Why the Confederacy Lost the War

Why the Confederacy Lost the War
Many historians have tried to offer their ideology on the outcome of the Civil War. McPherson in his ?American Victory, American Defeat? writes about what other historians have decreed their answers to why the Confederacy lost. He tells us the reasons that could not be the explanation for the loss, and explains the internal reasons but leaves the true cause of the loss untold. Freehling explains the defeat by discussing what could have been and then gives reasons to negate some of the cases that he states for the outcome of the Confederacy. Both McPherson and Freehling both agreed that there were other factors besides battles that needed to be looked at.
Each author agreed that the battles were not the only reason for the fall and death of the Confederacy. While battles were being fought on the battlefields, the home fronts were had their own battles to fight. McPherson discusses what he calls as the ?internal conflict? thesis, which blames the uneasiness among the southerners. The government was being blamed. Southerners were opposing conscription, taxes, and habeus corpus. McPherson points out that these could not have been reasons for the loss. The same thing was happening in the North. Therefore this internal conflict with the home front government does not have a plausible role in why the South lost the war. If the North was fighting the same type of opposition at home, then shouldn?t the war have ended in a stalemate? Also, the non-slaveholding whites and the slaves were feeling alienated. Rich slaveholders who wanted to keep slave labor alive were fighting the war. The two alienated groups were fighting a war on the wrong side. The non-slaveholders opposed secession. The United States could protect them from the rich plantation owners, the taxes, and the inflation due to a new nation that was not able to survive when it had nothing to start with. Again, though, McPherson says that this could not be the reason either because the same was true during the Revolution, but the fight for independence in the 18th Century was a successful fight. So why couldn?t this fight be one?
Freehling looks at the economical factors of the Confederacy during the war to explain that the home front was not able to withstand the hard times so therefore it flowed into the cause on the battlefield. With many of the plantation owners gone, the wives were left to control the plantation and the slaves. These slaves ran away leaving the fields unworked and soldiers and families hungry. Also the railroads were being destroyed in the west and by Sherman?s March to Sea. Already plagued with low sources of food, the ability to move food to troops was virtually impossible. Freehling believes that military outcomes formed social outcomes (Freehling, 221). I disagree here with Freehling because everything he talks about seems to go the opposite way. Slave desertion, lack of food, and railroad devastation were social outcomes but they were the cause, and the battles were the effect. The feelings at home spilled onto the battlefield. Why put so much emphasis on circumstances that are obviously spurred on by what is going on at home.
Both McPherson and Freehling both state issues that could be reasons for the loss of the Confederacy, but in the next sentence after they state a cause, they negate it with why that could not be true. McPherson talks about Lincoln and his re-election and his role as the Union president versus the Confederate president, Davis. Then Davis could have gone done in history as the next George Washington (McPherson, 39). Lincoln did win and he was the better commander-in-chief than Davis was. It is impossible to add this to a possible cause for war, because it did not happen. As a reader, there is no need for the writer to add this in because it did not happen. Also, he discussed the re-election of Lincoln. If he lost, the war policy would be taken back and a peace negotiation would have happened between the Union and the Confederacy. The war would have ended with two separate nations instead of one joined nation. Again this did not happen, and cannot be discussed. Why talk about what could have happened, when there still is not straight answer to why the Confederacy lost.
Freehling placed some emphasis on the politics with the War Democrats, like McClellan. He said that McClellan won some were saying that he was not for peace, and then he was saying that he would have ended the war and accepted the independence of the South with less blood than Lincoln sought. But Lincoln did not lose and even if there were a possibility of losing the election, McClellan necessarily would not win the war. Also what McClellan preached does not mean that was what he was going to do in office.
In both of the instances, the two authors cannot speculate of what could have happened. These speculations cannot be cause for war or even effects of the war. It is not a plausible explanation.
In conclusion, I believe that neither authors gave sufficient ideas for why the Confederacy lost the war. McPherson stated what historians have said was the reasoning for the Confederate loss. He negates their ideas, but he never gives his ideas. So I still do not know what could have been the reason why the South lost. Freehling places a lot of emphasis on speculation and what could have been but wasn?t. He does say that the reason behind the loss was due to social conflicts and not battles. He is closer to telling us why the Confederacy loss than McPherson because he uses more of his owns ideas.

Why the Confederacy Lost the War 8.1 of 10 on the basis of 1047 Review.