Advantages, Disadvantages of the Union

Union Advantages:

  • Leaders
    • Although the Confederacy had good leaders too, the Union had more. The Union states had leaders like Ulysses S. Grant, William Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and George Thomas, among others. The biggest leader though was President Lincoln. His utter determination to win was key in the Civil War. Having the support of the President, although things weren't always in the favor of the Union states, is a major point in the pursuit of victory.
  • Population
    • The Union had twenty-two million people in its population, versus the mere nine million of the Confederacy. With the freeing of slaves, and the allowance to serve in the army, the population of the army grew by an additional 200,000 men.
  • Industry
    • Their commerce and industrial base, along with railroads, was a huge advantage. By making many of their own supplies, they could replenish things far quicker than that of the Confederacy who had to rely on importation.

Union Disadvantages:

  • Pursuit
    • The Union states had to pursue and plan attacks, and come off as the aggressors to some.
  • Terrain
    • They didn't know the terrain of the Confederates land like the Confederate soldiers did. Not knowing the easiest or quickest way in and out of an area is a very big disadvantage, especially as you do not know where exactly you are most vulnerable.
  • Victory Was Needed
    • The Union states actually needed a victory. The Confederacy just had to hold off the Union states for as long as they could to secure their lands and rights. The pressure - economically, politically, and socially - to make such a feat had to have weighed heavily. 






Sources:

Ken Burns, “The Civil War. The War. Biographies of Key Figures.,”PBS, http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/mcclellan.html(accessed November 13, 2009).

Norton, Mary Beth, Carol Sheriff, David M. Katzman, David W. Blight, and Howard Chudacoff. A People and A Nation. 8th ed. Florence: Wadsworth Publishing, 2007.

Gavin, Philip. “U.S. Civil War 1861-1865.” The History Place.http://www.historyplace.com/civilwar/ (accessed November 8, 2009).

Freeman, Joanne. “Time Line of The Civil War.” Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/tl1861.html (accessed November 6, 2009).

Davis, William. “Why the South lost the Civil War.” History Net.http://www.historynet.com/why-the-south-lost-the-civil-war-cover-page-february-99-american-history-feature.htm (accessed October 29, 2009).

Streich, Michael. “Northern Advantages in the Civil War.” Suite 101.http://us-civil-war.suite101.com/article.cfm/northern_advantages_in_the_civil_war (accessed October 29, 2009).

Murphy, Andrew. “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Both Sides during the Civil War.” Socyberty. http://socyberty.com/history/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-the-both-sides-during-the-civil-war/ (accessed October 30, 2009).

McDowell, Deborah. “The Civil War: Advantages of the North and South.” Associated Content.http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/239097/the_civil_war_advantages_of_the_north.html?cat=37 (accessed November 1, 2009).
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