Comparing The Political Leadership Of Lincoln and Davis Essay

655 Words 3 Pages
Comparing The Political Leadership Of Lincoln and Davis

It may seem self- evident that Lincoln was the greater political leader; Lincoln led the winning side while Davis was defeated. It has though, been thought that once the Northern advantages and Southern disadvantages have been considered, that it is possible, that almost anyone could have led the North to victory. If this is so, was it Davis's strong leadership, which ensured that the confederacy survived as long as it did?

Davis's government has inevitably been blamed for the way it ran the war. Certainly it made mistakes. But arguably it was no more mistake prone than Lincoln's government. Nor were the Southerners less dedicated than
…show more content…
The fact that the Union was able to produce both 'guns' and 'butter' helped Northern morale. Most Northerners supported Lincoln and determined to see the war to a victorious conclusion.

With fewer people, far less in the way of industrial capacity, a less well-developed railway system, and with a Northern blockade disrupting trade with Europe, the odds were stacked highly against the Confederacy from start. Moreover, while Lincoln took over a 'going' concern in Washington, Jefferson Davis's administration had to build the confederate government from scratch. To fight- let alone to win- the war, Southerners would need to make a far greater sacrifice than the Northerners. Ultimately the efforts of the Confederate government and the Southern people were in vain. The collapse of Northern morale was the South's best hope of victory.

The North on the other hand, with its greater manpower and resources, was always favourite to win the civil war. However, "big battalions" do sometimes lose wars. If Northern Morale had collapsed, as American morale collapsed during the Vietnam War, the union could have been defeated. Resources by themselves do not win wars: they need efficient leadership. Abraham Lincoln was the North's 'top' leader. He was fortunate in that he took over a 'going' concern. But the extent of that concern should not be exaggerated. Before 1861 Americans rarely saw
Open Document