Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Guide On How to Win the Civil War

Once learning about the major reasons that led to the Civil War, our class was given several statistics related to the war. From this we were to analyze them and determine how they affected the strategies and success of the Union and Confederacy.
     The United States was entering a time of conflicting decisions and opinions in the mid-19th century. In my previous blog I discussed a few events that led up to the final decision of war. The anti-slavery advocates from the North were known as the Union, and the South fought for slavery as the Confederacy. Our class was given the statistics of the situation in the 1850s-60s. From this each student was assigned to create a pictorial representation, using the website Infogram, and determine how they impacted the outcome of the Civil War. While some points were obvious through the statistics, a few were a little tricky to connect and analyze.

     My infogram above holds statistics that I felt was necessary in helping understanding the situations faced by the Union and Confederacy at the start of the war. After analyzing the statistics, it was clear to notice that the North had several more advantages in the war than the South. With their easier modes of transportation, booming industries, and beneficial economy the North was better prepared than the South. A much larger portion of the population lived in the North giving them the advantage of a stronger Union army while allowing a sufficient labor force to remain behind.
The South also had a few advantages while compared with the North. Most of the nation's military colleges were in the South and the majority of trained officers were Southerners. These officers sided with the Confederacy, giving the South a better advantage of military technique and a trained army. The Southern army only needed to maintain a defensive position and keep from being beaten, while the North had to attack and conquer.
     Both the Union and Confederacy used their advantages and resources, and incorporated it in their military strategies. For example, the North shut down the ports so the South couldn't ship cotton, their most important industry, to Europe. The Northerners also prevented the South from importing the manufactured goods they needed. With no income from cotton exports, the South could not earn the money it needed to buy guns and maintain its armies. The Confederacy strategized a war of attrition: a military strategy in which one side inflicts continuous losses on the enemy in order to wear down their strength, then attacking until they surrendered. However, the North had the same strategy in mind and the Confederacy's plan backfired.
Both sides felt that they were fighting to preserve their way of life and believed their right to self government. While the Union for the free rights of slaves, the Confederacy fought to use them for their benefits. I found the infogram assignment interesting. I liked working independently and expressing my knowledge on the Civil War creatively. It also allowed me to analyze the war in a different perspective, enabling me to understand reasons behind the outcomes of one of the most disastrous events in America.

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