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Full Access Yankee Ingenuity in the South: James Burton and Confederate Ordnance Production

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Yankee Ingenuity in the South: James Burton and Confederate Ordnance Production

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This article examines the role of James Burton in the diffusion of military technology in the mid-19th century. Burton worked as the Master Armorer at the Harpers Ferry Armory, as a contractor in the Connecticut Valley, and as an engineer at the Enfield Armory. At each location he incorporated the latest ideas of the American System of Manufacturing. Not only did he transmit new ideas, he visited, studied, and learned from his international peers. When the American Civil War began, he joined the Confederate Ordnance Department and helped the South continue a long and destructive war. The new technological ideas—bred out of necessity of war—continued to help shape the creation of a New South. After the war, Burton influenced weapons manufacturing in Russia, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. The ideas that Burton helped implement is a case study of international technological diffusion.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of History, St. Louis Community College at Meramec, scollins@stlcc.edu

10.1163/22134603-00101003
/content/journals/10.1163/22134603-00101003
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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This article examines the role of James Burton in the diffusion of military technology in the mid-19th century. Burton worked as the Master Armorer at the Harpers Ferry Armory, as a contractor in the Connecticut Valley, and as an engineer at the Enfield Armory. At each location he incorporated the latest ideas of the American System of Manufacturing. Not only did he transmit new ideas, he visited, studied, and learned from his international peers. When the American Civil War began, he joined the Confederate Ordnance Department and helped the South continue a long and destructive war. The new technological ideas—bred out of necessity of war—continued to help shape the creation of a New South. After the war, Burton influenced weapons manufacturing in Russia, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. The ideas that Burton helped implement is a case study of international technological diffusion.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134603-00101003
2013-01-01
2016-12-05

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