• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What role did the Battle of Gettysburg play in the victory of the North in the American Civil War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What role did the Battle of Gettysburg play in the victory of the North in the American Civil War? The events of July 1st-3rd 1863 otherwise known as the Battle of Gettysburg played a significant role in the eventual victory of the twenty-three state Union over the eleven state Confederacy. The battle 'will always be remembered as the turning point of the Civil War'1 and foreshadowed General Robert E. Lee's eventual surrender at Appomattox Court House, April 9th 1865. The A3 class handout comments,2 The Southern defeat at Gettysburg, coupled with the loss of Vicksburg on July 4, marked a turning point in the Civil War. Never again did the Confederacy possess the power sufficient either to invade the North in force or to impose peace through victory on the battlefield. Firstly the Pennsylvania blood-bath led to large Confederate military casualties, in essence a great portion of the Confederate forces were eliminated on the fields of Gettysburg. While, in contrast the Union suffered mildly from the attack. The South was reduced to instituting defensive ploys rather than launching an attack on the North, as was intended by taking Harrisburg and Baltimore through victory at Gettysburg. ...read more.

Middle

During the war, General Lee's forces were focused advancing into Northern territories rather than taking over the North. The invasion of Harrisburg or Baltimore was then vital to Southern interests. James Anderson comments, A great victory on Northern soil might also lead to European mediation in the struggle. From the beginnings of the war, the South relied heavily on foreign intervention with the belief that European nations needed their cotton for their textile industries. A Southern perception arose these European investors may if necessary, fight the North to get their cotton. This proved to be false, as England and France found other sources of supply for cotton and profited from trade as a neutral. Rather than France and England being dependant on the Confederacy, the South itself became isolated. Despite this and a passive intention from England to avoid war with the United States, several commerce destroyers were built in England for the Confederacy. However, England remained neutral to an extent while sympathizing with the North's moral stance to fight slavery and cheap labour. While there were apparent discrepancies between allegiances, what remains clear is the South's defeat at Gettysburg proved costly in gaining important European aid. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the North's defeat of the South at the Battle of Gettysburg was significant in the final defeat of the Confederacy to end the American Civil War. The 'battle in Pennsylvania was a turning point in the Civil War of the United States,'9 as it emphasised the vast difference in resources between the sides, lead to the withdrawal of any foreign intervention, uncovered the questionable leadership qualities of General Lee and paved the way for further important Union victories. The bloodiest battle on American soil proved to be the 'turning point' and 'beginning of the end' for the American Civil War. The battle would maintain a unified America and stable political centre, Abraham Lincoln comments at an address delivered at the cemetery at Gettysburg, These dead shall have not died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom- and that government of the people, by the people, shall not perish from the earth. 1 Russell Heywood, A Summary of the Battle of Gettysburg 2 A3 Class Handout 3 William H. Seward 4 A3 Class Handout 5 'Gettysburg' Battle Outlines & Maps, Source Book 6 Russell Heywood, A Summary of the Battle of Gettysburg 7 Russell Heywood, A Summary of the Battle of Gettysburg 8 A3 Class Handout 9 Russell Heywood, A Summary of the Battle of Gettysburg ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. "The main cause of the American civil war was undeniably slavery". Assess the ...

    Abolitionist movements rose in 1830's. They were led by men such as William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown. Garrison was the founder of 'the liberator' a newspaper spreading distrust of the south plantation owners. This incited southerners to be more active in spreading slavery and northerners in destroying it.

  2. Why did the South lose the American Civil War?

    Religion, whilst helping to maintain Southern will, but also worked to raise doubts about the war and reasons for fighting it. Whilst the lack of will in the South did not help to raise support for the war and therefore the belief that they were going to win, slavery was

  1. To what extent did the foreign intervention influence the outcome of the Spanish Civil ...

    According to Pope Pius XI "The first, the greatest and now the general peril is certainly Communism in all its forms and degrees." Francisco Franco was a very important political figure during the Spanish Civil War. He had great strengths, which involved leadership, power and his facility to make promises

  2. How substantial were the differences between the North and South on the eve of ...

    One crop, slave-grown cotton provided over half of all U.S. export earnings. Therefore slavery paid for a substantial share of the capital investment, iron, and manufactured good that laid the basis for American economic growth. In addition, precisely because the South specialized in cotton production, the North developed a variety

  1. Was the civil warinevitable?

    Thus in the eyes of nineteenth century politicians, armed conflict, would have been seen as an inevitable step in order to advance their political ideology once an opportunity arose. In the case of the American civil war, Southern secession was the opportunity seized upon by the North.

  2. The great Patriotic war - From incompetence to victory.

    The West did nothing. That same year Great Britain signed a sea treaty with Germany, allowing the Germans a navy - another violation. In 1936, Mussolini invaded Abyssinia and Germany occupied the Rhineland. The West did nothing. Why did the West do nothing and why did this disturb Russia?

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    between Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill. Soviet occupation of Eastern European countries overrun by the Red Army was accepted, in return for a pledge to allow democratic governments to rise within them. Soviet and Allied occupation zones in Germany were established, with Berlin, deep in the Soviet zone, to be jointly administered.

  2. To what extend did the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg (1863) mark the turning ...

    On this day lee came very close to victory but lost marginally and the battle was seen as stalemate. The last day was a union win. Lee ordered Ricketts charge on the cemetery ridge to break through the union centre.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work