February 6th 2014
In the first years of the war, what were the political and military strategies of each side? Which side was more successful? Why?
In the mid 1800’s the Civil War begun. It was between the Union, the north, and the Confederates, the south. Each side had its own reason to start the war. Economic and social differences between the North and the South were one of the reasons. Another reason for the start of the war was the fight for more state rights and more federal rights. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents was also a major cause of the Civil War. The last reasons for the war were the growth of abolitionists and the election of Abraham Lincoln. These major issues between the North and the South caused the Civil War. Although each side had different strategies in order to surpass the other. Lincoln denied African Americans to join the military, even after the passage of the emancipation proclamation. Soon after the war begun the Union began to recruit as many African Americans as they could. For the Union, Abraham Lincoln put Ulysses S. Grant in charge of all Union armies and directed him to advance against all major Confederate forces. Grants strategy against the South was to use many men for secondary objectives. This meant that Grant would use tens of thousands of troops to win battles which of were no real use to the Union. Richard Sherman on the other hand had a different strategy. He attempted to destroy anything and everything the South could use to win. This included: communications, railroads, food, and other resources. The south had very different strategies than the north. Firstly, they didn’t have as much resources as the north, and they couldn’t import any either. They didn’t have the right factories to manufacture guns. One of the main strategies of the confederates was to defend their homeland, which would mean they have home field advantage. The overall strategy of the south was very defensive because they knew the north had a larger army then them. Overall the North was far more successful. For one they had a bigger military than the south. The North could make more guns and bullets than the South could, which was a huge advantage. The North also had a much better railroad system than the South, which meant they could transfer resources faster and easier than the south. The North also had control of the US Navy, which meant that the South would be unable to import goods.
How did the governments- the Union and the Confederacy- go about mobilizing soldiers, citizens and resources, to wage a total war? How successful were their respective strategies?
One of the biggest questions each side faced was how to move the soldiers to the front lines. Each side had to consume the resources to win at all costs. After losing in the battle of Shiloh, the Confederate side forced a draft. Although the draft held in the South was very un-enforcing. Southerners who did not wish to take part in the military weren’t forced to, because the South did not contain enough power to force them to. Women were sent to the barracks to take care of the sick and the wounded. This let more men go into battle. Some women would even take on military duties and spied and scouted for the soldiers. The movement of resources was also very important to both sides. The Union had the advantage of having a far greater economy than the South. The weapons factories in North were also able to mass-produce guns and bullets for the soldiers. Each side had different ideas on how to improve their movement of resources and expansion economically. The Union raised tariffs; created a national banking system; devised a system of internal improvements, especially railroads. While the Confederate side built and operated shipyards, armories, foundries, and textile mills. The way each side moved soldiers and must-need resources was through the...
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