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Key Factors That Led To Union Victory In The Civil War

2788 words - 11 pages

The Civil War that took place in the United States from 1861 to 1865 could have easily swung either way at several points during the conflict. There is however several reasons that the North would emerge victorious from this bloody war that pit brother against brother. Some of the main contributing factors are superior industrial capabilities, more efficient logistical support, greater naval power, and a largely lopsided population in favor of the Union. Also one of the advantages the Union had was that of an experienced government, an advantage that very well might have been one of the greatest contributing factors to their success. There are many reasons factors that lead to the North's victory, and each of these elements in and amongst themselves was extremely vital to the effectiveness of the Northern military forces. Had any one of these factors not been in place the outcome of the war could have been significantly different, and the United States as we know it today could be quite a different place to live.

Throughout the early parts of the century the North had heavily concentrated on industrial improvement while the South had mostly concentrated on agricultural means. This proved to be of great significance, as the two sides would find themselves in a high cost and high demand war. During the onset of the war the "North contained 80% of total U.S. industry" (Rivera pg.1), and many of these production facilities were quickly and easily transformed in order to support the demands of the military. The South on the other hand had very few production facilities and most of them lay along the contested Border States, and they lost most of these facilities when West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware opted to join the Union. "At the start of the war, the value of all manufactured goods produced in all the Confederate states added up to less than one-fourth of those produced in New York State alone" ("Civil War Facts" pg.1) This left the Confederate States with very little in the way of factories, only one major iron working facility remained which was located in Richmond, Virginia. The North began the war more prepared and better equipped than the South as their factories began to pour out brand new rifles and munitions at an impressive rate.

As the war continued on the industrial capabilities of the North would prove to become one of the greatest contributing factors to their ability to sustain military operations. Tied directly into the industrial capabilities of the North is the economical superiority that they held over the South. "The economy was the greatest Southern weakness; it was the North's greatest strength. The North was not only a huge farm but a sprawling factory as well" (Kennedy, Cohen, and Bailey pg. 439). Wars are expensive, and in order to sustain military operations especially one that would drag on for four years money would become of great importance. The North was comprised of approximately...

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