Economics and The Civil War
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Economics and the Civil War term papers illustrate that economically, the North fared much better. The Southern economy was almost wholly dependent upon King Cotton, and many Southerners believed that foreign recognition of the CSA would result from global cotton shortages, failing to realize that there was a world glut. The South had no heavy industry to speak of. The Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond was the largest such facility south of the Mason-Dixon line, but was soon overwhelmed with war orders.
The North had some 99,564 industrial establishments in 1860, the South some 16,532. Even adding the 6,532 establishments in the Border States (Kentucky and Missouri) to the South (and they were not) does not even begin to match the Industrial capacity of the North. Further, not only did the South lack a financial and industrial system that was equal to the North, they lacked a comparable transportation system. The South had no real railroad network, as many of the lines had different gauges. This problem had been addressed and corrected throughout the North in the years prior to the Civil War, so that not only could the North produce more men and war material, but could transport them to the front lines quicker and more efficiently.
As many economics of the Civil War term papers have pointed out, the Confederacy’s problems in the areas of transportation, finance and production were “fundamentally insoluble” unless the war was short. Bruce Catton classified the problems faced by the CSA as Yankee problems “concerns of the broker, the money changer, the trader, the mechanic, the grasping man of business; they were matters that such people would think of, not matters that would command the attention of aristocrats who were familiar with valor, the classics, and heroic attitudes”.