TheAmerican , which lasted for four years, from 186 to 1865,was a struggle between the Northern and Southern States. The mainissues that caused this struggle was slavery since there were statesthat supported slavery while others were for a slave free America.The war can be regarded as one of the events that shaped the Americanhistory. It determined the nation that an independent America couldbecome. The war questioned whether there was a need for the UnitedStates to become a confederation that could be dissolved, or theUnited States was best suited to the national form of government thatwas sovereign. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantagesof both the Southern and Northern states, as well as the strategiesemployed by these states during the war.
Advantagesand Disadvantages of the Northern and Southern States
TheUnion, which comprised of the states in the North, had the advantageof a high population than the Confederate states in the South. Thenumber of states in the north amounted to 23 with a population oftwenty-three million while the 11 southern states had a population ofa mere 9 million people. However, despite this advantage, thesouthern states were better placed since they had a huge army,especially in the first year. Another advantage of theNorth over the South was the enormous industrial capacity of theUnion states. For instance, the North was involved in themanufacturing of a large percentage of the firearms produced in theUnited States since they commanded 97 percent. In addition, the Northcould manufacture most of the locomotives in the United States,shoes, and boots, as well as pig iron and clothes. This gave theNorth advantage over the South and was a major contributing factor tothe victory of the Union (Woodworth et al 52).
Theother advantage of the Northern states was the ability to control thecountry’s navy, and this ensured that they were in possession ofcrucial materials such as gunpowder used in the manufacture ofammunitions. Northern states were also strengthened by the fact thatsome confederacy states where slavery was common expressed theirloyalty to the North. Some of the states that joined the Northincluded Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware, and Maryland. The advantagesof the North can also be attributed to the fact that not every personwho lived in the Confederate states supported the Southern states.For example, the black Americans were not in support of theConfederate cause, and this saw most of them join the armies of theUnion. Thus, the weaponry and manpower can be regarded as asignificant advantage that acted as an asset for the Northern statesMcNeese 35).
Ontheir side, the Southern states also had some advantages that couldhave helped them win the war and overcome the North. A majoradvantage of the South was its ability to produce adequate food. Mostof the states in the South were carried out agriculture as aneconomic activity. With mass production of food, it became possibleto feed the civilians, as well as soldiers. However, the states weredisadvantaged by poor road and rail infrastructure, which hinderedthe transportation of food to soldiers who were in the battlefieldfighting the North. Another benefit that put the South at anadvantage over the South was the intelligence of the military. Mostof the military leaders, as well as recruits with exclusive trainingand experience, belonged to the North. Military generals from theSouth were very brilliant compared to the North, which always workedhard to get a leader who was competent to spearhead the war againstthe South (Gallagher 36).
Sincethe war took place in the territory of the Confederate States, theSouth was better placed since they were familiar with the landscapewhere the war was being fought. As such, they could easily findhiding places and place themselves in good positions where they couldattack the Northerners. In addition, the soldiers of the South weremotivated to defend their territory against invasion from the North(Rosen 9). This morale encouraged the confederate states to continuefighting in order to maintain their independence and avoid dominancefrom the North. The divisions among the Northern states also gave theSouth an advantage. While the North was divided on issues such aspolitics, slavery, as well as disagreement between the regions, theSouthern States enjoyed relative unity that enabled them to join thewar as a single force (Woodworth et al 54).
Althoughboth the Northern and Southern States had some advantages thatexposed them to possible victory in the war, there were also somedisadvantages that hindered the success of both sides. One of thedisadvantages of the North is that they had an uphill task ofconquering a huge area if they were to ensure that the South joinedthe Union. The other disadvantage of the North is that the land theywere invading was unfamiliar, and they had little knowledge of theSouthern terrain. As a result, they had difficulties navigating thestrange territory of the South. Inadequate food supply is alsoanother factor that disadvantaged the North as the production of foodwas low in the Union states (Kingseed 33).
Thefew number of factories producing weapons in the Southern States wasa huge disadvantage to the Confederacy. Moreover, other supplies suchas railroads and military boots were scarce among the SouthernStates. With the shortage of railroads, it became challenging forSoutherners to transport soldiers, weapons, as well as other vitalsupplies needed in the war (Ollhoff 20). The small population of theSouth can be considered as another disadvantage of the SouthernStates. With such a small population, the South could not get enoughnumber of soldiers by picking civilians. Another disadvantage of theSouthern states was the high number of slaves within the confederacy.With more than a third of the population comprising of slaves, itmeant that the South had few options of people they could pick tobecome soldiers (Ollhoff 21).
Strategiesof the North and the South to win the war
Duringthe , each of the sides involved devised some strategiesthat could help them win the war. The Northern states used thestrategy of assuming that the South had a large number of people whowere willing to join the Union. As such, the Northern states plannedto penetrate the South and urge the Southerners to secede. Anotherstrategy employed by the North included the use of superior force asthey believed that this was the only way that the Confederacy couldjoin the Union. In order to ensure that this strategy worked, theNorth decided that they would invade the South through targetingplaces that seemed vulnerable. Therefore, the use of military forceand aggression was a dominant strategy that defined the Union’sinvasion of the South (Stocker 11).
Onthe other hand, the strategy of the confederacy was based on theprotection of their territory from outside invasion. Therefore, theSoutherners planned to defend their land from conquest by Northernsoldiers through ensuring that its borders were well guarded. TheConfederacy strategy was also based on attacking the enemy when therewere signs of conquering them and retreating when there was a highprobability of being defeated by the soldiers of the enemy. Thus, thestrategy of the South was based on attrition whereby an army wins bynot losing, but through ensuring that the enemy retreats since theprolonging of the war proves to be costly. While the strategies usedby the South never succeeded, the strategies employed by the Northsucceeded because the United States emerged victorious in the CivilWar. Using aggression and military force, the North succeeded intaking over the Southern states and abolishing slavery in the UnitedStates (Stocker 12).
Inconclusion, the American Civil war involved a fight between theNorthern States (Union) and the Southern States (Confederacy). Themain issue that triggered the fight was the desire by states thatpracticed slavery to expand the activity to other states. The Northopposed to this move and attacked the South. Since the North was wellequipped and had better strategies than the Southern States, itemerged victorious. The Union was successful in abolishing slaveryand slave trade in America. The was instrumental inbringing unity in the United States and ensuring that all states wereunited towards a common goal of developing the nation as one.
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