Explain Why The Confederate Lost The War

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Why The Confederacy Lost the War

Confederate General Robert E. Lee in his farewell speech to the Confederate troops at Appomattox, Virginia in April 1865 summarized why the Confederacy lost when he stated “The Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources” (Lee, Robert E. Orders No. 9 –Lee’s Final Order to the Army of Northern Virginia,” Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 10, 1865 in Boritt, page 19). The Union simply had more manpower with a population of 22 million versus the Confederacy’s 10 million. Additionally, the North could just out-produce the South with the North’s more abundant and productive industry by a factor of more than three to one. (David Donald, below, page 21).
Abraham Lincoln in his annual message to Congress in December 1864 stated “that we have more men now than we had when the war began; that we are not exhausted, nor in the process of exhaustion; that we are gaining strength, and may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely. This is as to men. Material resources are now
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But “when the South attached less significance to its defeat than the North did to its victory, Confederate morale would no longer match the task of maintaining public will at a level necessary for victory.” (Richard Beringer, Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, and William Still: “Why the South Lost the Civil War” , Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1986, page 49).
Additionally, the Confederates lacked a true sense of nationhood, for many Confederates could not agree on why they fought or what the Confederacy actually stood for. The Confederacy was in theory a nation only on paper, for “it was not in the hearts and minds of its would-be citizens. These deficiencies reflected a national will that did not equal the demands placed upon it.” (page 64 of Berringer, Hattaway,
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