Ever since the birth of The United States, we have shown resilience and determination, starting with the Revolutionary war. As years passed and national division became evident there was discussion on who would win the fight between the free and enslaved states. Over time it has become apparent that the colonies and the confederacy have shared many qualities, which makes one wonder how is it that the colonies won, but the confederacy did not?
The reason the South didn’t win the Civil War was because they were outgunned, out supplied, received no international aid and this time, their enemy wasn’t an ocean away. From the beginning of the Revolutionary War it seemed like a dead give away, most assumed the British were going to win because they not only possessed the largest navy in the world, but one of the strongest; on top of that they were working with a well established and organized military with some of the most experienced generals of their time.
But these advantages seemed to have no impact on the 13 colonies whom had the desire and determination to fight followed by the upper hand of being on their own turf. Despite lacking fiscal advantages and organization, the 13 colonists were able to pull ahead by unifying and sheer motivation (and a little aid and support from France. ) So again, one would ask, if the 13 colonies could win the Civil War, how come the South lost the civil war despite their obvious similarities?
The South was a booming economy running purely on cotton production and the slave trade; the war itself was being fought over the would determine the future of their very lifestyle which was a strong motivator, similar to what the colonies felt back in the 1770’s — 1780’s. The South also had a rich military history led by experienced generals, unlike the North, such as Robert E. Lee, similar to the leading of the colonies by none other than George Washington.
The South had the right combinations to win the war, a strong military, determination and the wealth to provide armies with weapons and training. Their downfall however, seemingly insignificant to their advantages, played a key role; starting with their lack of transportation, low industry and no international aid — the biggest difference between the South and the 13 colonies was that their enemy wasn’t coming over from a 6 month boat ride, they were much closer to home.
The North, being the industrial and progressive leader of the nation not only had the largest population compared to both the South and West providing itself with larger armies, but also continued to have a steady income where as the South, whose primary focus was cotton did not. They also had about 85% of the countries railroads which made easy for quick shipments of supplies and men in areas needing more aid. Although the North had all this, many people still feared the South would win because of their military advantages and because in this war, the South was on defense where as the North was taking an offensive approach.
Looking at the North and England, they obviously have similarities like the South and the colonists had, but their differences are where it’s crucial. Evident in many ways, England wasn’t as motivated as the North was during their war because unlike the North, the loss of the colonies wouldn’t have had as big of an impact as it would have if the war had taken place on the same continent. Majority of British soldiers were only fighting because they were paid to, not because they felt a burning desire for change like the North did.
The North was also a lot closer than England was to the battle, making it easier for reinforcements or supplies to quickly reach the front grounds, where as England had to wait for supplies to not only cross the ocean but then be transported to where they were stationed; along with that it took a lot less time to receive news and information about the war than it would have for the British. It appears wealth and economic growth is a large contender for why both Wars started.
In the founding of the American colonies, the British sent men over in hopes of expansion and an increase in imports and exports to gain more wealth, their conflicts started to occur when colonists rebelled and began wanting more freedoms and independence. Similarly, one of the largest issues surrounding the Civil war started with Slavery. The south wanted to keep slavery alive and continue its expansion because it was their way of life and their economy was centered around it. Both Wars were fought over economic reasoning verses moral and individual beliefs.
The colonists wanted freedom and independence for themselves from a greedy and controlling monarch, whereas the North wanted to free slaves from a mass-producing, slave-run industry. Despite having common similarities between the 13 colonies and the confederacy, the South had too much against them, amounting to their loss of the Civil war and succumbing back to the Union and freeing the slaves. From lack of organization to being outgunned, and out supplied- the South couldn’t over power the North, in terms, they couldn’t win.