Although the Confederacy won many decisive battles during the war such as Chicamauga, Chancellorsville, and the Second Battle of Bull Run and were able to fight a mainly defensive war, it was still evident from the start of the war that the South had no chance of winning without recognition and aid from foreign powers. The advantage of greater population, efficient government, and industry and internal improvements in the North allowed for a strong advantage in the war. .
During the Civil War, the northern population was almost five times that of the south, not including the slave population in the south. As a result of this population disparity, the northern military planners were aware that they could sustain heavy casualties as long as the southern armies were losing a similar amount of men because the north had a greater ability to replenish casualties. This is specifically evident in the battles of Gettysburg and Antietam where the numbers of casualties sustained on both sides were comparable but the north saw these as more of a success because they had succeeded in depleting the manpower in the southern army. Also, the northern armies were given an advantage because of the 800,000 immigrants who fought in the war as well as the 180,000 African Americans who escaped slavery in the last few years of the war and joined the Union army. The general population of the north was also larger and therefore provided for the supplies for the northern army. There were as many as 1.3 million workers in the north as compared to only 110,000 in the south. Clearly the Union army had the advantage pertaining to population both on and off the battlefield.
The Union government had been established almost 90 years prior to the war and was therefore more stable and prepared for what fighting a war would entail. As a result of the Confederacy having an infant government, its monetary system was not established or backed by gold and silver bouillon and its leaders were less equipped for their jobs because they had little experience as executives in government.