1. Discuss the balance of resources between the North and South at the beginning of the Civil War and its implications for initial military strategy. The Southerners were fighting for a way of life they believed in. They thought England would help them because they used a lot of the cotton the South grew. Many Southerners deserted the army because they didn't have the things they needed for fighting. The Northerners had more men, more factories, and more weapons. The Northern military leaders were weaker than the Southern leaders. They later became as good with training. The Confederate favored slavery, felt they were fighting a second war of independence, made a living from small farms and plantations, wanted to lower taxes on goods, and believed in states’ rights. The Union opposed slavery, felt they were fighting a war to free the slaves, made living from factories and trade, wanted to higher taxes on Europeans goods so Southerners would buy Northern products, and believed that the Union must be saved above all else. With these different views on what the nation should look like, they both came up with new strategies that would favor their side. They came up with defense mechanisms and plans that were supposed to be a help into their victory. Unfortunately, some of their plans and strategies failed while the others succeeded. With the many battles fought, the two opposing sides began to learn each other’s strength and weaknesses, thus developing new plans to defeat one another.
2. Contrast the backgrounds, leadership styles, and effectiveness of President Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. Abraham Lincoln was a superior politician to Jefferson Davis. The industrial and population disparity between both sides may have made it impossible for the South to win the American Civil War. However, Lincoln’s superior political ability was a definite advantage to the North. The two men had similar backgrounds, being born 100 miles apart in Kentucky, less than a year apart, both the sons of struggling farmers. Davis’ family, however, moved to Mississippi. By the time he went into politics, he was a member of the planter aristocracy, the leadership class. With an older brother set to inherit the family plantation, Davis went to West Point and set out on a military career. Lincoln’s family moved to Indiana, and then Illinois, but their economic status did not improve. He ended up working as a clerk. Reading law in his spare time, the way most people became lawyers at the times, Lincoln entered politics as a struggling, though highly talented, attorney. Davis found a political environment considered reserved for planters and the rest of the “leadership class.” His political success was never a guarantee, but he also never had to develop particularly strong political skills. Lincoln entered a totally different political environment. His political success was also never a guarantee, but, unlike Davis, he had to develop strong political skills to survive and flourish in the tough Illinois political meritocracy. Unlike Davis in Mississippi, Lincoln had a competitor in Illinois of near equal political skills-Stephen Douglas. By March 1861, both Lincoln and Davis found themselves president of a nation, soon to be on opposite sides in a war. Both had been compromise candidates; Davis would have preferred to be his side’s commanding general. He had a military education, peacetime professional military service, and combat command experience in the Mexican War. Lincoln joked about his service in the Black hawk War, when, though captain of a militia company, he never saw a hostile Indian. David wanted to set strategy. Lincoln had no illusions about his lack of experience, and initially tried to rely on his generals. Ironically, both probably had equally correct views on how their sides could win.
3. Analyze the results of the Civil War’s military developments during 1861-1862. One major economic result of the war was that it helped...
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