Why did the South Lose the Civil War?
Beginning as a battle of army versus army, the war became a conflict of society against society. In this kind of war, the ability to mobilize economic resources, the effectiveness of political leadership, and a society’s willingness to keep up the fight despite setbacks, are as crucial to the outcome as success or failure on the battlefields. Unfortunately for the Southern planters, by the spring of 1865, the South was exhausted, and on April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the war. Economically, the war was a benefit for the North and a disaster for the South. The North began the war with several advantages. The North held a distinct lead in nearly every resource needed for warfare. Not only was the population deficit of the South compared to the North, roughly around 13 million, but the statistics for factories, goods produced, railroad tracks, textiles, and firearms all succeeded the south by more than half. As a result, the union army became the best-supplied and fed army while southern armies suffered shortages of food, and clothing. Shortly after the start of the war, Lincoln would further suffocate the south economically by implementing the Anaconda Plan, a naval blockade. Industrially the South couldn't keep up in output but also and in manpower. By the end of the war, the South had, more or less, plenty of weaponry still, but it just didn't have enough men to use the guns. Let alone enough men to defend the perimeter around the confederacy to protect its territory.
Another key aspect that the North held over the South was the determination of Abraham Lincoln to win, and the incredible staying power of the people of the North, who stuck by Lincoln and stuck by the war in spite of the first two years of almost unrelenting defeat. A problem of the South was that it lacked the moral center that the North had in this conflict, the idea of Union, was important. One of the...
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