Reasons For The Defeat Of The Civil War

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The American Civil War is arguably the most key event in American history. It began when a number of Southern slaves states seceded from the Union, which led to a civil war between the Union in the North, and the Confederacy in the South from 1861 until 1865. Ultimately, after four years of intense warfare which left over 600,000 soldiers dead, the South was defeated. This essay will explore the reasons behind this defeat. There are two main areas of debate surrounding the fate of the Confederacy. Firstly, was the demise of the South inevitable? Secondly, and even more importantly, is the question of whether the South was defeated, or whether they defeated themselves. I propose that the defeat of the Confederacy was not inevitable. In fact, …show more content…
This essay will show that without these mistakes, the South had a genuine chance of winning the War. When these factors were combined with the comparative strength of the Union in terms of resources military strength, the reasons behind the South losing the Civil War can be seen clearly. In previous works on the subject of the American Civil War, historians have mostly looked at it as a conventional war, fought between two nation states; the Union and the Confederacy. Because of this assumption, many historians have come to the conclusion that the defeat of the South was inevitable due to the overwhelming resources of the North in comparison to those of the South. In fact, the Confederate general Robert E. Lee stated that the South’s defeat came about due to the Union’s “overwhelming numbers and resources.” However, assessing the reasons for the South’s defeat in terms of conventional warfare is ludicrous, for it is clear that the American Civil War was in no way a normal war. In fact, it was to a large extent a “war of national liberation.” A war of national liberation can be defined as a war or conflict fought to gain independence; the …show more content…
One their own, these advantages did not make the defeat of the Confederacy inevitable, but when they were combined with the mistakes that the South made, defeat was ensured. Firstly, the North had a population that was more than twice the size of the South’s. Combined with this was the large slave population of the Confederacy. There were around four millions slaves in the South, who were excluded from direct conscription, meaning that it’s potential fighting force was much lower than the Union’s.

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