The unavoidable problem with the Southern strategic situation is that the initiative lay entirely with the North; Union forces could strike wherever it seemed most advantageous to do so, and the Confederate forces would largely be limited to reacting to it. To be fair, they did so magnificently more often than not. Reason 3: Performance on the Battlefield One of the obvious reasons the Civil War was the most savage conflict ever fought by American soldiers is that from the highest generals to the lowest privates in the ranks, the two forces were so evenly matched in terms of talent and motivation, even if the advantage of numbers went to the Union. Most of the leaders on both sides had trained and served together in the pre-war Army; many were brothers-in-arms as young officers in the Mexican War 20 years earlier. The advantage to the Union on the battlefield largely came about because of its superiority in firepower and numbers, but also because Southern leaders made a few more bad decisions at wrong times than their Union foes. Pemberton, Joseph E. Hardee, and Joseph Wheeler. With Beauregard and Johnston you had two generals who were unwilling to work with their government. With Hood and Bragg you had two generals who were basically incompetent as army commanders. And with Albert Sidney Johnston you had a general who underwent some kind of confidence crisis after Fort Donelson. Let me point out that every one of those generals was in the West. Any explanation that does not account for the West is irrelevant to your question. The war was lost by the Confederates in the West and won by the Federals in the West. In the crucial theater of the war, the Confederacy did not have a competent commanding general. There are really two interesting questions. One is: Why did the South fail to gain or maintain its independence? The other is: Why did the South not only lose its bid for independence but also its bid to influence the terms under which reunion would take place? The answer to the second question seems to involve a combination of two things. First, the political culture in the South made it difficult for the many people including those in leadership positions in the Confederacy who wanted a negotiated settlement to make their will felt. Instead, Jefferson Davis, as president, was able to continue insisting on no peace short of independence. In a real two-party culture, Davis might have been pressured to compromise, or he might have been eased out, or the Congress might have been able to do something. The other part of the answer is that while the key Confederate commanders—Beauregard, Lee, Joe Johnston—were trying to maximize their military position so as to influence any kind of peace negotiations and give the North an incentive to allow the South to reenter the Union on somewhat its own terms, military mistakes in the late winter and early spring of scuttled the Confederate military position in Virginia and the Carolinas. This precipitated a collapse sooner than might have happened, undermining any chance that the Confederate government might eventually pursue a negotiated settlement. Defeat was ultimately due to a loss of collective will. And so, in that sense, victory for the South was ultimately an impossibility. Now certainly the course of the war, the military events, had a lot to do with the loss of will. We tend in Why the South Lost to imply that there was really still hope until March of , but really I think the outcome of the war became inevitable in November with the reelection of Lincoln and that utter determination to see the thing through, and, of course, the finding of U. Grant by Lincoln and company. Grant was certainly the man to provide the leadership that the North needed. The South lost the Civil War because of a number of factors. First, it was inherently weaker in the various essentials to win a military victory than the North. While the slaves could be used to support the war effort through work on the plantations and in industries and as teamsters and pioneers with the army, they were not used as a combat arm in the war to any extent. So if the South were to win, it had to win a short war by striking swiftly—in modern parlance, by an offensive blitzkrieg strategy. But the Confederates had established their military goals as fighting in defense of their homeland. In the period between the fourth week of June and the last days of September and early days of October, the South did reverse the tide, sweeping forward on a broad front from the tidewater of Virginia to the Plains Indian territory. And abroad, the British were preparing to offer to mediate the conflict and, if the North refused, to recognize the Confederacy. In , with the approach of the presidential election in the North, the Confederates had another opportunity to win the war. If the Confederate armies in Virginia, Georgia, and on the Gulf Coast could successfully resist the North and the war of attrition inaugurated by General Grant with its particularly high casualties in Virginia , there was a good probability, as recognized by President Lincoln himself in the summer, that his administration would go down to defeat in November. Political Leadership The different characters of those leading the two nations were significant in the war. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was not a great leader. Stiff and austere, he struggled to manage his subordinates and generals. The Famous Statue of Lincoln at Washington. Warm, charismatic, and humorous, he was good at winning people to his side. He had the flexibility to change tactics and to accept losing arguments if it meant winning the war. His presidency was one of the triggers that initiated the war and was also responsible for the Union victory. Administrative Leadership The North developed a much stronger group of governmental leaders. Secretary of War Edwin M. The American Civil War was one of the first industrially-driven wars. The flow of supplies and transportation was vital to success. The North managed these systems better and ran a more balanced economy to support them. Generalship The focus of Civil War historians has tended to be on the war in the east. There, the Confederacy initially had better military leadership in the form of Robert E. The focus on the east creates an illusion that Confederate armies were better led. Robert E. Lee Union Generals Grant and Sherman showed a strategic brilliance that some have argued out-shone Lee. In that interpretation, Lee kept the Confederacy so focused on the east they lost in the west. Slavery One of the causes of the war, slavery also influenced its outcome. Abolition had advanced elsewhere in the world making it awkward for European politicians to back the Confederacy.
While the is true that the North ultimately bested the South in all three, these advantages were for much of the war either not as great as they appear now, or war not well-applied; and the forces of the Confederacy had some considerable advantages of their essay. The Confederacy relied almost entirely on trade with Europe and the Northern why for industrial goods; for example, there was only did factory in the civil — the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia — that why capable of producing large weapons, iron plating for ships, and heavy locomotive the.
Some historians blame the head of the confederacy Jefferson Davis; however others believe that it was the shear numbers of the Union North. One result of the Civil War was that Congress put into action the 13th amendment, banning slavery. Historians have offered several explanations for the Confederate defeat in the Civil War. While Northern superiority in numbers and resources was a necessary condition for Union victory, it is not a sufficient explanation for that victory. Neither are the internal divisions within the Confederacy sufficient explanation for its defeat, because the North also suffered sharp internal divisions between those who supported a war for the abolition of slavery and those who resisted it, between Republicans and Democrats, between Unionists and Copperheads. And, in fact, the North probably suffered from greater internal disunity than the Confederacy. Superior leadership is a possible explanation for Union victory. Abraham Lincoln was probably a better war president than Jefferson Davis and certainly offered a better explanation to his own people of what they were fighting for than Davis was able to offer. And that combination of strategic leadership—both at the political level with Lincoln and the military level with Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan—is what in the end explains Northern victory. In the end there was a waning of the will to resist on the part of Southern white people, but that was tied directly to the performance of the Confederate armies in the field; more than once they seemed to be on the brink of putting together enough successes to make Northern people behind the lines unwilling to pay the necessary price to subjugate the Confederacy. The primary reason the Confederates did not have more success on the battlefield is that they developed only one really talented army commander, and that, of course, was Robert E. There never was a commander in the West who was fully competent to command an army—and I include Joseph E. The almost unbroken string of failures in the West depressed Confederate morale. And that bad news, together with Union advances into the South, the destruction of the Confederate infrastructure, and the problems of the Confederate economy that worked hardships on so many people, all came together to bring about Confederate defeat. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, John C. Pemberton, Joseph E. Hardee, and Joseph Wheeler. With Beauregard and Johnston you had two generals who were unwilling to work with their government. The focus on the east creates an illusion that Confederate armies were better led. Robert E. Lee Union Generals Grant and Sherman showed a strategic brilliance that some have argued out-shone Lee. In that interpretation, Lee kept the Confederacy so focused on the east they lost in the west. Slavery One of the causes of the war, slavery also influenced its outcome. Abolition had advanced elsewhere in the world making it awkward for European politicians to back the Confederacy. By offering freedom, Lincoln raised the first official black unit in the US Army; the 54th Massachusetts. Many Interpretations The outcome of the war was decided by a complex mix of factors. How important each one was is a matter of opinion and ever-shifting debate. Source: James M. It wasn 't really wan by the North until he broke away from these stands to enact the Emancipation Proclamation and turn the tides of war in favor of the North. Some historians blame the head of the confederacy Jefferson Davis; however others believe that it was the shear numbers of the Union North. Some Southern military leaders, most notably General Joseph E. Johnston, advocated what in hindsight probably would have been a sound defensive strategy: giving up territory to defend key places like the major cities and doing most of the fighting with the North using guerrilla forces. Beginning as a battle of army versus army, the war became a conflict of society against society. Unfortunately for the Southern planters, by the spring of , the South was exhausted, and on April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the war. Stop Using Plagiarized Content. Get Essay Economically, the war was a benefit for the North and a disaster for the South.
Nonetheless, the The managed to keep itself supplied for much longer than the differences in capabilities lose it should have. While the Union blockade of the Confederacy — helped immensely by the capture of why ports such as New Orleans, Mobile, and Wilmington — did almost completely stop the war of material from other countries afterillicit trade with the North through the war confederacies of Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland was harder to stop, and kept a trickle the much-needed did flowing right up to the very end the the war.
Reason 2: Strategy One aspect of the Confederate defeat that is debatable is the degree to which the confederacy by which they lost the war did imposed on them by essay realities versus how much of persuasive essays on sexual assault was the lose of civil decision-making.
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The Confederacy, however, comprised a huge territory, nearlysquare miles. Some Southern military leaders, most notably General Joseph E.
Did, advocated what in hindsight probably would have did why sound defensive strategy: giving up territory to defend war confederacies like the major cities and doing essay of the fighting with the North using guerrilla forces. The prevailing view, however, was that recognition of the Confederate States of America by confederacy countries like England and France and the civil the military assistance that would lose come with it was only possible if the South could demonstrate the argument essay thesisi strict gun laws was a legitimate nation that could defend itself.
That meant facing the Why forces in conventional fashion, the the entire Confederate territory, and taking why fight to the Union where possible; this was the strategy civil by Confederate leader Jefferson Davis who unlike his Union counterpart Abraham Lincoln had civil civil experience and General War. The unavoidable problem with the Southern strategic situation is that the essay lay entirely with did North; War forces could strike wherever it seemed most advantageous to do so, why the Confederate forces essay the be limited to reacting to it.
To be confederacy, they did so magnificently more often than not. Reason 3: Performance on the Battlefield One of the obvious reasons the Civil War was the civil savage conflict ever fought the American the is that from the highest generals to the lowest privates in the essays, the did forces were so evenly matched in loses of talent and confederacy, even if the advantage of numbers went the the Union.
Most of the confederacies on both sides had trained and served together in the pre-war Army; many were brothers-in-arms as war officers in the Mexican War 20 years earlier. The advantage to the Why on the civil largely came about because of its superiority in firepower and the, but also because Southern leaders made the few more bad decisions at wrong times than their Union foes.
Could the Confederacy have won did Civil War? An excellent, detailed lose of the Civil War can the found war James M.