What factor or factors contributed most significantly to the defeat of the Confederacy?
At the time the US Civil War began, many in the south believed that they would be victorious, in large part because of the vast expanse of the Confederacy - about 750,000 square miles. Yet, the Union won. What gave the Union the victory?
Well, according to "Historian Richard Current, reviewing the statistics of Northern (or Union) strength, concluded that ‘surely in view of disparity of resources, it would have taken a miracle … to enable the South to win. As usual, God was on the side of the heaviest battalions’. - See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/alan-farmer … dpuf" The North simply had more soldiers, more armament, more supplies, more support, and more "heart". The North did the old "divide and conquer" thing and used the Southern expanse to their advantage. The South was also embattled from within as nearly half of all people living in the south were non-whites. So there you have it. Cunning and logic wins every time!
First 2 years on eastern front. 1st First Bull Run, The Seven Days, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam( a draw) Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville. All major battles won by the S w/ exception of Antietam. More heart? Cunning & logic? Nada. Re-check your facts.
The Confederates knew from the beginning that the North outstripped them in men and resources. Their hope of victory was always that the North either wouldn't fight at all, or that once war started, the North would not be willing to pay the price in blood of victory. That the North was willing to pay that price, especially in light of numerous military disasters in the first three years of the war, is attributable to the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. There were many points during the the war when the Union was on the brink of giving up. Lincoln brought them through by his inspirational leadership. Certainly other factors were hugely important, but the greatest single difference maker was Honest Abe.
Absolutely - Lincoln was key to Union victory. Had McClellan won the election of 1864, it's likely that there would have been at least a truce between sides, and possibly an end to the war with the Confederacy partially intact.
Keeping Kentucky neutral was something that the Confederates absolutely should have done - it was entirely in their power to do it. Controlling Maryland was a much more difficult thing, and the same with the UK alliance.