"My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the
union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could
save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I
could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; if I could
save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do
This quote by Abraham Lincoln from his letter to Horace Greeley
shows Lincoln's true position. He was clearly committed to the
preservation of the Union. In fact it shows this is even more clear
when one considers his personal disgust with the institution of
slavery. He was clearly willing to sacrifice his personal goals in
favor of the preservation of the Union. In fact the abolition of
slavery didn't even become a war goal until after the battle of
Gettysburg when Lincoln knew he had the war won. Lincoln's strength
and willingness to fight on in the end led him to success and that
commitment is what makes him perhaps the greatest President of all
The Civil War, or the "War between the states," was fought on both
moral and economic grounds. It was certain advantages, however,
inherent in the North, that inevitably told the tale of victory.
Advantages of the Union
Advantages of the Confederacy
-Banking, Factories and ships.
-More railroads to move supplies, men and equipment.
-Larger population; 22 million to 9 million.
-Trading Relationships with Europe.
-Best Military officers (Robert E. Lee)
-Long coastline made blockade difficult.
-They were convinced they were right.
They were fighting for their lives and on their own soil.
-British and French leaders sympathized with them due to
-They were not as "into it."
-Northerners were not in complete agreement over the
abolition of slavery.
-Lost most of their good military officers to the South.
-Their smaller Navy left them at a disadvantage due to
the Union blockade.
-Their long coastline, while a benefit in sneaking in
supplies was also a detriment in trying to defend it.
Southern slaves, a large part of the population, were
clearly no help.
-Little industry and factory production.
Clearly the North had a distinct advantage in its ability to
produce soldiers and supplies. The the South counted on the North not
having the stomach to stay in the war. They counted on the Union
eventually giving up and allowing them to secede. What they failed to
take into account was the resolve of Lincoln. It is said the longer
the war went on, the better the Norths' chances of winning. Clearly
this was true and as the war grew longer and longer the South was
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