What Are The Similarities Between The Union And The Confederate Home Front During The Civil What?

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Frances Bott Profile
Frances Bott answered
The Civil War, which took place between 1861 and 1865. It was one of the most brutal times in the history of the United States with over 600,000 people losing their lives.

• Who were the opposing sides in the American Civil War
The American Civil War was a very bloody conflict between the Northern states (the Union) and the eleven Southern states that had seceded from the Union and which had formed the Confederacy.

• Causes of the Civil War
Historians are unable to agree on the basic causes of the American Civil War because there were so many different complex elements such as economic, political, social and psychological.

There had long been differences between the North and the South but they steadily grew stronger. At that time the South was predominantly agricultural, with a social order and economy based on plantations and slavery, whereas the North was more advanced both commercially and industrially.

Hostility between the two sides was most obvious over the issue of whether slavery should be abolished or extended in the federal territories in the West, which became more pronounced with the advent of the abolitionists in the 1830s.

It wasn't possible to adapt slavery in the territories, which made the South more concerned about keeping its position as an equal in the Union. Southerners strongly supported Texas being annexed because there was no doubt that it would be a slave state, and the Mexican War.

1852 saw the deaths of leaders Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, leaving only sectional spokesmen both in the North and the South. Arguments over fugitive slave laws heightened passions, which were made worse by the actions of Northern abolitionist John Brown and the proslavery words of Southern William L. Yancey.

Abraham Lincoln's election to the presidency in 1860 led to South Carolina seceding from the Union, followed by Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana.
Dash TwentyOne Profile
Dash TwentyOne answered

Similarities?

On various levels, there were likely many. 

Medical realities and loss of family, humiliations and demands on the populations. I may be missing the point of the question, I'm afraid.

Offhand, I can think of the differences: I am reminded of the difference between a shaky, industrialized union that suddenly found itself unprepared to fight off a bold enemy, and a passionate, yet hastily-assembled league of states, with a strong, agriculturally-based society that expected swift victory.

The conflict may have intrinsically been more about a growing clash of differences between the two regions, more than slavery, which certainly became a rallying point for the North.  And possibly created a greater sense of national defense, in the minds of Southerners.

Those living in the Northern homefront, experienced a series of stumbles and disappointments, at the beginning of the conflict; even moments of real fear, as the better-led and soldiered Army of Virginia, nearly fought its way to the Northern capital, and achieved their victory.

What began as a somewhat-excited Union reaction to Southern withdrawal, would become a humiliating chain of Northern frustrations, that turned into a long and depressing conflict. 

Lee's failure to achieve success at taking the Union capital, and then preserve the Army of Virginia, did not betray his brilliant handling of a force he knew was not as prepared for a protracted conflict, than his opponents. Although mistakes, were inevitable.

Beneath the layer of elaborate Southern society, was the dark misery of the slaves that supported its economy.  But the layer of established upper society, seemed charged with excitement, strength, and religious confidence.  Yet the failure of Southern agriculture to support its wartime people, and an increasingly-underpowered industrial base, resulted in a decrease of military ability that could seriously continue to pose a threat to the Army of the Potomac, and other, growing, Union forces.

Southern glory and band, steadily became a grinding, desperate attempt to fend off "Yankee" attacks on Southern cities. With the fall of Atlanta, a demoralized South, descended into starvation and bitter assaults by Union forces, that were increasingly permitted to ravage Southern territories, as tired Northern leaders succumbed to a bitter desire to bring the conflict to a successful conclusion.     

But the end of the war, did not bring an end to the animosities and frustrations, that the war ignited and inflamed.

I'm not sure, but that may have been the first time I summarized the subject, that way.

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