Secession and Civil War Questions and Answers

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Identify at least 3 factors that led to the South’s defeat in the Civil War.

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are numerous factors that led to the South's defeat during the Civil War. Here are three of the bigger ones that contributed.

First, the South was defending a larger area. They had much more land than the North, therefore their army was spread out over a much wider area than that of the North. This made supply lines longer and spread troops thin.

Second, the South was less technologically advanced. While the South was full of strong, able-bodied soldiers, the North had embraced industry, and this gave them more access to metal and machinery for weapons and vehicles to aid in the war effort.

Finally, the ruthless tactics of the Northern army contributed to the South's defeat. When the Northern army came through the South, they would torch fields and destroy entire cities, ensuring that supplies were cut off and there were fewer places to retreat and recuperate.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The main reason why the South lost was because it lacked industry.  The South's economy was built on cotton, not on factories.  Therefore, it was not nearly as able to manufacture the things it needed for the war.  Because of that, it had to try to get them from abroad.

This brings up a second problem, which was its lack of a strong Navy.  The prewar US Navy mainly sided with the North, unlike the Army.  This made it so that the North could blockade the South relatively well and prevent it from receiving help from foreign countries.

Finally, the South's confederate system hurt them as well.  The states had too much power and so the national government was not really able to tax them enough to fund its war effort.  This (along with the other factors mentioned) helped lead to shortages for CSA soldiers of all sorts of things needed to fight the war.

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jessicaashleyy | Student

10 to 1 in industrail workers, fewers resources, and different ways of transportaton