Home Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages and Disadvantages of The Union and The Confederacy

Advantages and Disadvantages of The Union and The Confederacy

The Civil War, which began in April of 1861, was the battle of the northern and southern states of America. It was a major event in not only our nation, but the world’s history. The fight began after Abraham Lincoln came into office pledging to rid slavery in the southern territories that where not yet states. These territories wanted to have no part of that and decided to secede from the northern states. In order to avoid the United States from becoming a bunch of fragmented and disgruntled countries, Lincoln had to take action.

   The southern states had dubbed themselves the Confederacy, while the north was known as the Union. These are two terms that are still widely used today, specifically in the southern regions of the country. After the Confederate army took over Fort Sumter as their own, Lincoln commanded that this behavior be stopped and attacked the Confederacy for the first time. After this event four more states joined the Confederacy in the fight against the Union. The war waged on for four years after that fateful day, and the outcomes have shaped the nation in which we live today. Both the Union and the Confederacy had things going for them, and things working strongly against them. Ultimately the north was victorious and slavery was abolished from the United States, as well as the Confederacy. Let’s take a look at what each side of the Civil War wielded and what they lacked.
  

The Union

  
The Advantages
  
1. Leadership
The Union boasted far more valuable leaders than the Confederacy had. Some of these included Ulysses S. Grant, Philip Sheridan, and of course, Abraham Lincoln.

2. Economy
Northern states where in the middle of an industrial revolution at the time the Civil War broke out. They had a booming economy, organized banking, and easy access to supplies.

3. People
The north also had a significantly larger population than the south. At the time, they had a population of over 22 million people while the south only had roughly 9 million (including over 300 million slaves).

4. Organized Government
Government in the Union was already established and experienced. This was a major benefit because it was more difficult for the south to organize attacks and other military strategies. It also helped them to control the people, something they struggled with in the south.

5. Transportation
70 percent of the country’s railroads where located in the south. This allowed them to move supplies, people, and artillery around much easier.

6. Controlled Resources
Europe and other foreign countries did not recognize the Confederacy, so they did not give them any foreign aide. The north had the ability to simply blockade any supplies or resources to the south and “suffocate” them.

The Disadvantages

1. Unknown Territory
The north was fighting an offensive battle in territory that they did not know. The southerners, however, knew the land very well.

2. High Pressure
A victory was absolutely essential for the Union. If they had lost then the country would have been split and democracy would be compromised. This pressure caused a lot of stress related incidents to occur.

3. Difference of Opinions
Not everyone in the north wanted to abolish slavery. This caused men to be lost to the south, as well as battles to break out on home ground.

The Confederacy

The Advantages

1. Home Court Advantage
The Confederacy was defending their own backyards. They knew the terrain and land extremely well which gave them a big upper hand.

2. Skilled Army
Values and life was very different in the north and the south. In the south a large emphasis was placed on arms and tactical training. This came into immense use during the Civil War.

3. Southern Pride
The will and resolve of the Confederacy was unbelievable. In their minds, since the war was being fought on their territory, they where fighting to defend their own homes. This created a level of unity that the North lacked.

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The Disadvantages

1. Lacked The Man Power
One of the biggest issues that the Confederacy faced was their lack of people. Their military was very small, especially compared to the Union.

2. Mass Amount Of Land To Defend
The coast line along the southern states is very long. This makes it very difficult to defend at all times. They left themselves open to attack and vulnerable to invasion.

3. Economic Down Slide
No longer receiving aide from the Union, the Confederacy relied very heavily on foreign countries for supplies, ammo, and food. The north was able to effectively block the ports that they where performing these trades in, which resulted in an economic collapse in the south.

4. Flawed Transportation
The Confederacy was extremely wooded, which made it difficult to create railroads to transport goods. They had a trouble getting supplies and food to troops in need because of this.

Important Facts About The Civil War

  • The Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania was the bloodiest and most violent battle in the Civil War .
  • Over 600,000 men died during the Civil War.
  • The North won the war and freed all of the slaves in the country.
  • South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.
  • The largest cause of fatalities during the Civil War were muskets.