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I have a question about a practice test!! Why is the correct answer C? I chose D. I don't know the difference between C and D.

In June 1863, a Confederate army under the command of General Lee encountered a jnion army commanded by General Meade near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The ensuing battle, which lasted three days, is considered the most important single engagement of the American Civil War in that it effectually ended the Confederates' last major invasion of the North. Once the Southern Confederate army's offensive strategy was destroyed at Gettysburg, the Southern states were forced to fight a defensive war in which their weaker manufacturing capacity and transportation infrastructure led ultimately to defeat.

General Lee had ordered his Confederate army to invade the northern state of Pennsylvania in the hope of enticing the Union army into a vulnerable position. The strategy was also aimed at increasing the war weariness of the North and ultimately at leading Abraham Lincoln's government into concluding a peace deal and recognizing the independence of the Confederate South.
We can infer from the passage that, at Gettysburg, the Union army largely played which kind of strategy?
A. An offensive strategy
B. A strategy of hit and run
C. A defensive strategy
D. A strategy of wait and see

2 Answers by Expert Tutors

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Naina B. | Naina, a versatile tutorNaina, a versatile tutor
4.8 4.8 (155 lesson ratings) (155)


In my mind there is a subtle difference in "wait and see" and a  defensive strategy. In most instances, "wait and see" would imply no action but watch and react.  On the other hand "defensive strategy" would imply defend your resources when you cannot destroy your enemy's resources/artillery whatever. The last  sentence in first paragraph implies that offensive strategy failed and therefore, states were forced to adopt a defensive war policy.  I think that is why C is correct and D is not.

I hope it helps.






Thank you, Naina!!
It easy to understand "wait and see would imply no ACTION but watch and react."
That's why C  is much better than D!!
William S. | Experienced scientist, mathematician and instructor - WilliamExperienced scientist, mathematician and...
4.4 4.4 (10 lesson ratings) (10)
I agree with you Saori.  It is sort of difficult to see the difference between "A defensive strategy" and "A strategy of wait and see."  If we were talking about the immediate aftermath of the battle, D. would probably be the better answer.  Nevertheless, during the battle itself, the Union Army (also known as the "Army of the Potomac") followed a decidedly defensive strategy.  General Meade was perfectly content to allow his army to remain in their strong defensive positions while General Lee attacked and attacked and attacked again, virtually destroying his own army (the Army of Northern Virginia) in the process.  It was the biggest mistake General Lee ever made for every one of his attacks was repulsed with great loss of life, and nothing to show for it.


Thank you, william!!
I agree  with your opinion that D would be better as an answer when we are talking about the aftermath of the battle.
Thank you!!