What were the strengths of the North vs. the South at the start of the Civil War?I'm am looking for usable information on this topic, I am conducting research for a project, and would like your...

What were the strengths of the North vs. the South at the start of the Civil War?

I'm am looking for usable information on this topic, I am conducting research for a project, and would like your input and some reliable sources to use.

Asked on by sbershaw

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larrygates's profile pic

larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Among the advantages of the North were a much larger population and a larger industrial base. Ninety seven per cent of the nation's firearms manufacturing capacity together with 93% of its heavy industry were located in the North. Additionally, ninety six percent of rail lines and railroad equipment which could be used to transport troops quickly were in the North. The North had over 20,000 miles of Railroad track; the South had less than half that amount, most of which were short line runs.  The strongly centralized government of Washington also constituted an advantage.

In the South, the primary advantage was the superior ability of commanding officers. Men like Robert E. Lee (who had been offered command of Union forces by Winfield Scott, but turned it down) Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, and Pierre P.T. Beauregard were far more capable commanders than any in the North. Southern soldiers were far better marksmen than Northern draftees, plus the South had the advantage of fighting on its own turf. The true wonder is not that the South did not win the war; but that it lasted as long as it did. The above factors are the reason this happened.  

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toddnettles's profile pic

toddnettles | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

the north had slaves to fight alongside them. this means more troops to fight against the south. they also had abraham lincoln on their side. the south had many rebels to fight alongside them. following the capture of fort sumter many states went with the south.

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