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To what extent did Northern resources win the war for the Union?

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent did Northern resources win the war for the Union? The reasons for the Union victory in the American Civil War have been debated as to whether they were internal factors in that the strengths of the union led to the Union defeating the Confederacy, external factors in that it was the failings and weaknesses of the Confederacy that led to Union success or simply inevitable that the Confederacy would always lose against the might of the Union. To assess these arguments, the factors of the industrial and financial might of the Union (resources), the role of Lincoln, Northern fighting qualities, collapse of morale in the Confederacy and the political system in the Confederacy can be looked at. ...read more.

Middle

This argument also shows the inevitability theory that the Confederacy would always lose against the Union because ?God favours big battalions? as interpreted by historian Richard Current who also said ?it would have taken a miracle...to enable the south to win?. The Union had a huge industry, with 9 times more industrial production than the South, 26 times more its rifle production and 3 times more its railroad capacity. With these amounts of resources, historian Shelby Foote has highlighted that the Union ?fought with one had behind its back? showing that the Union didn?t even have to utilise all its industrial capabilities in order to defeat the Confederacy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rather than solely being Northern resources, the role of Lincoln also played a large part in securing a victory for the Union. Lincoln had extraordinary oratory skills meaning he was able to sell his war aims to the Union, one of his greatest speeches being The Gettysburg Address with historian James McPherson even stating that Lincoln ?won the war with metaphor?. Lincoln was a strident decision maker, able to make difficult decisions that would affect the war such as the introduction of the Emancipation Proclamation and utilising war powers to their greatest effect like censorship and suspending the writ of habeus corpus, he managed his cabinet effectively and was able to get the best out of his assembled ?Team of Rivals? as historian Doris Kearns Goodwin put it since it had many of Lincoln?s critics in it. ...read more.

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