Was the outcome of the Civil War determined by the nature of Northern and Southern societies or by what occurred on the battlefield?
Reason For The Northern Victory
The available resources of The North and South determined the outcome of The Civil War. The North’s superior industry and manpower paved the way for modernization and the ultimate victory. The South was destined for defeat due to insufficient resources to compete with the North. Once The North decided to fully utilize their industrial advantage, The South was doomed.
Northern and southern leadership differed greatly – The North had better leadership in nearly every area, significantly that of the president! Abraham Lincoln proved to be a far better military leader than his counterpart, Jefferson Davis. In addition, the northern generals Grant and Sherman adopted new tactics for waging war. They implemented strategies designed to decimate The South’s ability and desire to fight. Until this time, The South’s philosophy of conservatism allowed The Confederacy to hold off The Union for four years. When these changes occurred, the southern leadership was unable to adapt and remained rigid in their outdated tactics.
The final reason (at least in my report) for The South’s defeat was their resistance to support a centralized authority/government. This occurred both on an individual and state level. The states placed their rights and interests above that of the confederacy, making it impossible for their government to properly function.
Industry and Manpower – The Road to Modernization
The North held an overwhelming industrial advantage compared to the south. It’s estimated that in 1860, The North had 110,000 manufacturing facilities manned by 1,300,000 workers, compared to the south with only 18,000 facilities and 110,000 workers.[i] Railroads were vital for transportation of goods, especially supplies for the war effort....