Did the North Win the Civil War before it Began?
I agree with the idea that the North had won the Civil War before it began to the extent of Lincoln’s conservative political stands. Trying to receive the favor of the South while winning in the North would require Lincoln to take neutral stands in heated political issues like slavery. It wasn’t really wan by the North until he broke away from these stands to enact the Emancipation Proclamation and turn the tides of war in favor of the North. “This Lincoln always publicly condemned the abolitionists who fought slavery by extra constitutional means – and condemned also the mobs who deprived them of their right of free speech and free press.” (Holfstadter, Lincoln and the Self-Made …show more content…
It would be like a baseball team fighting to protect their right to play with footballs.
The South’s dominating strategy in winning the civil war was attrition. They believed they could wear down the political will of the North if they held out long enough to make the Northerners tired and question value of the means to achieve the ends. Military stalemates, guerilla war tactics and inconclusive battles would help the South achieve this goal. “Confederate armies did not have to invade and conquer the North: they needed only to hold out long enough to force the North to the conclusion that the price of conquering the South and annihilating its armies was too high, as Britain had concluded in 1781 and as the United States concluded…” (Why Did the Confederacy Lose?, pg 117)The South really enjoyed McClellan’s performance in the Southern theatre with his tendency to retreat when he could have won. This was another helpful hand the South would need to cause attrition. In response, Lincoln knew he had to do two things to prevent attrition and win the war more quickly. He needed to fire McClellan, and shift the theme of the war in the view of the North so that it would not lose its thunder. He did this by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and converting the war for unionism into the war for morality. The
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Additionally, after Lincoln’s yearning to abolish slavery through his Emancipation Proclamation, and succeeding, Lincoln started to focus on his most important priority, to win the Civil War. Although Lincoln hated the deaths and destructions that war brought, he believed that this was the only solution to preserve the Union. This pacifist was the leader of the bloodiest war in American history with more than 45,000 total people being missing, wounded, captured, and killed. Furthermore, Lincoln was the foundation of the Union’s victorious military strategy and led the north to triumph. Lincoln’s strategy was a type that was based on destroying the opposing forces instead of conquering their territory. Also, he conducted the Union armies to attack the enemy on all fronts. These strategies would surely catch the opponents off guard and ultimately give the Union a win on their battle record. Similarly to playing lacrosse,
Several factors played in to the American Civil War that made it have the outcome that it did. Although the South had better trained officials due to their military school, the North was far more advanced than they. The North had the advantage over the South in several ways. However, the outcome of the Civil War was not inevitable: it was determined as much by human decisions and human willpower as by physical resources, although the North’s resources gave them an edge over the South.
The shift from a struggle to save the Union into a war to destruct slavery made the Civil War a true success. Lincoln changed the military strategies after realizing that simply seizing Southern territory would not bring the victory to the Union. He decided to defeat the South’s armies instead of seizing the capital. The Union concluded that slavery was the economic and social keystone of the Confederacy and to win the war the Union must take down the slavery institution (Give me liberty! 509). With the change of military strategies came the change of the Union policy on slavery. The Union general Daniel E. Sickles noted that Negroes were the ones who provided the Union with the most valuable and reliable information of the South’s military movements (Give me liberty! 513). Northerners claimed that emancipation would weaken the enemy’s ability to sustain the war. As a result, in 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared free more than 3 million slaves
The Civil War was a war that was fought over the civil and humane treatment of every person, regardless of their outward appearances. It left a scathing scar on the nation After the atrocities that were suffered in the Civil war, the nation need a way to heal it’s wounds and unite again. Lincoln had a battle of his own to fight within the congress for the Reconstruction of the nation, While Lincoln believed that the south had suffered enough and had a long road to recovery, the radical republicans wanted to punish the south. They believed that the act of secession by the southern states was treason and the penalties should be strict.
First, the South couldn’t have won the civil war because state’s rights prevented unification of the South. The very issue that created the Confederacy helped to destroy it. In waging war, the South faced problems of politics and government that greatly complicated its problem of economic mobilization. No one would deny the troublesome effect of the conflict generated by differing ideas of how best to protect liberty and to organize southern society for the war effort. Southern people insisted upon retaining their democratic liberties in wartime, which proved fatal for the South. They had to struggle with a “confederacy formed by
It can be said that the South began the Civil War from a winning position. They had declared their independence, formed their own country and government, and they needed only to keep what they already had. But this was a monumental task as the government was required to protect every inch of land within the Confederacy. As a new country, the Confederacy needed to demonstrate the ability to defend its own territory from external threat. Without this ability, the Confederacy could never receive the international recognition and support it needed to survive. Aside from this reason, the South also needed to protect the institution of slavery from outside interference. If the Northern armies took control of a particular Southern area, the Confederates felt that they would free all the slaves, thus destroying the entire structure of society and its economic value. Because of this, Jefferson Davis was forced to devise a flawed war strategy which attempted to preserve the entire Confederacy at the cost of concentrating his forces.
He defends the South’s position on slavery which is a deeply grounded belief. Abraham Lincoln describes this situation as a disagreement on the definition of liberty in his “Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore” (1864). He explains that liberty may mean “for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men” (Forner 287). It is easy to see how this disagreement was heading in a catastrophic direction as the South continued to fight for the whole reason they came to America in the first place. The Confederates were willing to fight to death to defend their definition of freedom because the North winning the war equated to the very same thing in their minds; the end of their lives.
President Lincoln was thinking of taking a risky step to seal victory. At this point in time he came to the realization that he needed to move in a different direction. The strategic goal to restore the Union was not a good enough reason to keep the Northern states interested and behind the war.
McPherson’s book on Abraham Lincoln is about his struggle as president to keep the union together. The book explained the different strategies, decisions, and speeches Lincoln used in order to keep the confederacy from seceding from the union. His timing on military strategy and national strategy helped the outcome of the revolution. McPherson also talks about the lives of African Americans after the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect. The most believed reason for the Civil War was Lincoln’s decision to abolish slavery and the emancipation. McPherson discusses how this outraged the south, where slavery was necessary for the everyday functions of their plantations. Lincoln immediately had to defend his decision and himself. “Thus
Although James McPherson presents Lincoln as having numerous qualities that defined him as a brilliant leader, he wastes no time in revealing what he believes to be Lincoln’s greatest strength. In his Introduction, McPherson states regarding Lincoln’s political leadership: “In a civil war whose origins lay in a political conflict over the future of slavery and a political decision by certain states to secede, policy could never be separated from national strategy…. And neither policy nor national strategy could be separated from military strategy” (McPherson, p.6). Lincoln could not approach the war from a purely martial standpoint—instead, he needed to focus on the issues that caused it. For the catalyst of the war was also the tool for its solution; a war started by differing ideologies could only be resolved through the military application of ideology. This non-objective approach to the waging of the war almost resembles the inspired approach McPherson brings to his examination of Lincoln himself.
A frequently, and sometimes hotly, discussed subject; the outcome of the American Civil War has fascinated historians for generations. Some argue that the North's economic advantages proved too much for the South, others that Southern strategy was faulty, offensive when it should have been defensive, and vice-versa. Internal division in the South is often referred to, and complaints made against Davis' somewhat makeshift, inexperienced, government. Doubts are sometimes raised over the commitment of Southerners to a cause many of them were half-hearted about. Many historians have argued that the South lost the will to fight long before defeat was inevitable. However, many of these criticisms could easily be applied to the North, had the
Union officer William Tecumseh Sherman observed to a Southern friend that, "In all history, no nation of mere agriculturists ever made successful war against a nation of mechanics. . . .You are bound to fail." While Sherman's statement proved to be correct, its flaw is in its assumption of a decided victory for the North and failure to account for the long years of difficult fighting it took the Union to secure victory. Unquestionably, the war was won and lost on the battlefield, but there were many factors that swayed the war effort in favor of the North and impeded the South's ability to stage a successful campaign.
"If wars are won by riches, there can be no question why the North eventually prevailed." The North was better equipped than the South, with the resources necessary to be successful in a long term war like the Civil War was, which was fought from 1861 1865. Prior, and during the Civil war, the North's economy was always stronger than the South's, boasting of resources that the Confederacy had no means of attaining. Compared to the South, The North had more factories available for production of war supplies and larger amounts of land for growing crops. Its population was several times of the South's, which was a potential source for military enlistees. Although the South had better naval leadership and commanders, such as Robert E. Lee
Abraham Lincoln is credited to be the reason the Union won the civil war. His death and lack of leadership, rise of the radical republican power, and southern refusal to accept northern policies can arguably be the reason reconstruction failed. After the Union won the war the next task to be addressed was how to readmit the south into the union. Lincoln set the standard in his 1865 second inaugural address stating “malice towards none, and charity for all”. These words would be remembered in the following years as people, like Johnson, look to Lincoln’s ideals during the reconstruction years. Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction supported the idea of a strongly governed united country. Lincoln was one of the few to recognize that one needed to look past personal glory, and instead, do what was best for the country as a whole (Herman Belz pg.5). However, because of Lincoln’s untimely assassination in 1865, the newly re-formed United States was left in the hands
The Civil War was a war between the union, and confederate states in the United States that occurred from 1861-1865. Many people believed that the Civil War was about slavery and southern states right to defend their states’ rights. The confederates were fighting for their liberty and independence under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, who they felt was a tyrant. However, the union, was fighting to preserve their territory, that was created by their founding fathers from chaos and dismemberment. President Jefferson Davis believed that the civil war was based on the confederate rights to secede from the union. Jefferson also felt that Abraham Lincoln was to blamed for the start of the civil war, since he was against slavery. Lincoln’s intended goal was to preserve the union, he claimed slavery was not the reason. “If I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves I would do it, and if I could slave it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that (Shi &Tindall, 2015, pg.465)”. Lincoln told everyone that if the southern states were to return to the union that slavery would still exist. However, many people believed that Lincoln wasn’t being truthful.