Technology and the Revolution

Over the July 4th holiday, we went to Philadelphia to see

Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and all of the other historical things in

the area. Being someone who’s steeped in technology, it’s fascinating to stop

and think how much people at the time of the Revolution were able to accomplish

without the assistance of the technology we have today.

We take for granted such things as computers, printers, web

sites, cell phones and so forth that it’s difficult to remember how things were

done before these things existed. A while back ago, I posted a blog that asked what

we did before computers and got some interesting responses.

But in that day and age, they fomented a revolution that

defeated the most powerful empire in the world. It took 8 years to do, but even

so they were able to accomplish it. Communication between major cities like

Boston and Philly could take a week one way, and communicating across the ocean

could take months. Pamphlets and newspapers were printed using a printing

press, but by hand in a slow process. And they weren’t easily distributed.

Even though communication was slow and difficult, I think

that helped the Revolution more than it hurt it. Because not only did poor

communications slow down the patriots, it also slowed down the British.  The British didn’t know what was going on in

a timely manner in order to be able to react quickly enough to either diffuse

the situation or crush it. Having the home court advantage, the soon-to-be

Americans could use the time-delay to help spread their word faster.

What do you think? With 21st Century technology,

how would 1776 have turned out?    

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