Could the South Have Won the Civil War?

1866 Words Jun 7th, 2005 8 Pages
"In all history, no nation of mere agriculturists ever made successful war against a nation of mechanics…You are bound to fail." Union officer William Tecumseh Sherman to a Southern friend.
"Why did the North win the Civil War?" is only half of a question by itself, for the other half is "Why did the South lose the Civil War?" To this day historians have tried to put their finger on the exact reason for the South losing the war. Some historians blame the head of the confederacy Jefferson Davis; however others believe that it was the shear numbers of the Union (North). The advantages and disadvantages are abundant on either sides of the argument, but the most dominate arguments on why the South lost the war would be the fact that
…show more content…
He would use "an excessive share of his energy in contentious and even litigious argument to prove he was right" (Donald, p. 103). Davis wanted to operate as the secretary of war and his own general in chief. He wanted to be a general, not president. He never gave up trying to be a general in the area of strategy and selection of generals to lead his armies. Davis loved to interfere in issues of strategy, giving directions to his generals without ever giving them the means to accomplish his objectives. He made terrible choices for senior commanders, often selecting men based on personal preference rather than qualifications. Davis could never admit his was wrong and "seemed to prefer winning an argument if it would help win the war" (Boritt, p. 37). The Confederates didn 't owe their defeat to numbers, but to faulty strategy and the poor leadership of Davis. It was once said by David Potter, "If the Union and the Confederacy had exchanged presidents with one another, the Confederacy might have won its independence" (Boritt, p. 37)
Furthermore, the South couldn 't have won the Civil War because the South failed to gain the recognition of the European nations. The South was seeking to gain Europe 's support in their cause for the war because of Lincoln 's strategy to weaken and destroy the Southern economy by cutting off Southern shipments of cotton to Europe through a successful blockade was working. The South assumed Britain
Open Document