The ways both the a Union and the Confederacy went about in the mobilization of their economies and societies in preparation for the Civil War differed greatly. Each side had its own advantages, with the Union appearing to have significantly more. Industrial growth in the years leading up to the conflict almost all took place in the Union, and not the Confederacy. The South seemed to have their work cut out for them. The Union had the advantages of large population (more troops), increased industry in all aspects of life, more railways for ease of mobilizing its forces, and decreased focus on agriculture. The Southern effort to mobilize its economy and society for the war was thought to be in vain. They did not have many places to manufacture firearms and ammunition, and there was no strong form transportation that linked all the states together; as there was with railroads in the North.
This created a delayed reaction time during the war and made things much harder for Southerners who were willing to take part in the war effort. The Southern economy suffered greatly due to its inability to export any cotton, it’s most valuable good, to Europe. Despite these many disadvantages, the South did have some hope leading up to the war. The Union was primarily on the offensive side of this conflict for the entirety of it. The war was fought predominantly in the South; the Confederacy was on the defensive side of this conflict. Due to the fact that they were protecting their homes, they had more motivation to fight with a fire inside themselves that the Union did not have.
The Confederate army also had the advantage of knowing the terrain very well and being effective in navigating it. Also, the South was vastly outnumbered in terms of manpower, but at times it seemed unnecessary to have more men. Their defensive approach to the conflict didn’t require as many men. They were defending their land and had many tactics they could use against the Union army. They could strategize more efficiently than their Union adversaries and use vantage points and difficult terrain (such as hills/mountains) to their advantage. The Southern forces were able to dig into the terrain and stand their ground for a time safely.
The Confederate army also gained the support of the vast majority of Southerners, only aiding in the war effort. The North also had some disadvantages despite its apparent advantages p. The North faced an uphill battle (literally, at times), as they found themselves on the offensive side of the conflict. They had difficulty getting supplies to their forces with ease despite the railroads that were available for them to utilize. Getting supplies to the Union army stationed on the south was quite a lengthy process and took a great deal of time often. The Union army also wasn’t comfortable and didn’t know the terrain like the back of their hands, as the Confederates did. Though the South had its advantages, but in the end, it’s lack of industrialism and heavy reliance on the practice of slavery to produce the majority of its income led to its downfall.
They had the support of the people, knew the terrain well, and had the ability to act more strategically. The North had the advantages of a highly industrial society which produced all goods with relative quickness, a strong railroad system which linked the states together, a gigantic population compared to the South, and a better economy pre-war as opposed to the already declining Southern economy. The South may have had the support of its people along with terrain advantages, but its incompetence and inability to produce the goods necessary for a war ultimately led to a victory for the Union, and the resecuring of the US as a whole.