Why Did The Confederacy Lose The Civil War?

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How did the Confederate States of America lose the Civil War? Though a stimulating question that deserves contemporary debate, many historians claim the reason the Confederacy lost the war is based on southern resources, military strategy, civilian leadership or the institution of slavery. However, while all explanations can be classified as valid reasons as to why the Union won and the Confederacy lost, the case can be made that all four reasons were significant causes to the final result of the American Civil War. To start, the resources used by the Confederacy can be, more or less, attributed to the presence of slavery. At the beginning of the war, one third of the Confederate population consisted of slaves (Barney 148), and it can be …show more content…
Slavery in the beginning phases of the war were responsible for the food, materials and jobs while their white masters went off to war in the name of preserving the great truth, according to Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, “the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery…is his natural and normal condition” (Tanner 89). In other words, the Confederacy was fighting to keep the institution of slavery in place, which was a firm part of southern society that many Confederates believed to be the correct way of living. However, the Confederacy was put at a disadvantage during the war because of how African-American slaves, who sometimes ran away from their white masters, provided Union armies and generals with useful information of the Southern territory, as well as acting as “spies, scouts and river pilots” (Barney 174). This could have prevented had the Confederacy agreed to emancipate their African-American slaves early on in the war. Jefferson Davis critically rejected the possibility early on in the war until confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Patrick Cleburne pushed for any remaining slaves to be armed and put into Confederate armies. While the notion seemed absurd to many southerners, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 (Barney 182) was a major strategic victory for the Union as not only did the Confederacy lose all hope of foreign intervention from the British, because of how they were opposed to slavery, but also because by the time the Confederate government agreed in March of 1865, the date was too late for the tides to be turned. This resulted in the war ending before the Confederacy could emancipate its slaves as well as the loss on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House (Barney

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