In terms of geography and available capital how could it be effectively argued that the South was defeated before the Civil War began?
The Civil War of 1881-1865 is one of the most important events in the American history. The end of the war caused the abolishment of slavery and provided the black and the native population of the United States with freedom to vote and to work. These amendments to the US Constitution are considered to be further important steps to that democracy the United States are so well-known with. Besides, the Civil War was a good arena, which allowed famous persons of that time to demonstrate their talents and deeds. Such personalities as Ulysses Grant, Robert Lee and Abraham Lincoln were shaped by this epoch of war as well as their actions create the history. Since the end of the war historians argue whether the South could win the Civil War or the defeat was predestinated. Some scientists blame internal factors, which lead to the defeat of the Confederates, and others argue that external factors are in charge of the war results. All in all, historians agree that there were objective reasons of the Southern defeat and the war could not be ended in another way.
First of all, Northern states had better economical conditions before the beginning of the war. The Confederates had no powerful factories to produce weapon and other ammunition. The economical well being of Southern states depended on cotton and tobacco and these resources could not provide soldiers with guns and uniform. On the other hand, the economy of the North was in blossom: many new factories were opened before the beginning of the war. In addition, the railroads and the connection in general were much more developed than on the South. It was very helpful during the war because the weapon, food and uniform for soldiers were transported faster.
Despite the fact that the technological innovations allowed armies to move faster and further the geographical problems should be mentioned as well as a factor of the South defeat in the Civil War. The United States covers the vast territory. Complicating problems generated by the great distances hindered movements of the armies. Mountains and high hills, which cover area, formed a natural division between what would be later famous as the Eastern and the Western Theatres of Operation (Griess 2). The great distances caused big problems for both armies but the Northern army had an advantage in speed because their technologies were better.
Finally, the Confederates deprived themselves of Western European support and money by making a diplomatic mistake. The Government of the South was sure that Europe is fully dependent on the cotton produced by the states. It was offered that most powerful European countries would support the Confederates with money and weapon and in turn, the Europe would get more cotton. The Northern States were not of course interested in such an alliance. Therefore, everything was done to cancel these negotiations. In the end, Europe found other sources for cotton and did not participate in the war.
Actually, the Southern army had no chance to win the Civil War. The only hope for the Confederates was the quick finish of the military actions. In that case the recourses of the South would be enough to overcome the North. But geographical and economical reasons did not allow Southern generals to win. Problems caused by great distances, economical underdevelopment and political failures were impossible to solve and this caused the defeat of the South.
Griess, Thomas E. The American Civil War. New York: Square One Publishers Inc, 2002. Print.