From the many inventions that emerged from the American Civil War, the Ironclad, designed by Captain John Ericsson and Robert L. Stevens, has impacted the world by advancing naval warfare technology. It gave America more influence in Europe and put America ahead of Europe in naval matters. The impact and influence changed naval warfares forever by forcing wooden ships to become obsolete. The Ironclad was among the first technological and modern tools of war. Its impact on technology in navies can still be seen today in the designs and the construction of naval ships.(Mac Bride,1) It has impacted technology in the way ships are built. Because of the ironclads the ships that are used in wars today are much safer. They are stronger and easier to maneuver. The first ironclad to ironclad battle between the Merrimac and the Monitor was long and drawn out. Although neither one emerged victorious, the world began to see what a major improvement in warfare these ironclads were. A reporter from the Norfolk Day wrote: This work will create a revolution in naval warfare. Americas improvement has impacted naval history in a way that no other invention ever has! (Davis,135) Many times in United States history the major nations of the world, such as England, France and Germany, have ignored the United States in political matters but this invention and the ironclad to ironclad battle changed a large percentage of their attitudes toward the United States. It made America become feared and respected by large European nations and all the major nations looked at this invention with pure respect and awe. (Love,29) The invention of the ironclad has helped to push America higher on the ladder to becoming a major world power and to be included in major decisions of the world. The ironclads caused a long range of reaction in navies and gave America a push for the influence they wanted in Europe. Many say that the invention of the ironclad is quite possibly one of the chief reasons for the continued existence of the United States. (Mac Bride,43) In the past people have often thought of naval ships as only tools of war. Many never considered that a ship could be useful in improving foreign policy and in pushing for American influence, but when Europe heard about this invention they began to realize that America had an adequate navy and the largest and finest # destroyers in the world. Europe began to recognize America as a nation that should be taken seriously and would probably be better to have as a friend rather than a foe! It has been said that without this invention, America would still be behind in world status, because major nations would not respect us. The Europeans saw the ironclad for what it was, an invention that would revolutionize modern navies. The ironclad was seen as a very valuable vessel for rivers, harbors, and for blockading. Ironclads were also formidable adjuncts to fortifications on land for coast and harbor defense. (Trexler,72) The invention of the Ironclad not only impacted and influenced navies, it also changed the direction of naval warfare by making the use of the wooden ship in war obsolete forever and served as a revolutionary change for modern navies. The building of the ironclad broke a five hundred year tradition in warship construction, wooden ships were no longer built for Naval warfare. Wooden ships had long been the traditional war machine of western culture, and the invention of the ironclad single handedly # changed the tradition. Two days after the first battle of ironclads, England declared the use of the wooden ship obsolete. (Arthur,247) The secretary of the Confederacy, Stephen R. Mallory declared, I regard the possession of an iron armored ship as a matter of first necessity. (Sharf,43) A British admiral also said, The possession of an Iron clad navy would advance Europe. Such ships at this time would traverse our entire navy and if to cope with other navies on the open seas we must have no more wooden ships built because our inequality will build up our vulnerability. (Mahan, 102) Most of these innovations came about by pure chance and genius. All these …machinations of chance often served only to heighten drama, to punctuate the inescapability of an event that would not be denied its place in time. (Davis,1) Some say the ironclad came about through a series of chances and elusive destiny, yet only after this invention did the world get a glimpse at the new era of 4 naval warfare that was emerging. (Phinney,3) Truly the use of iron to clad ships and the battle between the Merrimac and the Monitor is the most decisive factor to date to serve as a point of revolutionary change for modern navies. The Merrimac and the Monitor fought like tigers for four hours in one of the greatest naval engagements that had ever occurred since the beginning of the world. (Mahan,7) This successful and terrible work caused a revolution in naval warfare, henceforth iron would be King of the Seas!
*Primary Sources Baxtor,James Phinney: The Introduction of the Ironclad Warship. Cambridge Harvard University Press, 1933. This book showed how the Ironclad changed Naval Warfare History. Berg, James: Out With the Old in With the New. Chicago University Press, 1943. This book showed the world going from wooden navies to iron clad navies. It explained from Europeans point of view what they thought of the new invention. Beschke,William: Memorial to Congress, Government and People: Concerning Several Great Inventions of National Importance and the Infringements of a U.S. Patent in Building Ironclad Vessels and Iron Turrets. Most Respectfully Submitted by William Beschke, of Philadelphia in January 1865. Philadelphia, 1865. This Book contained many different ideas on the good and bad sides of going from an Wooden navy to and Ironclad Navy. Brill, Andrew: Putting iron to Use. Pesidio Press , 1917. From this book I learned about how Iron was taken advantage of and used and its importance in advancing American society. Davis, William C. Dual Between the First Ironclads. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, 1897. This Book contained the personal feelings of the soldiers on the Ironclads. Davis, William C.: Collection of Declarations. Baton rouge Louisiana State University Press, 1927. From this book i found the British Declaration concerning the cancellation of the wooden Ship. It also learned the Europeans point of view on the ironclads, and how they thought it had revolutionized naval warfare. Evans,George: Full Speed ahead. Philadelphia, 1902. Showed how the invention of the Ironclad advanced Technology. Emery,Edwin: The Story of America as Reported by its Newspapers from 1690-1965 Simon and Shuster 1960. This book was full of articles about the ironclads. Fox, George: No Match for the Iron. Harvard University Press, 1893. From this book I learned what people of that time thought of the ironclads and how they had advanced technology and how the ironclads made the wooden ship obsolete Griffith,Ryan: Iron or Wood. Harvard University Press, 1887. This book also showed how the Ironclad made the Wooden Ship obsolete. Hopkins,Ryan: Iron to Iron. Harvard University Press, 1894. This book told about the effects of the first ironclad to ironclad battle and how it caused waves of change everywhere. Kerr, Ryan: Events of the Civil War. Harvard University Press, 1893. This book told me about the fierce battle between the ‘ Ironclads. Langley, Winston E.: Iron: Its advancement in Navies. Philadelphia, 1895. This book told about how iron advanced navies and naval warfare. It also talked about the uses of iron at this time after the civil war. Lee, Andrew: A collection of Journal Entries From the Ericsson Battery. Harvard University Press. 1942. This book gave me a lot of ideas on what marines on the ironclads thought of the invention. Lee, Andrew: A collection of Journal Entries from the Civil War Veterans. Harvard University Press, 1927. This book was about the general experience of war. Lee, Andrew: A collection of Journal Entries from Fort Monroe. Harvard University Press, 1907. This was journal entries from soldiers who experienced the battle between the Merrimac and the Monitor. Lincoln, William: Ironclads: Pushing for Americas influence in Europe. Philadelphia, 1903. This book showed how the Ironclads gave America a lot of influence in Europe and about how the Americans needed that influence. Lloyd, Trevor: Birth of a King. New York: Rogers and Sherwood, 1892. This book talked about the navies of the world becoming iron armored navies. And iron armored navies being of the first necessity. Mahan, Captain A.T.: The interest of America in sea power present and future The Forum publishing company 1897. This book told about Americas basic interest in sea power. Mayo,John: Armor of Iron. Rutgers University Press, 1887. This book basically just explained the ironclads, and their effect on the civil war. Mokin, Arthur: History of the Confederate Navy from its Original to the Surrender of its Last Vessel. New York: Rogers and Sherwood, 1887. This was explaining the general History of the Ironclad i the Confederate Navy. Muncy,Rob: War of Iron. Chicago University Press, 1907. This book told how the world went from wooden navies to ironclad navies and how it changed naval warfare history. Phinney,Roy: Change of Order. Harvard University Press, 1911. This book told about the wooden ships becoming obsolete and the Americans point of view on the change they caused around the world. Scott, Andrew M.: Cause and Effect: The Effects the Ironclad had on the World. Philadelphia, 1903. This book was about the large effect the ironclads had on the world. Stant,Thomas: Dawning of a New Era. Rutgers University Press, 1907. This book showed the wooden ships becoming obsolete and the navies around the world changing to Iron armored ships. Trexler, Harrison Anthony: The Confederate Ironclad Virginia (Merrimack) Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1938. This book just explained the many problems of the Ironclad. Trexler, Harrison Anthony: The Union IroncladMonitor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942. This book told about the Monitor in general, from its invention to its impact on the world. Wollstonecraft,Trevor: A Decree of Change. Harvard University Press, 1928. This book showed how the wooden ships became obsolete around the world. And the effect the ironclad had on navies around the world. Secondary Sources Basler, Roy P.; Pratt, Marion Dolores; Dunlap, Lloyd A.: The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1953. From this Source I found out some personal feelings and thoughts on the ironclads. Fox, Vivian C.: A Change in Naval Warfare. Harvard University Press, 1983. This book talked about how without the Ironclads we would still have an wooden navy. Mac Bride, Robert: King of the Seas. Philadelphia 1987. This book showed how the Ironclad made the Wooden ship obsolete. Mac Bride, Robert: Civil War Ironclads The Dawn of Naval Armor Chilton Company Philadelphia 1962. This book showed how the ironclads advanced technology and caused a revolutionary of changes for the navies around the world. Pratt, Marion Dolores: Modern Tools of War. Harvard University Press, 1967. I learned about how Ironclads advanced naval warfare. And helped to improve naval warfare and technology Scott, Anne F.: Remembering the Monitor. Chicago University Press, 1991. This book told about the Monitor, its many problems and its advantages and disadvantages. It also talked about its may improvements. Scott, Anne F.: Remembering the Merrimack. Chicago University Press, 1993. This book told about the Merrimac and its advantages and disadvantages and also about why it was a great advancement in history. Woodward, C. Vann: How the Ironclads affected the Civil War. Vail-Ballou Press, 1991. I found out about the effects of the ironclads on civil war and history.
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