The American Civil War has been classified by some historians as a “total war.” Total war is defined as “a war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued.” The war was not only fought on distant battlefields in which soldiers remained widely …
When did the Civil War become total war?
It is only fairly recently that the twentieth-century concept of “total war” has been applied to the Civil War. According to Mark E. Neely Jr., the term was first used in 1948 by John B. Walters in an article about Sherman for the Journal of Southern History and was quickly adopted by the famed Civil War historian T.
How and why did the Civil War become a total war?
The Civil War, through analysis of the intensity of the war, the range and scope of the conflict, and the mobilization of civilian and governmental forces, earns the label “total war.” Ultimately, this pivotal American conflict foreshadowed the total wars the United States would come to fight in the 20th century.
Why was the Civil War both a modern war and a total war?
Historians have described the Civil War as both a modern and a total war – modern for its use of technology, administrative efficiency, and public relations as tools of war, and total in its character as an all-consuming ideological crusade.
Where was total war used in the Civil War?
Another famous example of total war occurred during the American Civil War with Sherman’s March to the Sea. After successfully capturing Atlanta, Georgia, the Union Major General William T. Sherman marched his troops toward Savannah to the Atlantic Ocean.
What is an example of total war from the Civil War?
Sherman’s march to the sea in the American Civil War – from November 15, 1864 through December 21, 1864 – is considered to be an example of total war, for which Sherman used the term hard war.
Was WWI a total war?
World War I was a ‘total war’ that involved the governments, economies and populations of participating nations to an extent never seen before in history. This was distinct from how wars had been previously been fought.
Was total war necessary in the Civil War?
Historians have long debated whether the American Civil War was a “total war”—a war meant to be won at all costs. In effect, argues historian Stephen Engle, the Union leaders did wage “total war,” and the ensuing destruction demanded a reconstruction of considerable proportions by both the North and the South.
Who proposed total war in the Civil War?
Marszalek has expressed it, William T. Sherman was the “Inventor of Total Warfare.”20 “We are not only [End Page 443] fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies,” Sherman told Gen. Henry W.
How did the total war strategy contribute to the end of the war?
It boosted morale and revitalized the Confederacy’s fighting spirit. It caused Southern generals to adopt their own total war strategy. It resulted in the South’s immediate surrender and the end of the war.
Why was the Civil War the first total war?
Although many of the Civil War’s participants conceptualized the conflict as a total war, they did so largely because the war demanded (at least for the South) that all of the nation’s resources be devoted to fighting the war.
What impact did the telegraph have on the Civil War?
For the first time in the history of warfare, the telegraph helped field commanders to direct real-time battlefield operations and permitted senior military officials to coordinate strategy across large distances. These capabilities were key factors in the North’s victory.
Why did the union use total war?
To speed the defeat of the Confederacy, Union forces needed to prevent Southern civilians from supplying their armies. The Northern military needed to wage war against both the Confederate military and Confederate civilians.
How was total war used against the South?
It was either used in the fighting, ruined by the Union or lost as the monetary value placed on slaves. A quarter of the white men of military age in the Confederacy were killed, and nearly 4% of the south’s total population died in the war. … In the south at least, it earned the title of “total war.”
How did total war affect the South?
Total war involved destruction of Southern towns, railroads, farms, crops, and plantations, which caused great hardship for the Confederacy. … The Union was determined to break the will of the South. Total war was a deliberate strategy by the North to deprive the South of resources and end the conflict.
What are examples of total war?
The warfare conducted by ancient civilizations, such as Persia or Rome, and the modern warfare conducted by the Nazis during World War II are both good examples of total warfare.