Daniel has a bachelor's degree in history from CSUF. While loving all facets of history, there’s constantly those unique moments in history.

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Union victory was not unpreventable

The Lost cause tradition is a renowned myth the the American Civil war that believes the the southern was never able to success the war. However, the is frequently accepted among modern-day historians the the South had actually a very great chance at winning, specifically at the beginning of the war, early to countless advantages. This article will examine exactly how the physiological, geographic, and leadership benefits of the South verified to have actually a really decisive role in the war. There to be nothing inevitable around the phibìc winning the war, the Confederacy's many advantages proved the the American Civil battle would it is in a long, bloody battle that the Union would need to fight tremendously hard to win.

The emotional Advantage

The South had actually exponential advantages going right into the war, many of i beg your pardon became evident in the first couple of campaigns. The very first and most well seen benefit at the beginning of the war was the mental advantage; the Southerner's residence was being invaded and also they essential to defend themselves, your families, and their method of life. A Confederate soldier to be asked why he is fighting against the Union soldiers and also simply replied, "because they room down here". The south saw the battle as an act of north aggression and a battle of independence, and their fight versus the Union was essential to safeguard their residences from the invading North. It appears as the Confederacy continued to gain momentum through each win as they much more or less overcame the battlefield and also came reasonably close to marching on Washington. Even after Gettysburg, i beg your pardon many point out as the turning point in the war (but is the subject of historical debate), moral among Southern troops remained high before it gradually dwindled v each brand-new Union victory. However for the an initial years that the battle the south seemed practically unstoppable and their confidence was proven with many victories.


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


The Shenandoah Valley, circled in red, proved to be a very effective herbal defense as plenty of Union troops were compelled into the deadly funnel where they met their demise from solid fortified Confederate positions throughout the valley.

The geographic Advantage

The second advantage the Confederacy had versus the Union to be the location of the South. The see of the southern claims not only listed natural defenses but additionally an financial advantage. Mountains, swamps, and also rivers characterized the location of the southern states, i beg your pardon proved easily defensible and also gave the phibìc great difficulty in advancing across the terrain. Also, the southern was an agricultural society due come the climate and also fertile lands. Cash plants such together tobacco and also cotton grew in the southerly plantations and with noodle in together high demand due to the industry world and also the farming textile industries, the crop became a money tree for southern society. Noodle was also used together a diplomatic tool as at this time around two-thirds the the world's cotton come from the American South. The Confederacy would certainly actually usage this diplomatic benefit in do the efforts to acquire the assistance of the British, which in turn would gain the assistance of the French. However, the blockade the Union applied on southern ports along with consistent Union pressure brought about the two nations to hesitate your allegiance till the North won multiple campaigns and also basically secured a Union victory in 1865 at which point the two countries saw no suggest in acquiring involved. Had they well-known the Confederacy and joined the war on your behalf, the united States may be an extremely different today.


The Shenandoah sink was a prime instance of the location of the American south as the sink was surrounding by large ridges and detailed a solid natural defense because that the Confederacy.

The management Advantage

Lastly, the South had the advantage of solid leadership. Numerous Southern political and also military leaders were graduates of the armed forces academy in ~ West Point, as well as veterans of wars such as the Mexican-American War. While the Union struggled for the first few years that the battle to find strong leaders that would fight the enemy and avoid politics involvement, Jefferson Davis confirmed to be a very efficient leader in national politics while Robert E. Lee and also "Stonewall" Jackson were bringing good military victories to the Confederacy without apprehension or politics aspirations. Meanwhile Union leaders together as basic McClellan, exhibited negative tactical decisions and were an ext interested in politics and also their future careers fairly than fighting the war they were in. Until the Lincoln can figure out how to kinds the generalship that his Union army, Ulysses S. Give being his saving grace in transforming the Union army around in 1864, the Confederate army would just encounter win after win all while your soldiers and also leaders room gaining beneficial combat experience. Return the Confederacy had a strong core of leader at the beginning of the war, leadership would prove to be problem in the later on years. The key problem occurred between Davis' and Lee's ideological background on how to victory the war. Davis promoted for success by no losing, i m sorry entailed the Confederacy defending the south until the north had tired their will certainly to struggle and worked out for peace. Top top the various other hand, Lee supported for victory by victory, or losing by not winning, which expected that success was only attainable by completely defeating the Union and also capturing Washington. Lee would be can not to accomplish this sort of success as his accident in the battle proved damaging as the southern did not have the manpower to replace their casualties.


The Confederacy gone into the battle with strong leaders that were so effective it appeared that they would victory the war until 1863, and also even ~ Gettysburg there was still the opportunity of a southern victory.


In conclusion, the South had many benefits which verified that northern victory would certainly be extremely difficult. The geography provided the Confederacy organic defenses the hampered Union movement, if cotton gave the South an excellent economic and diplomatic leverage. Overall, the Southern attitude of defending their way of life and also their houses from the "Northern invaders" confirmed that there to be nothing inevitable around Northern victory in the American civil War. These benefits would prove devastating versus the Union as they tried, there is no much at an early stage success, to gain back the joined States and also would cost the country plenty of lives by producing a variety of casualties that surpasses the of any kind of war the United claims has fought 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 native textiles, but the South's slavery drove the agricultural economy the the South and also providing noodle for the North's textiles. However, also with the loss of their key supply of noodle for textiles, the Union's strength of industry allowed them to keep the economy reasonably stable and keep manufacturing going. Usually the North's economic situation was steady enough and also industrially strong enough to outproduce the dying southern economy.


Daniel White (author) on June 08, 2018:

I'd speak they all were, as was presented in the Confederacy's initial to win streak of fight after battle. The South appeared to have actually all their advantages at the right time as soon as the battle started, which take it the Union a few years come overcome once the Union forged the end their very own advantages. Also, this were all in the start of the war because towards the end of the battle the South's ethical was dropping as their casualties continued to rise without guys replacing those lost on the battlefield, the Union marched into and also began ruining some of the geographic benefits (the "scorched earth" policy), and the South's leaders to be being defeated, especially Stonewall Jackson as soon as he was killed by his own men on accident.

bob on June 06, 2018:

Which was an benefit for the south at the start of the civil War?

CJ Kelly from the PNW on might 29, 2016:

Great hub. I constantly thought it to be the attitude of the Confederate soldier (both officer & grunt). That's the only thing that really continual them ~ 1863. It's remarkable they lasted as long as they did. The Union overcame huge geography beforehand in the War. They took Vicksburg, brand-new Orleans and controlled the Mississippi by 1863.

Really an excellent job. Mutual everywhere.

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Daniel White (author) on might 28, 2016:

While the phibìc did have actually a really prosperous industrial culture emerging, the South's cotton sector was quiet invaluable because it fueled not only the North's industry yet the world's, specifically in the cultivation textile industry. Together for European nations supporting the Confederacy, enslavement was no an issue. France had their interests in the South due to the fact that of Napoleon III's attention in Mexico, and was also close to sending French troops to support the south through Mexico. Also, the Haitian change still left bitterness feelings over 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 still supported slavery until 1862 as soon as the African slave Trade contract Act suppressed the Atlantic servant Trade because that good. Thanks for your comments and insight!

Howard Schneider from Parsippany, new Jersey on may 27, 2016:

Very exciting Hub about the advantages the Confederacy had during the polite War. I think the psychological and also geographical advantages of defending your house ground were the most key. It is true noodle was a very strong commodity because that them yet the North's overall industrial wealth facility far outweighed the noodle industry. It is true that part in Europe could have assumed the idea of sustaining the south to it is in a sound one, however in the finish they might not assistance a culture that to be supporting enslavement as way of life. Great job, Daniel.