Discussion The United States was inevitably going to win the war

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wbull1

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Although the Union had increasing advantages as the war progressed, it was no means certain that it would win. Early in the war, the Confederacy had advantages in unity and men trained and ready to fight. In my opinion, what looks inevitable now did not seem inevitable at the time. As others have mentioned, getting Border States to join the Confederacy, pushing on to Washington, DC, and/or gaining foreign recognition could have made a gigantic difference for the CSA,
 

wausaubob

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Although the Union had increasing advantages as the war progressed, it was no means certain that it would win. Early in the war, the Confederacy had advantages in unity and men trained and ready to fight. In my opinion, what looks inevitable now did not seem inevitable at the time. As others have mentioned, getting Border States to join the Confederacy, pushing on to Washington, DC, and/or gaining foreign recognition could have made a gigantic difference for the CSA,
Unfortunately, they knew when they advocated the unity of a slave south, that Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Missouri and the sugar districts of Louisiana did not agree. Henry Clay's internal improvement and growth of domestic production ideal was still popular in the many areas of the south.
 
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WJC

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Even though there is a wealth of information on the American Civil War and other 19th-century (and earlier) political/military actions, it is tempting to find comparisons with modern conflicts.
Please avoid introducing modern global political/military actions into discussions in this Forum.
 

wausaubob

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Even though there is a wealth of information on the American Civil War and other 19th-century (and earlier) political/military actions, it is tempting to find comparisons with modern conflicts.
Please avoid introducing modern global political/military actions into discussions in this Forum.
Thanks.
 
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wausaubob

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By 1870, the census Commissioner Walker admitted, the census procedures had almost no chance to measure the productive capacity of small businesses in the US, either in 1860 or 1870.
View attachment 345842

https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1870/wealth-industry/1870c-19.pdf?# see p. 373. Which suggests why ice harvesting was not reported in the 1860 census: it took place in the winter and the census was conducted in the summer.
What Commissioner Walker is writing is that the net production of tradesmen, in just four trades, was of the same order of magnitude, about $280,000,000.00 as the gross product of the cotton industry. In addition, these tradesmen, and their allies in dress making, cheesemaking, shoe repair, ice harvesting, we exactly the people who wanted slavery barred from the west, so they and their family could open businesses there.
The productivity of the building trades, and of small business generally, in the north, was what caused the huge visual difference between the north and south as observed by Olmstead and others.
 

wausaubob

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The first part of the contest was going to be about the border states. Success was going to be based on which side had the most working age males, and could get the new regiments to the contested zone. The US had a huge advantage in that contest. It could lose battles such as Wilson's Creek and still form a new army, larger than the army that had lost. The people in Kentucky could count. There was no real question that the Confederates would not be able to defend Kentucky and the ruin of war would occur in their state. The US achieved the non secession of Kentucky with virtually no combat.
 
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wausaubob

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The second part of the war was based on naval deployment, both on the coasts and on the internal rivers. It was new ship building, and ship conversions that mattered. Because old ships were rapidly becoming obsolete. Armor and steam engines meant everything, in combat, and masts and broadsides meant very little. Most of the patrolling and fighting was going to take place in areas bounded by shallow bars, or on inland rivers. New ships, designed to maneuver in shallow water, were required.
The asymmetry took 15 months to become apparent. But Confederate raiders could at most sink individual US navy vessels, or capture merchant ships. The US navy was capturing cities and ports: Port Royal, New Orleans, Nashville, Pensacola, Norfolk, and Memphis.
 
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wausaubob

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The Civil War did not stop the expansion of railroads, it just stood in the way for four years. The Louisville and Nashville RR, and the Baltimore and Ohio RR, survived anyway and were more profitable. The ability of the railroad industry to grade, build and maintain railroads took an enormous step forward under the pressure of necessity.
 
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wausaubob

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The US army was fighting in cooperation with an expanding and powerful navy. It was fighting with the full cooperation of the world's largest railroad system, and the industries supporting vendors. Once all three forces were applied systematically to defeating the Confederacy, the Confederates did not last a full year.
 
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