Northern Victory in the Civil War

Topics: Confederate States of America, American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 10 (3774 words) Published: June 23, 2013
This essay will analyze the varied factor that led to Northern victory in the Civil War between 1861-1864. The central reasons for this Union success can be categorized in economic, political, and military factors; some of these elements would include the southern focus on cotton monoculture, the union naval blockade, the confederate doctrine of State’s Rights, and the strength of union generals and their military tactics, between others. Overall, the north achieved dominance due to a combination of these reasons.

Economic factors led to Northern victory as although both sides had great military potential, neither side had few methods to actually realize that potential. According to the Millennial edition of The Historical Statistics of the united states, during the time of the civil war the Union owned 71% of all the rail roads of the USA while the CSA only had a 29%. Also the Union had 90% of the manufactured items and a 97% of the firearms produced, while the CSA only had a 70% of the exports. Regarding the rail roads, this were of main importance, as the Union transported weapons, soldiers, ammo, and raw materials through this, so the fact that the northern states owned 21.788 miles of rail roads didn’t only mean that they could transport all the machinery across the country but also, that the south was terribly limited in their transport, therefore the CSA had the disadvantage that the Union controlled rail roads across the country meaning, that they weren’t able to use their full potential on industry (cotton etc.) or militarily as most of railroads were used for the moving of troops, while the north kept their industry stable and was able to move troops across the territory. More over, coming back to the production, and exports facts, although the southern states had most of the exports before the war (selling enormous amounts of cotton), as soon the war started their relations with Britain (who bought cotton to the south) broke out, so they had no economic strength behind their forces, as all their economy was based on agriculture, and had no industries. On the other side the Union had a totally industrialized economy where they were able to auto-sustain their states, therefore their economy before and during the war never changed, meaning that they were in perfect conditions as firearm production was extremely overwhelming over the one of the CSA and, they had money enough to go over a war and support their army with food, clothes, and weapons. In this way the North was highly superior to the south as they were financial base strong, so they could borrow internationally and purchase weapons and supplies abroad. Finally the fact that the Union had a population of 22.000.000 and the CSA of 9.000.000, which 5.500.000 of them were slaves, was also important because the north had enough people, so that factories never stop working, and still they had lots of soldiers and a big army, on the other side the south with a little population did not had enough for both activities, therefore some people had to stop working for going to the war.

Between the southern statistics, we can find that the economic ones, are ridiculously overwhelmed by the ones of the Union, and this was mainly because their focus on monoculture, therefore if the cotton declined, then the confederate economy would be devastated, as they had a closed market, were almost most of their work was dedicated to one product. Unfortunately for the confederate states cotton trade rapidly declined during the civil war as many southerner believed that without the south’s cotton exports, Britain’s textile industry would collapse, causing terrible problems for the British Empire, and as a result England would join the war to fight the Union, however it did not work, and Britain started to buy cotton to other nations. As a result, the confederacy suffered crucially from under–industrialization as its only manufacturing plant The Tredegar Ironworks at...
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