What Modernity Meant to the Civil War:
Understanding how American Warfare became Modern
The definition of modern is relative to the time and space in which a historian might describe a society, situation, or technology, or as the Oxford Dictionary defines it as, “Of or relation to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.” The problem with this, however, is that it is often difficult to look back on an historical event and differentiate between what was actually modern about that time and how historians impose a sense of modernity on an event that was the opposite. In Bruno Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern, Latour explores the origins of modernity and how it “is always being thrown into the middle of a fight,” somehow “defining, by contrast, an archaic and stable past.” Only one removed from the historical event can look at it as an outsider, and even then it is difficult to remove ties that relate current history to that of the past. The readers of history cannot help but see it with a lens that is tinted with the problems of today.
When tens of thousands of books have been written about a four year or so period of history, it makes it a lot easier to derive some sort of unbiased narrative through the analysis of the existing texts in comparison to one another. The Civil War stood on the brink of a time between “attaque a outrance” and Napoleonic war methods and the movement towards total war and tactics applicable during the 20th century World Wars. Its ability to be labeled both pre-modern and modern comes from the Civil War’s transitional ideologies and location in history marked by both social and economic revolutions. Paddy Griffith and Edward Hagerman offer varied accounts of war that either characte...
... middle of paper ...
...n his volunteer-troops, rather than an “exceptionally well drilled and experienced army.” The Civil War required a “quickly improvised…realistic standard for mid-nineteenth century America.” Which, as Griffith points out, they either did “ineffectively or reverted to outdated tactics disastrously.” The developments of technology certainly had a very large role in the way the war was fought but what truly caused the shift from Napoleonic to modern warfare was the fact that America was not Europe and the battle was for a cause much more powerful than land acquisition and discourse with another nation, but rather ideological dissonance within. Both authors analyzed how the United States’ differed from the countries across the Atlantic in order to provide some explanation regarding the nature of the Civil War and why it took so many lives before it came to an end.
The American Civil War is one of the biggest turning points in American history. It marks a point of major separation in beliefs from the North and the South and yet somehow ends in a major unification that is now called the United States of America. It still to date remains the bloodiest war in American History. The book “This Republic of Suffering, death and the American Civil War” by Drew Gilpin Faust better explains the change in thought from the American people that developed from the unexpected mass loss in soldiers that devastated the American people. Throughout this review the reader will better understand the methods and theory of this book, the sources used, the main argument of the book, the major supporting arguments, and what the
Throughout the American Civil War, the north proved victorious and superior to the south. The Union had the power and wealth, and, “he who has the money has the power” proved so as the north defeated the south and embraced the trophy of power. There were many key factors in this accomplishment, the factories, the money, the resources, the commanders, the manpower, the skill and determination, but most importantly, the weapons.
Margaret Mitchell once said: “They knew that love snatched in the face of danger and death was doubly sweet for the strange excitement that went with it.” The Civil war was a trying time for the American people, whether they were on the battlefield or at home. Although the name is quite deceiving, there was nothing civil about this war.I was fought with the violence and brutality that would define a century. Abraham Lincoln and Robert Lee take interesting stances on their Civil War texts Gettysburg Address and Lee’s Letter to His Son.
The Union Army was able to match the intensity of the Confederacy, with the similar practice of dedication until death and patriotism, but for different reasons. The Union soldiers’s lifestyles and families did not surround the war to the extent of the Confederates; yet, their heritage and prosperity relied heavily on it. Union soldiers had to save what their ancestors fought for, democracy. “Our (Union soldiers) Fathers made this country, we, their children are to save it” (McPherson, 29). These soldiers understood that a depleted group of countries rather than one unified one could not flourish; “it is essential that but one Government shall exercise authority from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific” (Ledger, 1861).
On April 12, 1861, Abraham Lincoln declared to the South that, the only reason that separate the country is the idea of slavery, if people could solve that problem then there will be no war. Was that the main reason that started the Civil war? or it was just a small goal that hides the real big reason to start the war behind it. Yet, until this day, people are still debating whether slavery is the main reason of the Civil war. However, there are a lot of facts that help to state the fact that slavery was the main reason of the war. These evidences can relate to many things in history, but they all connect to the idea of slavery.
Book Title: The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research. Contributors: Robin Higham - editor, Steven E. Woodworth - editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1996
Simpson, Brooks D., Stephen W. Sears, and Aaron Sheehan-Dean, eds. The Civil War: Told by Those Who Lived It. New York: The Library of America, 2011. Print.
“War at its basic level has always been about soldiers. Nations rose and fell on the strength of their armies and the men who filled the ranks.” This is a very powerful quote, especially for the yet young country of the United States, for it gives credit where credit is truly due: to the men who carried out the orders from their superiors, gave their blood, sweat and tears, and in millions of cases their lives while fighting for ideals that they believed their country or government was founded upon, and to ensure the continuation of these ideals. Up until the end of the 20th Century, they did so in the worst of conditions, and this includes not only the battle scene, but also every day life. In this essay, I will examine the daily life of the Civil War soldier, including: identifying WHO he was, drill and training, camp life, supplies he used, clothes he wore, food he ate, on the battlefield, psychological aspects including morale and his attitude toward the war, and his sexual life. That’s right, you read it correctly: HIS SEX LIFE!
Was the Civil War the first modern war or the last Napoleonic War? This question has plagued historians for years. Joseph Dawson, author of the article “The First of the Modern Wars?” argues that the Civil War was the first Modern War. His view is the commonly accepted one. Alternatively, in his book Battle Tactics of the Civil War, Paddy Griffith compares the tactics used in the Civil War to those used during Napoleon’s time. He counters the common belief and argues that even though the Civil War had new weapons and techniques, it was still a Napoleonic war. He draws the conclusion that even though Civil War soldiers used weapons that were more advanced; they were still using Napoleonic tactics. By examining the rifles used during the Civil War, the way Commanders chose to control their mass armies and the drill books the soldiers trained from, it is evident that the Civil War was indeed the last Napoleonic War.
The American Civil War was the bloodiest military conflict in American history leaving over 500 thousand dead and over 300 thousand wounded (Roark 543-543). One might ask, what caused such internal tension within the most powerful nation in the world? During the nineteenth century, America was an infant nation, but toppling the entire world with its social, political, and economic innovations. In addition, immigrants were migrating from their native land to live the American dream (Roark 405-407). Meanwhile, hundreds of thousand African slaves were being traded in the domestic slave trade throughout the American south. Separated from their family, living in inhumane conditions, and working countless hours for days straight, the issue of slavery was the core of the Civil War (Roark 493-494). The North’s growing dissent for slavery and the South’s dependence on slavery is the reason why the Civil War was an inevitable conflict. Throughout this essay we will discuss the issue of slavery, states’ rights, American expansion into western territories, economic differences and its effect on the inevitable Civil War.
...deration, and finally, the U.S. Constitution. However, a more philosophical analysis can be drawn about the Civil War. In essence, the War challenged the idea of whether self-government and democracy prevail over pandemonium. And in the words of James Buchanan “Our example for more than eighty years would not only be lost, but it would be quoted a conclusive proof that man is unfit for self-government.” The sheer legacy of the United States of America was imperiled and the Union was on a macrocosmic stage, with spectators seeing if the avant-garde idea of a democratic would draw to a close or perpetuate through onerous times. The Civil War was a test, and the tenuous America indeed passed it, knowing that more hurdles have been bound to come. But, there has been hope that success has always been possible and the American Dream has maintained for generations to come.
I felt like the author could clearly show the true contributing factors of the civil war. As an admirer of history, I could use utilize his book for references later on in my academic studies. The book is 127 pages chronicling the events that led to the civil war. Holt gives novices history readers a wonder firsthand look into the world of young America pre-civil war. His book brought out new ways to approach the study of pre-civil war events. The question whether the Civil War was inevitable or could have been derailed was answered in The Fate of Their Country. Holt places the spotlight on the behaviors Politicians and the many congressional compromises that unintendedly involved the actions of the residents of American. These factors at hand placed the Civil war as inevitable. Most of the politician’s views in The Fate of Their Country were egotistical and shortsighted which left gaps in American’s social future. To consider the subject of why, first we need to understand the contributing causes, America’s great expansion project, the Manifest Destiny the driving factor behind the loss of virtue and political discord.
The American Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, or simply the Civil War in the United States, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865, after seven Southern slave states declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America . The states that remained in the Union were known as the "Union" or the "North". The war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. Foreign powers did not intervene. After four years of bloody combat that left over 600,000 soldiers dead and destroyed much of the South's infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and the difficult Reconstruction process of restoring national unity and guaranteeing rights to the freed slaves began.