Originally Posted by Rohirrim
Actually, it wasn't an either/or. The cotton gin was the primary technological factor making the Civil War almost inevitable; The South had to have more slaves to feed the gins in order to make lots more money. Their whole economy ended up based on that. As far as what came from the Civil War? The basic set of tactics that led to the monumental butchery of WWI.
I don't think the cotton gin was as important to the inevitability as was the politics surrounding it but nonetheless I concede this point.
I would not call trench warfare much of a discovery. The Irish brigade was decimated that day in the Wilderness.
JP Morgan made his fortune selling surplus (broken) weapons to the Union. Henry rifle was proven effective. Quite a bit of the firearms basics like rifling and cartridge design came from necessity of war. War only breeds war.
Right now we have a generation of men deployed three to five times who know nothing about peace.