven with numerous victories.


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The Confederates had actually the attitude that their reason in the battle was right, and also that the battle was one of northern Aggression. This sentiment deserve to still be seen and also felt today in few of the southern states.


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The Shenandoah Valley, circled in red, showed to be a really effective herbal defense as countless Union troops were required into the deadly funnel where they met their demise from solid fortified Confederate positions throughout the valley.


The geographic Advantage

The second advantage the Confederacy had versus the Union to be the location of the South. The see of the southern states not only noted natural defenses but likewise an economic advantage. Mountains, swamps, and also rivers characterized the geography of the southern states, i beg your pardon proved conveniently defensible and also gave the phibìc great challenge in advancing across the terrain. Also, the south was one agricultural culture due to the climate and also fertile lands. Cash crops such as tobacco and also cotton grew in the southerly plantations and with noodle in such high demand due come the industry world and the farming textile industries, the crop became a money tree for southern society. Noodle was also used together a diplomatic device as at this time about two-thirds of the world's cotton come from the American South. The Confederacy would actually use this diplomatic benefit in make the efforts to acquire the support of the British, which in turn would acquire the support of the French. However, the blockade the Union implemented on southern ports along with constant Union pressure led to the two countries to hesitate their allegiance until the North winner multiple campaigns and also basically secured a Union win in 1865 at which suggest the two nations saw no allude in acquiring involved. Had they well-known the Confederacy and also joined the battle on your behalf, the united States might be very different today.


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The Shenandoah valley was a prime instance of the location of the American south as the valley was surrounded by vast ridges and listed a strong natural defense because that the Confederacy.


The management Advantage

Lastly, the South had actually the benefit of strong leadership. Many Southern political and also military leaders to be graduates of the army academy in ~ West Point, as well as veterans of wars such as the Mexican-American War. If the Union struggled for the first few years that the war to find solid leaders who would struggle the enemy and also avoid politics involvement, Jefferson Davis confirmed to be a an extremely efficient leader in politics while Robert E. Lee and also "Stonewall" Jackson to be bringing great military victories come the Confederacy without suspicion or politics aspirations. At the same time Union leaders such as general McClellan, exhibited bad tactical decisions and were an ext interested in politics and their future careers fairly than fighting the battle they were in. Until the Lincoln can figure out exactly how to species the generalship that his Union army, Ulysses S. Grant being his saving grace in transforming the Union army around in 1864, the Confederate army would simply encounter success after victory all while their soldiers and also leaders space gaining an useful combat experience. Although the Confederacy had a solid core of leader at the beginning of the war, management would prove to be problematic in the later years. The main problem arisen between Davis' and Lee's ideology on how to victory the war. Davis advocated for victory by not losing, which entailed the Confederacy defending the south until the north had exhausted their will to struggle and cleared up for peace. Top top the various other hand, Lee promoted for win by victory, or losing by no winning, which meant that win was only attainable by completely defeating the Union and also capturing Washington. Lee would be unable to achieve this sort of victory as his losses in the battle proved disastrous as the southern did not have actually the manpower to change their casualties.


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The Confederacy gone into the battle with solid leaders that were so effective it appeared that lock would success the war until 1863, and also even after ~ Gettysburg there to be still the possibility of a southern victory.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the South had actually many benefits which confirmed that north victory would be extremely difficult. The geography provided the Confederacy herbal defenses the hampered Union movement, while cotton provided the South great economic and also diplomatic leverage. Overall, the Southern mindset of defending their method of life and their dwellings from the "Northern invaders" proved that there was nothing inevitable around Northern win in the American civil War. These advantages would prove devastating versus the Union together they tried, there is no much early success, to regain the united States and also would expense the country plenty of lives by creating a variety of casualties the surpasses that of any kind of war the United claims has fought to date.


Questions & Answers

Question: What economic advantages did the North have over the south in unites States' history?

Answer: The Union had actually the strength of industry and also made a lot native textiles, however the South's slavery drove the agricultural economy of the South and providing noodle for the North's textiles. However, also with the ns of their key supply of cotton for textiles, the Union's strength of industry permitted them to keep the economy relatively stable and keep production going. Usually the North's economic climate was stable enough and industrially solid enough to outproduce the dying southerly economy.


Comments

Daniel White (author) top top June 08, 2018:

I'd to speak they every were, together was presented in the Confederacy's initial win streak of battle after battle. The South appeared to have actually all their benefits at the best time when the war started, which took the Union a few years come overcome once the Union forged out their own advantages. Also, this were every in the beginning of the war because towards the end of the battle the South's moral was dropping as their casualties ongoing to increase without guys replacing those shed on the battlefield, the Union marched into and began destroying some that the geographic advantages (the "scorched earth" policy), and the South's leaders to be being defeated, especially Stonewall Jackson once he was eliminated by his own guys on accident.


bob top top June 06, 2018:

Which to be an benefit for the south at the begin of the polite War?

CJ Kelly indigenous the PNW on might 29, 2016:

Great hub. I always thought it to be the mindset of the Confederate soldier (both officer & grunt). That's the only thing the really continual them after 1863. It's amazing they it is long as lengthy as they did. The Union overcame enormous geography beforehand in the War. They take it Vicksburg, new Orleans and also controlled the Mississippi through 1863.


Really an excellent job. Mutual everywhere.

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Daniel White (author) on may 28, 2016:

While the north did have a an extremely prosperous industrial culture emerging, the South's cotton sector was quiet invaluable due to the fact that it sustained not only the North's industry however the world's, particularly in the cultivation textile industry. As for European nations supporting the Confederacy, enslavement was not an issue. France had their understanding in the South because of Napoleon III's attention in Mexico, and was even close to sending out French troops to support the southern through Mexico. Also, the Haitian revolution still left bitter feelings over the independence of slaves for the French. Britain's interest was economical, largely with the textile and cotton industry which was fueled by the South's slaves, and even tho supported slavery until 1862 when the African servant Trade contract Act suppressed the Atlantic slave Trade because that good. Many thanks for your comments and also insight!

Howard Schneider from Parsippany, brand-new Jersey on may 27, 2016:

Very interesting Hub regarding the advantages the Confederacy had throughout the polite War. I think the psychological and also geographical benefits of defending your residence ground were the many key. That is true noodle was a very solid commodity for them yet the North's all at once industrial wealth complex far outweighed the noodle industry. It is true that some in Europe might have assumed the idea of sustaining the southern to it is in a sound one, but in the finish they could not assistance a culture that to be supporting enslavement as means of life. Wonderful job, Daniel.