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Why did the North win the Civil War?

"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 that."

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 time.

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 Navy.

-Experienced government.

-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 economic reasons.

Union Disadvantages

Confederate Disadvantages

-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 eventually doomed.

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