Significance of the Economic Strength of the Union During the American Civil War

The American Civil started in the year 1861 and ended in the year 1865 and it was also referred to as the War Between the States. It was precipitated when the Slave States declared that they would secede from the United States and in this respect formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederate States were referred to as the Confederacy and they were led by Jefferson Davis in the fight against the United States Federal Government which was referred to as the Union and it had support from the Free States and the Border Slave States. The confederacy consisted of eleven States. Abraham Lincoln had won the presidential elections held in 1860 and he was a Republican and he had advocated for slavery to be stopped from expanding to other states where it had not already started. When the Republican party won the election hence ensuring that Lincoln was the president of the United States of America some southern states declared their secession from the Union even though the two administration the incoming and the outgoing expressed their rejection very strongly. The states that seceded totaled seven even before Lincoln was inaugurated into office[1].

April 12th of 1861 marked the first hostility when the Confederates attacked a United States Military installation in South Carolina at Fort Sumter and Lincoln reacted by calling in military volunteers from all Union states and this led to the secession of four more slaves states in the south. Both sides raised their armies and the war was in full force but the Union controlled all the Border States from the initial stages of the war and also set up a naval blockade. The international community threatened to intervene and this precipitated Lincoln declaring that the goal of the war was to end slavery in the South in the famous Emancipation Proclamation and also sent a message to Britain persuading them not to interfere with the war. All though the Confederates registered a number of victories during the war, the war finally went the Union’s way when the resistance of the Confederates collapsed after the surrender of their Commander Robert E. Lee on April 9th 1865.

The Civil War was the grimiest in the American history and it claimed more than two-sixty thousands soldiers’ lives plus a very large number of civilians and it succeeded in ending slavery in the United States and also restoring the Union. It also strengthened the Federal Government role. The war involved a lot of issues which included political, racial, social and economical and these led to the era of reconstruction which went up to the year 1877 and also continued in the 21st century.

Significance of the Union’s economic strength in the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the Union was in control of the major resources of the United States of America and the Confederates commanded only a small percentage of the country’s resources. This ensured that the Union had an economic strength over the Confederates and this played a very important role in ensuring that the war went the Union’s way. This can be seen by the fact that only eleven states formed the confederates and the rest of the country formed the Union. The tax base from the Union by far surpassed the Confederates and this also contributed largely to the fact that the Union had a more powerful economy than the Confederates.

Both the governments went into the war very confident and they were anticipating earnestly their own victory over their enemies. The Union would later state that they had outnumbered the Confederacy with the resources of war. The Union in actuality had overwhelmed the Confederates with men, industrial capacity, railroad mileage, economic strength, material and the all important naval power. However, the Confederates were relentless in their believe that although they did not control a lot of war resources, their cause was by far more dedicated and they were very confident of the victory in the war. It can also be noted that the Confederates main objective in the war was to be a sovereign state and not conquer the whole of the United States and this can also be seen as a another way of the great determination the Confederates had in the war. They were also inspired by the fact that in the American Revolution the United States a much smaller force by all means had been able to emerge victorious against the might of the Britain. The confederates also had the ability to mobilize more of the military age men into the war.

However, both sides soon realized that they had overestimated their capabilities in the war and also that they had underestimated their opponents. This can be seen by the fact that the Confederates almost won the war and this almost cost Lincoln his presidency when the Union reported a number of losses. However, the Union also pulled up and they displayed a lot of stamina in the war and this can be seen by the fact that the war finally went into their hands and they registered the victory.

One of the factors that led to the Union winning is that the Union had a far more advanced industrial capabilities than the Confederates. Industrial development is very important in any war because it ensures that the side has a financial and economic base to get all its resources for the war. The industrial capabilities of the Union enabled it to have enough fire arms for the war and also other materials for the war which are very necessary in a war. These materials include the clothing materials for the men and protective gear. The Union had many men and this meant that there was the need for many equipments of war to be produced. If the Union did not have such an advanced industrial capability then the number of men would not have been helpful there would not be enough equipment to arm the men with. Another important fact in the industrial capability was that the Union had the capability of producing better weapons than the Union and also produces these weapons in big numbers to arm their men in the war.

Another factor of the importance of economic strength was the Union had a longer railroad mileage and this was very beneficial for the transportation that was very necessary in the war. The most important transportation requirement during the war was the transportation of men and materials and this meant that the people coming from various fronts in the war would need to be transported to various battle fronts. Also it was important for the equipments to be transported and this included even the firearms which were very instrumental in the war. This meant that the Union had an advantage over the Confederates because they could easily transport many materials for the war.

A good economic base also ensures that the naval force is well taken care of and that it is organized and has the freedom to use various resources without hindrances from a depraved economy. This is very important for the morale of any military and it can be seen even in today’s wars a good example being the United States War with Iraq. This also played a very important part in the American Civil war and this can be seen by the fact that the navy had all the equipments and materials of war they needed and this was afforded by the government which had all the resources necessary for the war. These materials included such things as warfare and also the important transportation mode for the transportation of men and weapons.

Conclusion

The Union had all the resources and economic backing they needed and the fact that they faced several defeats during the war, this can be attributed to the military not being well organized. In as far as the economy was concerned, the Union had a much better backing than the Confederates and this ensured that they would go ahead and win the war. The confederates on the other hand had the determination and this ensured that they won several battles during the American Civil War. Were it not for the economical backing of the Union, there is a chance that the war would have gone the Confederates way.

Bibliographies

Alice E. Carter and Richard Jensen. The Civil War on the Web: A Guide to the Very Best Sites–Completely Revised and Updated (2003)

Ayers, Edward L. What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History. Norton, 2005. 222 pp.

Bailey, Anne J. War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign. Scholarly Resources, 2003. 152 pp.

Beale, Howard K., “What Historians Have Said About the Causes of the Civil War,” Social Science Research Bulletin 54, 1946.

Bilby, Joseph G. A Revolution in Arms: A History of the First Repeating Rifles. Westholme, 2006. 270 pp.

Blair, Jayne E. The Essential Civil War: A Handbook to the Battles, Armies, Navies and Commanders (2006)

Bruce, Robert V. Lincoln and the Tools of War (1956) on weapons development during the war.

Johnson, R. U., and Buel, C. C., eds., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 vols. New York, 1887-88; essays by leading generals of both sides

Lincoln, Abraham (1989). Lincoln: Speeches and Writings (2 vol Library of America edition Ed.).

Yearns, W. Buck and Barret, John G., eds. North Carolina Civil War Documentary, 1980.

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NerdyRoo. "Significance of the Economic Strength of the Union During the American Civil War." December 5, 2021. https://nerdyroo.com/significance-of-the-economic-strength-of-the-union-during-the-american-civil-war/.

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NerdyRoo. 2021. "Significance of the Economic Strength of the Union During the American Civil War." December 5, 2021. https://nerdyroo.com/significance-of-the-economic-strength-of-the-union-during-the-american-civil-war/.

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NerdyRoo. (2021) 'Significance of the Economic Strength of the Union During the American Civil War'. 5 December.

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