In 1861 the United States began splitting apart. The South felt oppressed by the "Yankee tyrants"ÃÂ. They claimed they were fighting for self-government, and felt it was necessary to secede from the Union. There was no doubt that secession would provoke civil war. However, the South lacked a high population, stable economy, an effective use of currency, an expansive railroad system, and a solid purpose for seceding to defeat the North. Although the South's succession from the Union was supposed to bring victory, the South never had a chance of winning the American Civil War.
The American Civil War was not like any war that had ever occurred before. Half a nation fought against the other half over the freedom of a small minority. The Southerners claimed they were succeeding from the Union because they wanted the right to govern themselves. The South presumed they would achieve victory once they succeeded and left the Union.
However, this was a misconception commonly believed to be true by many Southerners. The truth was the South never had the money, resources, or supplies to defeat the North.
The vast difference in population between the Union and Confederacy caused a great disadvantage for the South. The North had twenty million free men able to fight for the Union. Whereas, the South had only five million free men, and three million slaves. Yet, the three million slaves were not allowed to fight in the war. They were not thought of as people, but rather "things"ÃÂ. Therefore, the Union had almost four times as many men in the army than the South did. Casualties lost during the war were not regarded with as much concern to the North as they were to the South. The North was easily able to replace men in their army.