Confederacy - Essay Example

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Coupled with the overwhelming strength of the Union forces versus the desperate situation of the Confederate armies loss of men due…
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The Confederacy Collapsed Due to an Excess of Democracy and Insufficient Military Strength and Strategy The Confederacy collapsed from within mainly due to an undermining of the Jefferson Davis led government and his war policies by white southerners. Coupled with the overwhelming strength of the Union forces versus the desperate situation of the Confederate armies loss of men due to desertion and the dissatisfaction of civilian support for the war in the South; the Confederacy was fighting a losing battle on the home front that began shortly after the 1861 Blockade.
An absence of defined political parties hampered Davis’ ability to hold the Confederacy together politically and fight his enemies at home effectively. When his own Vice-President, Alexander Stephens became an outspoken critic of the Davis’ war polices, newspaper editors declared Davis a despot and added to the erosion of the Confederacy from within.
Food riots and the Impression Act of 1863 further alienated civilian support of Davis and his government. Southern citizens divided over the issue of his right to rule the Confederacy’s nationhood; either they believed he now held too much power and wanted more or they believed him weak and unable to govern successfully. The absence of centralized power defeated Davis’ ability to feed and clothe his armies, or gain support from European allies.
The loss of Stonewall Jackson on May 2, 1863 cost the commander of the Confederate forces, General Lee his most valuable soldier, and did a great deal to decompress Confederate military moral. June of 1863 saw Vicksburg captured by Grant and allowed the Union forces to control the Mississippi River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, and further hurt the Southern states ability to garner support and supplies from the western states. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on November 17, 1863, changed the idea of Union for Union’s sake to Union for Freedom’s sake, and revitalized the northern impetuous to continue the war through to its end. Grants push southward using Sherman’s forces never retreated after 1864, and Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865, sealed the fate of the Confederacy.
The collapse of the Confederacy was as inevitable as the Civil War itself. "We are not one people. We are two peoples. We are a people for Freedom and a people for Slavery. Between the two, conflict is inevitable." New York Tribune publisher Horace Greeley said that about the United States in 1854 and Davis could have paraphrased it when describing the political state of the Confederacy in 1864. Read More
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