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C O U R S E 
The Civil War and Reconstruction
Eric Foner, Columbia University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The American Civil War: The First Modern War
Notes taken on March 26, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
a war is fought by soldiers
young soldiers
when people went off to the Civil War, they often sat for photographs, daguerreotypes
gave it to their families or loved ones
probably three million people fought in the Civil War at one time or another
when you study the details, it's hard to romanticize about war
more Americans were killed in the Civil War than in the World War I and World War II combined
the Civil War can be rightfully argued to be the biggest tragedy of American history
700,000 dead out of a North/South population of a little over 30 million
today we have a population of a little over 300 million, multiply that out
it would be as if we had a civil war today in which 7 million people died
some call it "the first modern war"
but modern is not a precise term
it was modern in that it was a total war
fought by mass armies
both sides fighting for an absolute value
this made total victory inevitable
it was impossible for a war like this to end with anything other than the destruction of one side or the other
there was no ground for compromise
it was not modern in terms of
medical care
terribly primitive
far more soldiers died from disease and the results of wounds than died on the battle field as a result of direct combat
weapons were relatively primitive compared to wars today
mass casualties were not unknown in this era
Paraguayan War (War of the Triple Alliance)
Latin America
when Civil War ended, 1864–1870
between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay
led to a higher percentage of deaths among Paraguayans than in the American Civil War
what was new and modern about American Civil War
wielding the weapons that were being created by the Industrial Revolution
led to tremendous casualties
war of society against society
can't just capture the capital of the enemy territory
even the Mexican War (1846) didn't end when the United States occupied Mexico City
you have to destroy the economy of the enemy, so they cannot fight or destroy the will to fight
one of the first wars fought in a democracy
therefore the goal of the war became more to destroy the will of the people to fight