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News Link • American History

Why the Confederacy Lost

• arclein

here have always been those who emphasized internal factors in explaining why the Confederacy lost. Immediately after the war, many influential Confederates blamed southern defeat on the manifold failures of President Jefferson Davis. In the 1920s, Frank Owsley blamed Confederate defeat on the doctrine of "state rights" — the alleged obstructive policies of governors that handicapped the ability of the Confederate government to mobilize men and resources for war. In 1960, David Donald offered a corollary to state rights, attributing the South's loss of the war to an "excess of democracy" — too much individualism, dissent, and criticism of the government.

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