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  • The Civil War: Savannah's Loss, Atlanta's Gain

    Bruce Hetherington at Oglethorpe University and Dr. Frances Harrold at Georgia State University explain that after Union ships enforced a blockade of Southern ports and harbors during the Civil War, Atlanta grew as a result.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Explain how blockades are used as a tactic of war.

    2. To what degree was a blockade runner like an entrepreneur?

    3. How did the fall of savannah to the Union affect Georgia during the Civil War?

    4. Explain the meaning behind the phrase from the film, "what was bad for Savannah was good for Atlanta."

    Expansion

    1. Create a newspaper banner headline and article (with pictures from the period) about the blockade and the blockade runners.

    2. Look up the words “entrepreneur” and “entrepreneurial,” and then identify people whose actions during the Civil War fit those definitions. Explain what makes their actions qualify as entrepreneurial.

    Vocabulary

    proclamation: a formal announcement (from "proclaim")
    insurrection: a rebellion against the government
    militia: a military group that offers its services to the government
    blockade: to cut off a country's ability to trade with other countries via a military barricade
    privateer: a privately-owned ship that the government allows to be used as a military vessel
    maritime: relating to the sea
    brig: sailing vessel with two masts (short for "brigantine")

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Explain how blockades are used as a tactic of war. 
    A blockade is the economic isolation of a country by use of force. No one can enter or leave the country; people attempting to do so are stopped by the blockaders. Thus, in principle, nobody can trade with a blockaded country. There are at least two reasons, one official and one tacitly understood. Officially, Lincoln blockaded the Confederacy to strengthen national security and to weaken the Confederate economy.

    2. To what degree was a blockade runner like an entrepreneur?
    Blockade runners are attempting to make money by selling goods that are scarce. Like an entrepreneur they evaluate the risk involved in a business enterprise and the likelihood that it will a profit. 

    3. How did the fall of Savannah to the Union affect Georgia during the Civil War
    Savannah was the largest port in Georgia during the Civil War and one of the biggest in the South. Many of the goods that Georgians needed and wanted came by way of trade through Savannah. Although blockade runners slipped past the Union Navy at the beginning of the war and were able to bring goods in and out of Savannah, the fall of the city eliminated this avenue of trade for Georgians and greatly decreased the availability of necessities for the rest of the war. 

    4. Explain the meaning behind the phrase from the film, "what was bad for Savannah was good for Atlanta."
    Dr. Frances Harrold explains that the blockade of Savannah and its eventual fall to the Union brought increased trade and manufacturing to Atlanta. A shortage of supplies near the end of the war brought business to Atlanta and led to the city's growth and resurgence in the aftermath.  

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