Was Northern Victory in the Civil War Inevitable? Essay

617 Words Mar 11th, 2005 3 Pages
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 South seceded in part out of growing awareness of its minority in the nation. The Union held twenty-three states, including four border slave states, while the Confederacy had eleven. Ignoring conflicts of allegiance within various states, which might …show more content…
The North, meanwhile, produced a surplus of wheat for export at a time when drought and crop failures in Europe created a critical demand. King Wheat supplanted King Cotton as the nation's main export, becoming the chief means of acquiring foreign money and bills of exchange to pay for imports from abroad. The North's advantage in transport weighed heavily as the war went on. The Union had more wagons, horses, and ships than that of the Confederacy, and they also had an impressive edge in railroads. The Confederacy had only one east-west rail connection, between Memphis, Tennessee and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The latter was an important rail hub with connections via Knoxville, Tennessee into Virginia and down through Atlanta, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. But the North already had an extensive railroad network. Three major lines gave the western farmers an outlet to the eastern seaboard and greatly lessened their former dependence on the Mississippi River. All of these factors played a key role in the outcome of the Civil War. Ultimately it came down to the decisions of the generals at battles and when and where to have them. Ultimately the Union did prevail over the Confederacy. Population, industrialization, transportation, all played a key role in helping the North prevail, although it was not an inevitable win. The North had their struggles and their fair share of losses at battles, due to the
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