Synopsis of Civil War

Mike Brahm
Microtheme Paper

The North was able to defeat the South in the Civil war due to their economic and industrial superiority and their sheer population difference over the South.   “Union officer William Tecumseh Sherman to a Southern friend: In all history, no nation of mere agriculturists ever made successful war against a nation of mechanics. . . . You are bound to fail.” (Catton, Glory Road 241)   The stronger more advanced government always succeeded.   It happened in other countries as well.   Japan had a civil uprising as did Spain in Latin America (The World, A Brief History).

From the onset of war, the Union had obvious advantages.   The North had large amounts of just about everything that the South did not.   Sheer manpower ratios were unbelievably one-sided, with only nine of the nation's 31 million inhabitants residing in the seceding states (Fargher, Out of Many, vol 1).   The North also had large amounts of land available for growing food crops which served the purposes of providing food for its hungry soldiers and funded its ever-growing industries. The South, on the other hand, devoted most of what arable land it had exclusively to its main cash crop: cotton (Faragher, Out of Many, vol 1).   Raw materials were almost entirely concentrated in Northern mines and refining industries.   Railroads and telegraph lines, the veins of any army, traced paths all across the Northern countryside but left the South isolated, outdated, and starving.   The Confederates were all too willing to sell what little raw materials they possessed to Northern Industry for any profit they could get.   The South had bartered something that perhaps it had not intended: its independence (Faragher, Out of Many, vol 1).

The North's ever-growing industry was an important supplement to its economical dominance of the South.   Between the years of 1840 and 1860, American industry saw sharp and steady growth. In 1840 the total value of goods manufactured in the United...