In virtually all the factors necessary to prosecute a war successfully, the Union outmatched the Confederacy. Their population was 21 million compared to 9 million in the South, of which 3.5 million were slaves. Their industrial capacity was eight times greater, producing 93 per cent of the country’s pig iron, 94 per cent of its cloth, 97 per cent of its guns. The North had twice the density of rail network and produced 96 per cent of the locomotives, it controlled the navy and thus could blockade southern marine supply lines. Although these critical deficits could not be outweighed, it helped to motivate the Confederacy’s military outreach into the mineral-rich western territories, most significantly in the 1862 New Mexico campaign. But this attempt was repulsed and the West would be settled to the North’s template, by the Homestead Act (1862) and the ‘free’ routed transcontinental railroad.
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