Both North and South were ill prepared for war in 1861. Initially dependent on volunteers, the Confederacy established a draft in 1862, and the Union did so the following year.
At first the South relied on imported arms and munitions but soon was able to produce its own. It had more trouble with clothing and food throughout the duration of the war.
Financing the war was also a problem. Americans had been unaccustomed to paying taxes to the national government, but both sides had to end the tradition of hard money and minimal government by raising taxes, issuing war bonds, and printing paper money. Inflation was serious in the North and devastating in the South by 1865.
The Confederacy was unified behind the goal of winning independence, but its apparent unity concealed divergence between extreme states' righters and advocates of stronger central authority. On the Union side, the two-party system provided traditional channels for airing differences of opinion.
As the war began, President Lincoln took steps to make Washington secure. Federal troops were sent into Maryland, pro-secession Marylanders were arrested, and the writ of habeas corpus was suspended. Three other border states, despite a wish on the part of many to maintain solidarity with the slaveholding regions, stayed within the Union.
The Civil War has been called the first modern war. It depended on railroads, mass-produced weapons, joint army-navy tactics, iron-plated warships, rifled guns and artillery, and trench warfare. The Confederacy had just 9 million people as compared with 22 million in the Union in 1861, and although the Confederacy had only a fraction of the industrial capacity of its opponent, the South was fighting in defense of its own homeland. The North had longer supply lines and the problem of occupying captured areas. It had to commit a greater proportion of its men away from the front than did the South, which could count... [continues]
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