The American Civil War

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The American Civil War can be reasonably considered to be the first modern war due to the numerous interrelated changes and improvements in the naval technology. Any war probably brings changes to the military and naval technologies on both warring sides. One side begins to use something new, the other quickly adopts the technologies invented on the first side or invents something new to protect itself from the new military and naval developments. This scheme took place in the American Civil War bringing numerous changes to the naval technology of the time and making it the first modern war in history.

One of the fist developments in the naval technology of the Civil War was the improved naval artillery. In the 1850s innovations in naval artillery enabled the military to increase the accuracy, power and shooting range of the guns. One of those significant changes was made by John Dahlgren, a naval officer whose technique for reinforcing the cannon breach increasing the amount of gunpowder that could be hold by a cannon, which allowed to shoot larger shells at greater distances. So by the end of the war only John Dahlgren was responsible for the development and design of 12-pounder boat howitzer in several weigh classifications, 20- and 24-pounder howitzers. The beginning of use of the explosive shells followed shortly after the improvements in the artillery. Explosive shells had been developed in 1820s, but gained their popularity during the Civil War. Shells contained a fuse that detonated after the contact with the ship and was powerful enough to sink a wooden ship.

The next innovation followed shortly after the introduction of the modified artillery. Use of the new, longer-ranged cannons and explosive shells had dramatica...

... middle of paper ..., but took it to the completely new level making the Civil War the first modern war in history. All the changes in the naval technology on the both union and confederate sides were directly related to each other pushing the development of technology further throughout the war. So when either of the opposing sides began to use a new technology, the other needed another new technology to confront it. Just like the Confederates had to deploy torpedoes in order to protect their ports form the Union’s newly developed ironclads. So the huge effect of the Civil War on the naval technology can be explained by many different factors, but the main factor was the need of one of the warring sides to successfully confront the other. And this need was pushing the development of the technology further bringing more and more innovations and new inventions to the naval technology.
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