How Did New Technology Affect The Civil War

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Technology in the Civil War The American Civil War is often called the first "modern war” where new technologies made their debut and contributed significantly to the outcome of the war. The ability of armies to adopt these new technologies is one of the five characteristic of the Western way of war. Technology as a principal foundation of the Western way of war best exemplifies warfare in the American Civil War as demonstrated by the repeating and breech loading rifles, submarines, and balloons. The Western way of war first proposed by Victor Hanson argued that “war in western societies has followed a unique path leading to western dominance of the globe.” The armies of the West have relied heavily on new technology, usually to compensate for inferior numbers or to counter an emerging technological threat. The use of technology played out during the Civil War and ultimately led to a Union victory. Technological improvements in weaponry such as the repeating and breach loading rifles had a major impact during the Civil War. The introduction of the repeating rifle in 1862 brought a technological advantage of increased range, rate of…show more content…
This technology gave commander’s situational awareness unparalleled at this time. In the past, commanders relied on Cavalry and scouts to relay information back, however it came at some risk. Professor Thaddeus S. Lowe credited with developing the Union balloon corps, developed a balloon for the union called the Intrepid from a civilian version. Use of the balloon included aerial scouting and artillery spotting. The aerial observer on his elevated platform could see for miles allowing him to report enemy troop movement or call for fire using signal flags or telegraph. By in large the balloon’s use is an example of civilian technology adapted for military

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