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Chapter 14 - Summary Give Me Liberty!: an American History

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James Moore
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Why is the Civil War considered the first modern war?
1
st
mass armies confronting each other with weapons created by the industrial revolution
The Two Combatants
Advantages of the North
o Population: 22 million
Confederacy’s population: only 9 million (3.5 million slaves)
o Better resources
Manufacturing
Railroad mileage
Finances
Advantages of South
o North had to invade and conquer an area larger than western Europe
o Confederate soldiers were highly motivated fighters—defending families and homes
Recruitment was first patriotic and many volunteered, later both sides resorted to draft
o North: consisted of farm boys, shopkeepers, artisans, urban workers
o South: consisted of non-slaveholding small farmers with slaveowners dominating officer corps
Technology of War
Railroad junctions in Atlanta and Petersburg became major military objectives
o Railroads transported troops and supplies
Famous sea battle between Union’s vessel Monitor and the Confederate’s vessel Merrimac, 1862
o Superiority of ironclad ships v. wooden vessels
Telegraph used for military communication
Observation balloons to view enemy lines
Primitive hand grenades and submarines
Revolution in arms manufacturing—the rifle
o Replaced tradition musket (only accurate at short range)
o Rifle could shoot 600 yards away
o Made important heavy fortifications and trenches
Death toll of war: 750,000 (equivalent to 7 million today)
Death toll exceeds the total number of Americans who died in all the nation’s other wars (Revolution to Iraq)
Medical care primitive
o Measles, dysentery, malaria, typhus killed more soldiers than combat
First war where large numbers of Americans captured and held in military prisons
The Public and the War
Propaganda efforts to mobilize public opinion (lithographs, souvenirs, sheet music, pamphlets)
o Reaffirmed Northern values, depicted Democrats as treasonous, accused South of crimes against Union
soldiers and civilians
Newspapers reported results of battles and long lists of casualties
Mobilizing Resources
At the outbreak of war, both sides were unprepared
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Chapter 14 - Summary Give Me Liberty!: an American History

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