The North had several advantages in the war against the South. First, it had a large population of nearly 21 million people as compared to a paltry 9 million people in the South. Secondly, it had a huge industrial base. It had factories which produced mass weapons while the South had few facilities capable of providing the arms it needed for the war. The North also had more financial resources to finance their activities. The North was able to organize its army as their states could recognize a central government easily. It also had a better transportation system. This enhanced quick and easy transportation of soldiers and essential supplies. Not fighting on their own soil meant that their industrial and transportation resources were protected.
Furthermore was also better recognized by foreign governments as an established nation thus was able to obtain foreign credit and aid. Finally, the North controlled the seas and they could blockade ports preventing the South from getting imported supplies.
But the North also had several drawbacks in the war. First, its military and political objectives were difficult to achieve as it involved destroying South’s capacity and intent to resist and this was difficult. In addition, those who chose to enlist as soldiers lacked the experience needed to fight in a war. It took some time to train the troops.
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On the other case, the South had several areas where it had the upper hand. First, it could produce all the food to feed its soldiers and civilians. It also had a large number of trained officers as seven of the eight military colleges in the country were there. Its greatest strength was the fact that it was fighting in its own territory which helped in launching offensives against the invading North.
It, however, had some major weaknesses. First, they had a poor transport system. This made moving supplies to the soldiers and the civilians difficult. Secondly, it was struggling to put their government and wage a war at the same time. There was also concern about their slave population revolting. Finally, they lacked good manufacturing capabilities and had little iron and steel production for weapons.
Ultimately, the North won the war. This was due to several reasons. Its diplomacy was highly successful, unlike the Southern diplomacy which largely failed. The South was unable to achieve European diplomatic recognition. The North also had a large pool of resources and a steady expansion of its population. This ensured that they were able to replenish their troop numbers. Northern navy controlled the seas thus were able to blockade ports preventing supplies from being imported by the South. This severely weakened the South.