The Civil War began in the year 1861 and ended four years later. The end result was the Union becoming victorious in 1865. There are many advantages and disadvantages that both sides faced during the war, which ultimately contributed to the final outcome. The advantages and disadvantages that each side faced shared many similarities, but the Northern advantages ultimately outweighed the Southern’s. These advantages thus contributed to the North winning the Civil War. The Northern advantages, which would be the Southern disadvantages, would be the manufacturing capabilities.
The factories in the North could mass produce weapons, whereas the South had few facilities that could produce arms, never mind in mass quantity. This was due to North experiencing an industrial revolution, leaving them with the amount of factories to substantially produce supplies vital to supplying an army. Also, due to the immigrants, who came the North looking for jobs, meant that little production was lost on account of men leaving to fight in the war. The south was greatly dependent on agriculture and slavery, making it much harder for the South to industrialize.
Since the North was not fighting on their own soil, this meant that they could protect their own industrial and transportation resources. This was an extreme disadvantage due to the South not being able to produce the items needed to fight for the war. The North also contributed to this by building a blockade, via naval ships, that prevented trade with Europe The North also had nearly three times the population of the South. The North had twenty million people, whereas the South had nine million. Out of the nine million that the South had, four million were black slaves.
The population thus allowed the North to field a larger army, which made replacing combat casualties easier. General Grant used to refuse prisoner exchange offers from the south, for the reason that the South needed soldiers much worse than the North. The North had already had a well-trained, organized standing army and navy, while the South had to build theirs at the start of the war. In addition, the North had better roadways and highways, and also seized much of the country’s railroad and canal systems, which were used as resources to supply the forces.
The more railroads and transportation options meant that better communication was now possible and supply of soldiers were quicker, as well. The South, on the other hand, had the advantage of being on the defensive side, which meant that the North had to invade and carry the fight into it. This allowed the South to prepare for the enemy, although General Lee was not typically a passive man. The geographical area of the South favored the defender over the attacked. Predominantly, most of the rivers in the South run east to west.
This meant that the Union forces had to cross all the rivers to attack the south, which lead to the South having more time to attack. Simply, the fact that the confederacy was defending itself meant that the Union had to conquer all of the Southern territory to claim victory. The South had many soldiers who were dedicated to preserving the land. Because they started the war, they obviously wanted to become the victor. The North had to fight back because they felt that preserving the Union was imperative. The North also included the Border States, which had an immense population of Southern sympathizers.
The North constantly had to fight to keep their support for the war. Additionally, the Southern population was more united than the north. In the North, there were always arguable reasons as to why the war was being fought. The majority of top leaders were Southern born. When the South left the Union, the soldiers went with their home states. Military leadership of the South consisted of many Mexican War veterans. Throughout the Civil War, Lincoln was trying to find generals that were competent, but many say Grant was the only good general the North had, as opposed to the South where the North had inferior leadership.
With Generals Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Longstreet, Forest, and Stuart, the south was lucky as they had officers who knew how to fight and make the best of bad situations. The average Southerner had at some point in his life, hunted for food. This meant that they could live off the land and shoot. Many of the Northerners had come from urban areas where they had never been exposed to a rifle before. This meant that the south had better soldiers in the beginning of the war, because they had grown accustomed to outdoor life.
Due to the many advantages and disadvantages between the two regions, the Civil War was indeed an extremely hard war to win. The North and South battled for four years, which lead to many deaths. The amount of industrialization the North had eventually put them ahead. This proves that Lee was the better general in the war, but the lost of Stonewall Jackson is where the Civil War started to fall apart for Lee. Through the many men that the North had, they successfully conquered Lee and preserved the Union.