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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR & FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR AND THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR

This research paper compares and contrasts military (and some related political) aspects of the American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). Both of these mid-to-late 19th century wars involved the mobilization, organization and deployment on a continental scale of mass conscription armies armed with powerful standardized weapons of the early industrial era. Both wars caused carnage and casualties among the participants on an theretofore unprecedented scale, especially the American Civil War which lasted more than four years while the active combat phase of the Franco-Prussian War ended after only five months. Even though the Confederacy's manpower base and other material resources paled by comparison with those of the more industrialized North, it pursued an initially effective military strategy and enjoyed tactical advantages which largely stemmed from its fighting from interior lines and its superb military leadership, especially that of General Robert Lee. In the end, however, the Union armies were able to use their material and logistical superiority to wear down the South and win a war of attrition and movement, punctuated by some serious errors of Southern military judgment and the eventual emergence of able Union political and military leaders, notably President Abraham Lincoln and Generals such as Ulysses Grant and William Sherman. In contrast, the Germans largely prevailed over the French not because of their superiority in men, materials or technology but due to their extraordinary ability to mobilize, organize and deploy their armies to advantage against valiant but often poorly prepared, indecisive and inept adversaries. Despite these shortcomings, the French rallied after their devastating initial defeats along their eastern frontier and put up stiff resistance to the German invaders who ultimately prevailed by cowing the population of the Fren...

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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR & FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 11:49, May 22, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1705715.html