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Week 4- The American Civil War

by: Austin McManus

Week 4- The American Civil War HIST 370

Marketplace > George Mason University > History > HIST 370 > Week 4 The American Civil War
Austin McManus
GPA 3.78
War in American Society
Zayna Bizri

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About this Document

This week's notes look at the American Civil War (1861-1865) by means of a couple of different angles including: 1) The intersection of technology and warfare in American society 2) The social an...
War in American Society
Zayna Bizri
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Austin McManus on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 370 at George Mason University taught by Zayna Bizri in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see War in American Society in History at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 09/23/15
HIST 370 Notes Week 4 The American Civil War 18611865 A Technology amp Warfare 0 The ways in which technology amp warfare are intertwined and the way they push each other to achieve their goals more effectively amp efficiently o In the 19th century advancements in technology had everything to do with the Industrial Revolution began appx in 1750 0 In both the civilian and military sectors advancements in infrastructure energy weaponry and medical care were amplified during the first half of the 19th century that would play a vital role in how the Civil War would be fought in relation to 18th century Europeanstyle strategy and tactics B Technological Advancements of the Civil War 0 Infrastructure 0 Railroads o Telegrams o Canals 0 Energy 0 Steam steamships 0 Coal railroadsfactories 0 Water factories o Weaponry o Ri ing muskets and artillery Percussion Cap Minie Ball Metallic Cartridge Repeating Ri es Ironclad Warships Interchangeable Parts Gatling Gun lSt machine gun HL Hunley lSt submarine o Balloon Aerial Reconnaissance 0 Medical Care 0 Amputations Prosthetic Limbs o Anesthesia C Social Forces amp Political Decision 0 Major social and sociopolitical questions arose during the former half of the 19th century that formulated the buildup of tensions leading up to the outbreak of the war 0 Balance of Political Power since the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the question of whether the federal government or the state governments held the bulk of political power this played a major role in the buildup of tensions that led to the Civil War as many Southern state governments felt that the federal government had too much power over the states and that the states were not getting enough representation in Congress 0 Sectionalism this political disparity regarding power along with other factors invigorated the vigorously defended idea amongst many Americans that their primary civic allegiance lay with their native state or 00000 region North or South as opposed to identifying oneself as an American it is not until during the Civil War that the modern concept of what being an American is comes into the public discourse and only after the Civil War does this idea start to gather majority public support 0 Economic Disparity as time passed from the end of the 18th century up to the eve of the Civil War the South became more and more dependent on cash crop agriculture ie cotton tobacco to the point that the success and profit of their economy depended on the productivity and efficiency of southern agriculture this resulted in power dynamics regarding economics that justified pushing for more power amongst the southern states 0 Slavery though certainly not the only sociopolitical force that led to the Civil War it was undoubtedly the most significant because it played into all of the others aforementioned 1 Slavery was an issue athand regarding representation in Congress because the Southern states fought for and received until 1865 counting their slave population in with their census data in order to be allotted more representatives in the House 35 Compromise 2 Slavery played a major cultural role on sectionalist tensions leading to the Civil War as culture plays a huge part in nationalistic identity historically the southern culture surrounding slavery sat at the center of sectionalism in the 19th century 3 Slavery was an essential aspect of the South s agricultural economy as it was an inexpensive labor force to harvest its cash crops What is important to bear in mind when discussions of why an historical event like the American Civil War began is that all authors including academic scholars have bias though not inherently negative all authors interpret history in different ways When a certain narrative about history is introduced and accepted by enough people whether or not it is relatively objective and credible has the potential to become historical truth at least with a portion of the population D War amp Remembrance The way in which the United States and the American people remember the wars the nation has engaged in has a lot to do with how Americans treat going to war both at the time and retrospectively Regarding the Civil War how Americans remember the events of the war imply a strong sentiment to America s willingness to cherish the loss of life in war and never forget the destruction that occurred mostly in the southern United States ie Sherman s March to the Sea Other wars in American history ie Revolutionary War Vietnam War invoke American desire to be seen as the nonaggressor more precisely the victim in order to provide for the common defense rather than be seen as a nation desiring to protect its interests by going to war in order to protect those interests A significant part of remembering the Civil War is reenacting done for many reasons ie feel connectionhonor ancestors who fought in the war educate the public about war and soldiering reenactment of the Civil War and other wars allows a narrative misleading or otherwise to be exposed to the public in order for critical thinking about war and its impact on American society


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