Daniel has a bachelor's level in history from CSUF. While love all aspects of history, there’s constantly those distinct moments in history.

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Union victory was not inevitable

The Lost reason tradition is a famous myth that the American Civil battle that believes the the southern was never ever able to win the war. However, the is generally accepted among modern-day historians that the South had a very great chance in ~ winning, particularly at the start of the war, due to many advantages. This article will examine exactly how the physiological, geographic, and also leadership benefits of the South showed to have a very decisive role in the war. There to be nothing inevitable around the north winning the war, the Confederacy's many advantages proved the the American Civil battle would be a long, bloody war that the Union would need to fight greatly hard come win.

The emotional Advantage

The South had exponential benefits going right into the war, most of which became evident in the first few campaigns. The first and many well seen benefit at the beginning of the war was the emotional advantage; the Southerner's house was gift invaded and they essential to defend themselves, your families, and also their method of life. A Confederate soldier to be asked why that is fighting against the Union soldiers and also simply replied, "because they space down here". The south saw the war as an plot of north aggression and also a war of independence, and their fight versus the Union was essential to safeguard their houses from the invading North. It seems as the Confederacy continued to obtain momentum through each win as they more or less overcame the battlefield and came fairly close come marching on Washington. Also after Gettysburg, i beg your pardon many mention as the turning point in the battle (but is the object of historical debate), moral among Southern troops continued to be high prior to it slowly dwindled through each brand-new Union victory. Yet for the very first years of the war the southern seemed almost unstoppable and their confidence was proven with many victories.


The Confederates had actually the mindset that their reason in the war was right, and that the battle was one of northern Aggression. This sentiment have the right to still be seen and felt this day in few of the southern states.


The Shenandoah Valley, circled in red, verified to be a really effective organic defense as many Union troops were compelled into the fatal funnel whereby they met their demise from solid fortified Confederate location throughout the valley.

The geographic Advantage

The 2nd advantage the Confederacy had versus the Union to be the geography of the South. The see of the southern states not only noted natural defenses but additionally an economic advantage. Mountains, swamps, and also rivers characterized the geography of the southerly states, which proved conveniently defensible and gave the north great difficulty in advancing throughout the terrain. Also, the southern was an agricultural society due to the climate and also fertile lands. Cash plants such together tobacco and also cotton flourished in the southerly plantations and with noodle in together high need due to the industrializing world and also the cultivation textile industries, the crop became a money tree for southern society. Noodle was likewise used as a diplomatic device as in ~ this time around two-thirds the the world's cotton came from the American South. The Confederacy would actually use this diplomatic benefit in trying to get the support of the British, which in turn would get the assistance of the French. However, the blockade the Union enforced on southerly ports along with constant Union pressure brought about the two countries to hesitate your allegiance till the North winner multiple campaigns and basically secured a Union win in 1865 in ~ which point the two countries saw no suggest in getting involved. Had actually they well-known the Confederacy and joined the war on their behalf, the unified States may be really different today.


The Shenandoah sink was a prime example of the geography of the American southern as the valley was surrounded by vast ridges and detailed a strong natural defense for the Confederacy.

The management Advantage

Lastly, the South had actually the advantage of strong leadership. Numerous Southern political and also military leaders to be graduates of the armed forces academy at West Point, as well as veterans of battles such together the Mexican-American War. While the Union struggled for the first few years that the battle to find solid leaders who would hit the enemy and also avoid politics involvement, Jefferson Davis confirmed to it is in a an extremely efficient leader in politics while Robert E. Lee and also "Stonewall" Jackson to be bringing great military victories come the Confederacy without skepticism or politics aspirations. On the other hand Union leaders such as general McClellan, exhibited bad tactical decisions and were much more interested in politics and their future careers fairly than fighting the battle they to be in. Till the Lincoln could figure out how to kinds the generalship the his Union army, Ulysses S. Give being his saving grace in transforming the Union army about in 1864, the Confederate army would just encounter victory after success all while your soldiers and also leaders space gaining valuable combat experience. Return the Confederacy had actually a solid core of leaders at the beginning of the war, management would prove to be problematic in the later on years. The main problem occurred between Davis' and also Lee's ideological background on exactly how to win the war. Davis advocated for win by not losing, i m sorry entailed the Confederacy defending the southern until the north had exhausted their will certainly to hit and resolved for peace. ~ above the various other hand, Lee advocated for victory by victory, or shedding by not winning, which meant that victory was just attainable by completely defeating the Union and also capturing Washington. Lee would certainly be unable to achieve this sort of win as his losses in the war proved terrible as the south did not have actually the manpower to replace their casualties.


The Confederacy gone into the war with solid leaders who were so efficient it seemed that lock would win the war till 1863, and also even ~ Gettysburg there to be still the possibility of a southern victory.


In conclusion, the South had actually many benefits which proved that north victory would certainly be extremely difficult. The geography gave the Confederacy organic defenses the hampered Union movement, when cotton gave the South great economic and also diplomatic leverage. Overall, the Southern mindset of defending their means of life and also their houses from the "Northern invaders" confirmed that there to be nothing inevitable about Northern success in the American civil War. These benefits would prove devastating versus the Union as they tried, without much early success, to reclaim the joined States and also would cost the country many lives by creating a number of casualties the surpasses the of any war the United states has battled to date.

Questions & Answers

Question: What economic advantages did the North have over the south in unites States' history?

Answer: The Union had actually the strength of industry and also made a lot indigenous textiles, yet the South's slavery drove the agricultural economy that the South and also providing noodle for the North's textiles. However, also with the ns of their main supply of noodle for textiles, the Union's power of industry permitted them to keep the economy relatively stable and keep manufacturing going. Basically the North's economic situation was stable enough and industrially strong enough come outproduce the dying southerly economy.


Daniel White (author) top top June 08, 2018:

I'd say they every were, together was shown in the Confederacy's initial win streak of fight after battle. The South appeared to have actually all their advantages at the appropriate time as soon as the war started, which took the Union a couple of years come overcome as soon as the Union forged out their very own advantages. Also, this were every in the beginning of the war since towards the finish of the war the South's moral was dropping as their casualties continued to climb without men replacing those lost on the battlefield, the Union marched into and began destroying some the the geographic benefits (the "scorched earth" policy), and the South's leaders to be being defeated, notably Stonewall Jackson as soon as he was killed by his own males on accident.

bob on June 06, 2018:

Which to be an advantage for the southern at the start of the polite War?

CJ Kelly from the PNW on might 29, 2016:

Great hub. I always thought it was the mindset of the Confederate soldier (both officer & grunt). That's the only thing the really sustained them after 1863. It's exceptional they it s long as lengthy as they did. The Union overcame massive geography early in the War. They take it Vicksburg, brand-new Orleans and also controlled the Mississippi by 1863.

Really good job. Shared everywhere.

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Daniel White (author) on may 28, 2016:

While the north did have actually a very prosperous industrial society emerging, the South's cotton sector was still invaluable since it fueled not just the North's industry yet the world's, especially in the farming textile industry. Together for European countries supporting the Confederacy, enslavement was not an issue. France had actually their interests in the South since of Napoleon III's interest in Mexico, and was also close to sending French troops to support the southern through Mexico. Also, the Haitian change still left bitterness feelings end the independence of servants for the French. Britain's interest was economical, mostly with the textile and also cotton sector which was sustained by the South's slaves, and even quiet supported slavery until 1862 once the African servant Trade treaty Act suppressed the Atlantic servant Trade for good. Many thanks for her comments and also insight!

Howard Schneider from Parsippany, brand-new Jersey on might 27, 2016:

Very interesting Hub concerning the benefits the Confederacy had throughout the civil War. I think the psychological and geographical advantages of defending your residence ground were the most key. That is true noodle was a very solid commodity because that them however the North's as whole industrial wealth facility far outweighed the cotton industry. It is true that part in Europe might have assumed the idea of sustaining the southern to be a sound one, yet in the end they can not assistance a culture that to be supporting enslavement as means of life. Wonderful job, Daniel.