Telegraph to TV

Technology's effect on the past

One connection between the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and Vatican II is that they all had great advances on technology and used it to their advantage.

Civil War


Before the Civil War soldiers carried muskets that held one bullet at a time. Rifles were almost impossible to use because they took to long to load. Claude Minie invented a new kind of bullet that was quicker and easier to reload, but you had to pause and reload after each shot which was dangerous and inefficient. By 1963 they had repeating riffles which could fire more than one bullet before needing to be reloaded. However, the Northern troops were the only ones to have them because the South did not have the equipment or the know- how to produce them.
Civil War Photography Tricks

Civil Rights Movement


Television allowed people to be able to watch Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X speak without leaving their home. It also showed people that law enforcement was responsible for much of the violence, not the protestors.

News Media

News Media greatly affected the Civil Rights Movement. News coverage made it more likely for people to show their support for others. It also showed Americans just how bad segregation was and the African Americans journey to getting equal rights.
Stock Footage - Selma Civil Rights / MLK / JFK / LBJ

Vatican II

Vatican II was the first council to use things like electric lighting and telephones. Vatican I began in 1869 when none of those things had been invented. The media kept up with what was happening at Vatican II very closely which allowed people to bring the Church into their homes though things like television.

Vatican II produced some very important statements about science and technology. The Council came to recognize technology not as "devices of the devil" but as something that is helpful to humanity.

How would these events have changed if technology was different?

- What would happen if we didn't have pictures of the Civil War?

- What if there was no media coverage of the Civil Rights Movement or Vatican II?

- What if Abraham Lincoln was not able to use a telegraph? Would it have affected the outcome of the war?

- What if they were not able to transport weapons and soldiers by railroads during the Civil War?

- What technology do we have now that could have affected these past events?