American History / Strengths And Weaknesses Of The North And South
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Autor: anton 08 March 2011
Words: 562 | Pages: 3
An important strength of the North was its manufacturing capabilities. Factories could mass produce weapons while the South had few facilities capable of providing weapons. The North had experienced an industrial revolution in which many factories produced supplies necessary for an army. Another strength of the North was that it had better railroads and highways, including naval shipping resources used to re-supply forces. The North possessed a large amount of the country's railroad and canal systems. The railroads and canals was necessary for a quick and easy transportation of troops and supplies. More railroads also meant better communication. The North had about 13,000 miles more railroad than the South which meant that the North could reinforce troops quicker.
A weakness of the North was that Many of the North's soldiers came from urban areas where they had never seen a rifle before they enlisted. At the onset of the war, the North was not prepared to fight a war. Military readiness of soldiers at the beginning of the war was superior in the South. Young men were accustomed to outdoor life, guns and horses that were part of rural life. The North had a large portion of immigrants and urban raised individuals not accustomed to outdoor life, guns and horses. The majority of Northern recruits were city born or worked on farms. They were not used to living off of the land. The North was in enemy territory and was unfamiliar with the terrain.
An important strength of the South was that The majority of the best leaders were Southern born. When the South left the Union, these soldiers went with their home states. The North had some experienced officers. However the North's leadership was inferior to the South. Lincoln was trying to find generals that could win. Many say Grant was the only good general the North had. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Longstreet, Forest, Stuart, the list could continue. The South was blessed with officers who knew how to fight and make the best of bad situations. Another important strength of the South was To stand on the defensive meant that the North had to invade and carry the fight to the South. This allowed the South to prepare and receive the enemy, although Lee was not a passive man by any standards. The geography of the South favored the defender over the attacker. In particular, most of the rivers in the South run east to west. Thus as Union forces attempted to move south they had to cross all the rivers and the Confederates could defend them. Also, the fact that the Confederacy was simply defending itself meant that the Northern forces had to invade and occupy virtually the entire South before they could claim victory. That was a monumental task.
A weakness of the South was that The South had to worry about their slave population revolting and causing trouble for the troops. The Southern dependence on agriculture was a major disadvantage and the dependence on slavery made it even harder for the South to industrialize. Being unable to industrialize was a real disadvantage because it meant that the South could not produce all the things they needed for war such as weapons. The Confederacy had to build theirs at the start of the war. The South had a small amount of money with which to pay for the war.
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