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Technology of the American Revolution

A rough description and comparison between British and American technology in the Revolutionary War. Enjoy!
by

Ravi Ahuja

on 21 May 2013

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Transcript of Technology of the American Revolution

American Revolution
Technology Ravi Ahuja British American The Americans and British had different technology.
Let's compare! Weapons Medicine Communication Weapons Medicine Communication So, who has the advantage? Weapons Medicine Communication The weapon used by most American infantry during the war was the musket. There was no uniform musket for the entire army, as most arms came from their own homes and local militia. The French also gave many French muskets later in the war to the Americans. These were lighter and fired a smaller ball than the British guns, and were the prefered weapon of the continental soldier. Another very important weapon in the war was artillery. These came in different kinds, such as cannons, mortars, and howitzers. These weapons could turn the tide of a battle, and in high demand by both sides. Communication was extremely important in the American revolution, or indeed in any war. After a battle, for example, the news had to be sent to Congress, and the rest of the colonies. This allowed any other general to know the situation that their comrade was in, and if they needed to come to the rescue. Congress might also have to send troops or supplies to fighting army. Whatever the case, communications had to be fast in the war. Americans got news around the colonies using their spy network and couriers. For a battle in Boston, for example, it would take about 2 weeks to get the news around all 13 colonies. Medicine played a very important part in the revolution. At least 17,000 soldiers on the American side alone died from disease. This is more than twice the amount of men that died in battle. Without medicine, that number would be considerably higher. One choice that historians agree was paramount to American victory was George Washington's decision to inoculate his soldiers from smallpox. Many argue this ultimately saved his army. The typical weapon used by a British infantryman was the "Brown Bess", a heavier smoothbore musket that fired a larger bullet. British officers often carried a sword or sabre with them, along with a pistol. A very important, but less common weapon was the long rifle. This weapon was different because unlike a smoothbore musket, it had grooves in its barrel, greatly increasing accuracy. This was used as an effective sniper by the American rifleman at distances of over 200 yards. This weapon was so important because of the amount of British officers that American riflemen managed to kill, and of the fear it inspired in British forces. Like the Americans, the British used artillery togreat extent. The British kept many forts stocked with artillery, and used them in all of their battles. Unfortunately for the British, communication was a big problem. Although other Britsh generals in America could hear of battles and supply requests, orders from parliament could take up to 4 months of sea voyage each way. Disease was just as big a problem for the British as it was for the Americans, or even worse, with a recorded 24,000 British and Hessian soldiers dying of disease, about 12 times more than their battle casualties. While the British had a better stock of guns and artillery, the Americans used the long rifle to revolutionary effects, impacting the course of the war. Which side had better weapon technology?
DRAW The Americans had an extensive spy network that sent news throughout the colony, while the British had to send a ship to London for news. Which side had better communication technology? AMERICA The Americans smartly used inoculation to fight smallpox outbreaks, while the British succumbed to scurvy easily. Which side had better medicine technology?
AMERICA Citations:
Durham, Lloyd J. "Outfitting an American Revolutianry Soldier." Ncpedia. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://ncpedia.org/history/usrevolution/soldiers>.

Wood, Melissa. "George Washington's Smallpox Inoculation Orders on Display August 16." George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens. George Washington's Mount Vernon, 9 Aug. 2011. Web. 20 May 2013. <http://www.mountvernon.org/more/news-press/release-archive/2011/george-washington’s-smallpox-inoculation-orders-display-august->.



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