The Civil War accelerated technological advances in the United States
1. Thesis statement.
The great American civil war was a period of great unrest both socially and politically. However, this was the period where America got to witness a lot of technological innovation as well as advancement. The war, which was the last of its kind, managed to leave a great impression not only in the casualties of the war but society as we know it today. Some of the technologies developed during the period have been improved over the years into technology that is of core importance to society today. On the other hand, the lethal technologies were able to leave catastrophic marks society in general.
Argument in the support of the thesis.
During the civil war technological advances were made in many fields including food and medicine, however, there are a number of fields whose technological advancements directly affected the war. These include weaponry, transport and communication. Communication, which had started slightly before the civil war played an important role of ensuring that information regarding the war, was carried far and wide (Zylstra, 2004). This was all thanks to the invention of the newspaper which ensured that all information regarding the law was made public. This was also important in the requesting of civilians to enroll for the war. Communication was also advance in form of the invention of the telegraph. This enhanced the communication between troops or platoons as well as the between the soldiers in the field and the base. This was important for the war for information that had previous had the risk of being passed on to the wrong hands or would take long to reach particular destinations now took a shorter period.
The second group of technological advancements during the war was in the transport sector. Here, major steps were taken in the invention of the railroad, balloons and submarines. The railroad was one of the largest innovations that helped tipped the scale in the civil war. When the war started, the north had already constructed 22,000 miles of railroad as compared to the 9,000 miles. Most of the locomotive factories were also situated in the north. While the northern railroad tracks were standard gauge which allowed any train car to ride on, the southern tracks were standardized meaning that passengers and goods had to constantly switch tracks. During the war, union soldiers used the tracks for transportation of supplies as well as troops from one destination to the other. This gave them an advantage over the confederates.