Daniel has actually a bachelor's level in background from CSUF. While love all aspects of history, there’s always those distinct moments in history.

You are watching: What advantages did the south have


Union win was not inescapable

The Lost reason tradition is a well-known myth of the American Civil war that believes the the southern was never ever able to win the war. However, it is commonly accepted among modern-day historians the the South had a very an excellent chance at winning, specifically at the start of the war, early out to countless advantages. This article will examine how the physiological, geographic, and leadership benefits of the South confirmed to have a an extremely decisive role in the war. There to be nothing inevitable around the phibìc winning the war, the Confederacy's many advantages proved the the American Civil battle would be a long, bloody battle that the Union would need to fight exponentially hard come win.

The mental Advantage

The South had actually exponential benefits going right into the war, most of i beg your pardon became noticeable in the first few campaigns. The very first and most well seen advantage at the beginning of the war was the emotional advantage; the Southerner's house was gift invaded and also they required to safeguard themselves, your families, and also their way of life. A Confederate soldier to be asked why that is fighting versus the Union soldiers and simply replied, "because they are down here". The southern saw the war as an plot of northern aggression and also a battle of independence, and also their fight against the Union was necessary to protect their homes from the invading North. It appears as the Confederacy ongoing to acquire momentum v each victory as they more or less overcame the battlefield and came relatively close to marching ~ above Washington. Also after Gettysburg, i m sorry many mention as the turning point in the battle (but is the subject of historic debate), moral among Southern troops remained high before it progressively dwindled through each brand-new Union victory. However for the first years of the battle the south seemed almost unstoppable and their confidence to be proven with many victories.


The Confederates had the perspective that their cause in the war was right, and also that the war was one of northern Aggression. This sentiment deserve to still it is in seen and felt this day in several of the southern states.


The Shenandoah Valley, circled in red, confirmed to be a very effective herbal defense as numerous Union troops were forced into the fatal funnel wherein they met their death from solid fortified Confederate positions throughout the valley.

The geographical Advantage

The 2nd advantage the Confederacy had against the Union was the geography of the South. The landscape of the southern claims not only detailed natural defenses but also an financial advantage. Mountains, swamps, and also rivers defined the geography of the southerly states, i beg your pardon proved conveniently defensible and gave the north great challenge in advancing throughout the terrain. Also, the southern was one agricultural society due to the climate and fertile lands. Cash crops such together tobacco and also cotton flourished in the southern plantations and also with cotton in such high need due come the industrializing world and also the cultivation textile industries, the crop became a money tree for southerly society. Cotton was additionally used as a diplomatic tool as at this time about two-thirds that the world's cotton came from the American South. The Confederacy would certainly actually usage this diplomatic advantage in make the efforts to obtain the assistance of the British, which in turn would get the assistance of the French. However, the blockade the Union imposed on southern ports follow me with constant Union pressure brought about the two nations to hesitate their allegiance till the North winner multiple campaigns and basically secured a Union victory in 1865 in ~ which suggest the two nations saw no allude in acquiring involved. Had they well-known the Confederacy and joined the battle on your behalf, the unified States may be very different today.


The Shenandoah valley was a prime instance of the location of the American southern as the valley was surrounding by large ridges and provided a solid natural defense for the Confederacy.

The leadership Advantage

Lastly, the South had the advantage of solid leadership. Numerous Southern political and also military leaders to be graduates that the army academy at West Point, and veterans of wars such as the Mexican-American War. When the Union struggled because that the first couple of years the the battle to find strong leaders who would fight the enemy and also avoid politics involvement, Jefferson Davis verified to it is in a an extremely efficient leader in politics while Robert E. Lee and also "Stonewall" Jackson were bringing great military victories to the Confederacy without uncertainty or politics aspirations. Meanwhile Union leaders together as general McClellan, exhibited negative tactical decisions and were more interested in politics and also their future careers fairly than fighting the battle they were in. Until the Lincoln can figure out just how to arrange the generalship of his Union army, Ulysses S. Grant being his conserving grace in turning the Union army roughly in 1864, the Confederate military would merely encounter victory after win all while their soldiers and also leaders room gaining beneficial combat experience. Although the Confederacy had a solid core of leaders at the beginning of the war, leadership would prove come be problematic in the later on years. The main problem emerged between Davis' and also Lee's ideological background on just how to win the war. Davis advocated for win by no losing, i beg your pardon entailed the Confederacy defending the south until the phibìc had worn down their will certainly to fight and worked out for peace. On the various other hand, Lee promoted for success by victory, or losing by no winning, which meant that success was only attainable by totally defeating the Union and also capturing Washington. Lee would certainly be unable to accomplish this sort of win as his losses in the war proved destructive as the southern did not have actually the manpower to replace their casualties.


The Confederacy gone into the war with strong leaders that were so reliable it appeared that castle would victory the war till 1863, and also even after Gettysburg there to be still the opportunity of a southerly victory.


In conclusion, the South had actually many benefits which proved that north victory would certainly be immensely difficult. The geography gave the Confederacy organic defenses that hampered Union movement, when cotton gave the South great economic and diplomatic leverage. Overall, the Southern mindset of defending their method of life and their houses from the "Northern invaders" showed that there was nothing inevitable about Northern victory in the American polite War. These benefits would prove devastating versus the Union together they tried, without much early success, to reclaim the joined States and would cost the country countless lives by producing a variety of casualties the surpasses the of any war the United claims has combated to date.

Questions & Answers

Question: What economic benefits did the North have over the south in unites States' history?

Answer: The Union had the power of industry and also made a lot from textiles, but the South's slavery drove the farming economy the the South as well as providing noodle for the North's textiles. However, also with the loss of their key supply of noodle for textiles, the Union's strength of industry enabled them to store the economy reasonably stable and also keep production going. Basically the North's economic situation was stable enough and industrially solid enough come outproduce the dying southern economy.


Daniel White (author) top top June 08, 2018:

I'd speak they every were, as was shown in the Confederacy's initial winning streak of battle after battle. The South seemed to have all their benefits at the appropriate time as soon as the battle started, which take it the Union a few years to overcome when the Union forged the end their very own advantages. Also, these were every in the beginning of the war since towards the finish of the battle the South's ethical was dropping as their casualties continued to rise without men replacing those lost on the battlefield, the Union marched into and also began damaging some that the geographic benefits (the "scorched earth" policy), and the South's leaders were being defeated, especially Stonewall Jackson once he was killed by his own guys on accident.

bob on June 06, 2018:

Which to be an benefit for the southern at the start of the civil War?

CJ Kelly native the PNW on might 29, 2016:

Great hub. I constantly thought it was the perspective of the Confederate soldier (both officer & grunt). That's the just thing that really sustained them after 1863. It's amazing they it s long as long as they did. The Union overcame substantial geography early in the War. They take it Vicksburg, brand-new Orleans and controlled the Mississippi through 1863.

Really great job. Common everywhere.

See more: The Most Commonly Practiced And Dangerous Driving Behavior Is

Daniel White (author) on might 28, 2016:

While the north did have actually a an extremely prosperous industrial society emerging, the South's cotton sector was still invaluable since it sustained not only the North's industry however the world's, specifically in the farming textile industry. Together for European countries supporting the Confederacy, slavery was no an issue. France had their interests in the South since of Napoleon III's interest in Mexico, and was even close to sending French troops to assistance the south through Mexico. Also, the Haitian change still left bitter feelings end the freedom of servants for the French. Britain's attention was economical, mostly with the textile and also cotton sector which was fueled by the South's slaves, and even still supported enslavement until 1862 when the African servant Trade contract Act suppressed the Atlantic servant Trade for good. Thanks for your comments and also insight!

Howard Schneider native Parsippany, new Jersey on may 27, 2016:

Very amazing Hub about the advantages the Confederacy had during the civil War. I think the psychological and geographical benefits of defending your home ground were the most key. The is true noodle was a very strong commodity for them however the North's in its entirety industrial wealth complex far outweighed the cotton industry. That is true that part in Europe might have assumed the idea of sustaining the southern to it is in a sound one, yet in the end they might not assistance a culture that to be supporting slavery as way of life. Great job, Daniel.