The Anaconda Plan


The North needed to create a motive for the South to rejoin the Union. To do this General Winfield Scott designed an offensive plan known as the Anaconda Plan.


The Anaconda Plan was a long-term plan that would weaken the South with as little blood shed as possible. Consisting of two main actions, the purpose of the Anaconda Plan was to break down the Southern economy. It was hoped that once the South ran out of supplies they’d join the Union once again.


The first action the Anaconda Plan took was to set up blockades that obstructed southern ports located down 3,500 miles of Southern coastline. A blockade is where there are armed soldiers preventing anything from happening at the port. When a blockade is formed no good or people can be imported or exported from the area.


Northern blockades as intended to do had a negative influence on Southern economy. Because the majority of all ports were closed, no agriculture goods could be exported. This caused the Southern money supply began to dry up. Unlike the North who had ample number of factories manufacturing ammunition, the South was dependent on foreign factories to provide them with ammo. Therefore, when blockades were formed cargo sent from foreign countries was stopped that the South desperately needed for war. Such cargo included food, clothing, weapons, and other necessities for war.


The second part of the Anaconda Plan was to recapture the Mississippi River. By doing so, the Confederacy would be cut in half making communication hard between the two sections. Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas would have trouble sending supplies and troops. All 60,000 Union troops took control from Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. This strategy also enabled the Union to transfer their own troops and good to the South.


In the end, the Anaconda Plan was important to the Union’s success and the South’s failure in the Civil War. By serving as an interstate highway to the North the Mississippi River enabled the Union to transport their own troops down south without having to battle with the Rebels. The Anaconda Plan also cut the Confederacy off from the rest of the world, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. This caused the South’s economy to plummet since it was mainly based around farming. In the long run, the Anaconda Plan helped to end the war quicker.