From: Tom Lynch
Time: 3:52:55 PM
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
The Advantages and Disadvantages of the North and South During the Civil War
The North and South both brought with them a variety of advantages and disadvantages into the Civil War. The most commonly referred to advantage of the North was its overwhelming superiority in industrial production. By far they could out-produce the South in guns, food, and other wartime necessities. This was because most of the United States' industry was located in the great cities of the North. A larger population and intricate railroad network were also benefits that the North enjoyed because of its larger industrial base. They also entered the war with a decisive naval advantage that they would use to great effect throughout the war. It allowed them to blockade the South from importing or exporting goods to Europe, which the Southern economy depended upon for survival. The North's final great advantage came in the form of Abraham Lincoln's political leadership. He was able to generate a great deal of support in the North for the war effort. Unlike his Southern counterpart Jefferson Davis, he took a liberal view of his wartime powers was able to get many things done which dramatically helped the Union's cause. Though there were many attributes that the North possessed at the outbreak of the war, the South was not without its advantages. The South's greatest strong point was its ability to fight defensively. They did not have to invade the North in order to win the war, they merely had to hold off the Union armies. This allowed them to not only choose the time and place of a battle, but to fight on familiar terrain and in friendly territory. It also allowed Southern leaders to call upon its citizens to repel a foreign invader, therefore making the recruitment of soldiers vastly easier than in the North. The South was also home to many of the U.S. Army's leadership and once hostilities were initiated they defected to the Southern cause. This gave them a quality advantage in leadership, a problem that would plague the North for the first few years of the war. Finally, the leaders of the South believed they would be able to call upon France and Britain as allies if it became necessary. They felt that French and British reliance on Southern grown cotton would bring them in on their side.