South Civil War Advantages

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On the eve of the American Civil War, many white Southerners held the Confederacy as the favorite to win. It was not an unrealistic view. The South contained more slave states than the North did free states. In terms of land size, this gave the Confederacy an edge. The South had a history of military experience since the War of 1812 and was occupied by several military schools. Therefore they had an abundance of trained military officers that could lead them to victory. They were also fighting a defensive war, meaning they were fighting on land they knew and were determined to defend. Although the South had these advantages that made them a staunch adversary of the North during the Civil War, the Union had a multitude of advantages over the …show more content…
Between 1815 and 1860, five million European immigrants migrated to the United States. Unaccustomed to the isolation of Southerners and their single-minded drive for profit, immigrants gravitated to the North where laborers were in high demand due to rapid industrialization that began in 1815. Free blacks seeking a livelihood outside of the hostile South also contributed to the North’s population size. Lastly, urbanization, induced by the transportation revolution of the mid-1800s and the growth of cities, contributed to the North’s population. Need for work stimulated a significant movement of families to large cities in New England. As a result of these factors, by 1860 the North’s population totaled about twenty-two million and the South’s was just at nine million, three and a half million being African Americans. With more than double the overall manpower of the South, the North gathered a military force that rivaled the militant Confederacy and formed the Union Army. The North utilized its numbers not only in battle, but also to maintain its industry. The North had ninety percent of all U.S. industrial capacity. In fact, that number included ninety-seven percent of the nation’s firearms production, ninety-one percent of its factory production, and ninety-two percent of its industrial workers. The North was responsible for ninety-four percent of …show more content…
The transportation boom the United States witnessed in the early to mid 1820s transformed America. After the invention of turnpikes, public and private investor’s interests turned towards the development of waterways. In 1807, Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton introduced the steamboat to the Hudson River. This innovative creation made it possible for the Union to navigate the South’s extensive waterways to strengthen its blockade in the South fifty-five years later. Spurred by the introduction of the steamboat, the Erie Canal was built and completed in 1825. Stretching three hundred and sixty-three miles long, it connected New York City all the way to Ohio by inland waterways. Canals made it possible to use steamships not only to barricade the South but to transport Union supplies and munition. On the subject of supplies, they were transported by the North’s waterways as well as by its extensive railways. “Faster, cheaper to build, and able to reach more places, railroads had obvious advantages over canals.” Locomotives were first introduced for the purpose of commercial travel of the elite in Europe. Nonetheless, this powerful and convenient mode of travel made transportation of goods more efficient and increased their value. During the Civil War, it became even more beneficial when it came to moving troops, weapons, and supplies. In 1860, the North contained two thirds of the country’s railroad mileage.

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