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Mar
25
comment What capabilities did Southern soldiers in the American Civil War have to get news about the North?
You might want to add that despite the official ban on communication, and the use of official communication channels that you discussed, news could still spread by word of mouth almost identically to how it had spread before. The borders were very porous in regards to the average civilian.
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
"The 9,000 miles of rail in the United States by 1850 led the world, but paled in comparison with the 21,000 additional miles laid during the next decade, which gave to the United States in 1860 a larger rail network than in the rest of the world combined." -- Obviously the size of the country helps here, although remember that the US was largely the E. Coast at this stage. The only countries that could compete with this potentially are England and Germany. Either way it's irrelevant to the question, all that matters is that the US had a dense system of rail, not that it was the most dense.
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
And the railroad density in the US was probably much higher than you suspect, I was pretty surprised when I read those numbers the first time, it was not what I had always assumed. I will try and find the numbers later. Regardless the question is what lessons came out of the Civil War, lessons are learned in combat and the Civil War was the first combat use for many of these technologies. The British invented the tank, but that does not mean they get the credit for the Blitzkrieg. America invented aircraft, but it was the French and the British that first used them as weapons.
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
Hand crafted interchangeable parts are not interchangeable to the level you seem to think they are. The French system was more about standardization and not interchangeability. The British had two Ironclads, which were experimental, the French had four. Neither of those count as a "full class" in my opinion but it's also irrelevant to the question. I never argued that the US invented ironclads, but it is an objective fact that the first large scale use of ironclads in combat was the Civil War. I included a quote from a contemporary British source as evidence of that.
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
You are free to disagree but until you start producing sources your arguments are just your impression of history with no evidence that they are in fact based on facts. Also, please read the answer fully, you keep bringing up points that I do not make.
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
As for the rest I will add direct supporting quotes. In general though I never argued that the American experience was unique, it was not. But it's beyond argument that the Civil War was the first wartime situation to see many of these things used en masse. I'm aware the Prussians had rifles, but what matters is the lessons learned from employing them, lessons they would not gain until later. Machine guns were used in the Boer War, that doesn't mean WWI is not what made them significant. It's little more than an accident of timing, but that does not negate its significance.
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
Despite the superficial similarities it is a fairly different approach, it is an American invention, and it was not used in Europe before being introduced by American arms companies. In England it is literally called "The American System of Manufactures" Wikipedia
Mar
22
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
In this case we're talking about two different versions of interchangeable parts. What you're describing is the broad sense of designing things modularly so that parts can be changed, but because each component is made by hand it's typically impossible to take a part from, for example, one rifle and move it to another and have it work without filing/modifying it to fit. The American system uses machines purpose built to create each part so that they are, in effect, identical and are truly interchangeable.
Mar
21
comment Napoleon's exploits in 1785
In referring to his comrade are you talking about Pasquale Paoli? That's at least the spelling I see most commonly.
Mar
21
comment Given Hitler's Austrian ancestry, why did he develop German nationalism rather than Austrian nationalism?
The history/psychology barrier seems arbitrary and somewhat irrelevant here. History is a social science, it will always involve psychology on some level. Seeing as this question can be answered using a historical basis in regards to the historical boundaries/movements of the German people I would say it is a valid history question.
Mar
21
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
None of this is about American superiority as you seem to imply. I'm not saying that other countries were incapable of this, rather that the American Civil War occurred at a time where a lot of these innovations came into play. The bias here is yours. Please keep the commentary factually based and emotionally unmotivated. When you actually research the numbers you'll find that the US was highly industrialized beyond most European countries because of a lack of available labor and not because of some kind of American Exceptionalism. "The Battle Cry of Freedom" covers this extensively.
Mar
21
comment Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?
You ought to heavily fact check your comment. Saying that the US was the most industrialized nation does not exclude other nations being industrialized. Obviously how you measure that is subjective but in terms of factories and railway density the US was at or near the top. The Prussians used breechloading rifles and railroads in a war AFTER the Civil War had ended. The Royal Navy had 2 ironclad ships during the period when the US was making dozens.
Feb
28
comment How Many German Born American Citizens served for the U.S. in World War II?
The question as stated could be revised to remove the opinion sections and fit with the nature of this site. I understand and respect why you are asking the question, though in an academic sense the answer won't change if the reasoning is removed and it distracts from getting the data you want.
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@twosheds Finally thank you for the discourse. While I would normally write an answer yours is going to be the reference on this topic for the foreseeable future and I appreciate your willingness to take things into consideration.
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@twosheds That's fair, I am particularly sensitive on that issue because I feel that perpetuating the idea that the Americas were 1000+ years behind Europe and Asia is inaccurate at best and offensive at worst. Your points are well made though I wouldn't mind seeing some of that in the answer as well.
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@twosheds The population point is valid. The issue that I think still remains is why did the Americas produce one disease and Europe produced dozens. Even with reductions in trade and populations it fails in my mind to account for that shortfall. I would offer for your consideration the theories that look at the Americas lack of large land mammals and domesticatable creatures to explain that.
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@twosheds I agree, there's nothing equivalent to the Mediterranean in the Americas and trade there would be of a different character. But as it applies to disease I'm not sure there's a substantive enough difference to say it answers the original question. Items from S America made their way up to the Great Lakes and by all indications trade was a consistent force over the centuries. In both cases the flow of goods should reflect a flow of disease as well so I don't think that answers the original question.
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@twosheds ...In some estimates N America would be in the same ballpark as the population of Europe. For long periods of time trade between Asia and Europe simply didn't exist. The Silk Road was a byproduct of Mongol rule, not a persistent phenomenon. In both cases it's hard to say by exactly how much they were different, and it's possible they weren't as far off as we assume. The problem is that so much of the evidence in the Americas was either not researched or has been destroyed. In light of that I think the answer should focus what we do know rather than speculative numbers.
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
@twosheds - My main issue is that your argument, as it currently exists, rests on a lot of assumptions not supported by evidence. "American population densities just don't compare to Europe, India, or Asia." and "not as intense as in Eurasia." can certainly have truth to them but since so much relies on those numbers there needs to be more there...
Feb
26
comment Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?
The answer to this question can be explained by one factor: A mass extinction of domesticatable animals roughly 13K years ago led to a near total absence of zoonotic diseases, which in turn led to the people of the Americas having no cultural or biological defenses against them when they arrived. The Americas were so susceptible to disease because of a dense and interconnected population, not in spite of them. Revising the answer to one that fits with the historical evidence and deals with the logical inconsistencies in points 2 and 3 would earn an upvote.