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American Military History (Vol. 1&2) From the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism (Illustrated Edition) von Stewart, Richard W. (eBook)

  • Verlag: Madison & Adams Press
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American Military History (Vol. 1&2)

The story of the United States Army is always growing and changing. Historians constantly seek to reinterpret the past while accumulating new facts as America's Army continues to be challenged on new foreign battlefields. Nor does the Army, as an institution, ever stand still. It necessarily changes its organization, materiel, doctrine, and composition to cope with an ever-changing world of current conflict and potential danger. American Military History provides a comprehensive but brief account of Army's past. The history of an active organization tends to expand rapidly as the organization grows larger and more complex. The first volume covers the Army's history from its birth in 1775 to the eve of World War I. The second volume of this edition takes up that story and extends it into the twenty-first century and the early years of the war on terrorism.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 895
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9788026888727
    Verlag: Madison & Adams Press
    Größe: 42940 kBytes
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American Military History (Vol. 1&2)

2 The Beginnings

Table of Contents
The United States as a nation was in its origins a product of English expansion in the New World in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a part of the general outward thrust of West European peoples in this epoch. British people and institutions, transplanted to a new continent and mixed with people of different origins, underwent changes that eventually produced a distinctive American culture. In no area was the interaction of the two influences-European heredity and American environment-more apparent than in the shaping of the military institutions of the new nation.

The European Heritage

Table of Contents
The European military heritage reaches far back into antiquity. Organized armies under formal discipline and employing what we would recognize as definite systems of battlefield tactics first appeared in the empires of the Near East in the second millennium b.c. During that time, Mediterranean military establishments rivaled in numbers and in the scope of their conflicts anything that was to appear in the Western world before the eighteenth century. In the fourth century b.c., Alexander the Great of Macedonia brought all these empires and dominions, in fact most of civilization known to the Western world, under his suzerainty in a series of rapid military conquests. In so doing, he carried to the highest point of development the art of war as it was practiced in the Greek city-states. He used the phalanx-a solid mass infantry formation using pikes as its cutting edge-as the Greeks had long done. But he put far greater emphasis on heavy cavalry and contingents of archers and slingers to increase the maneuverability and capability of his armies.

The Romans eventually fell heir to most of Alexander's empire and extended their conquests westward and northward to include presentday Spain, France, Belgium, and England, bringing these areas within the pale of Roman civilization. The Romans built on the achievements of Alexander and brought the art of war to its zenith in the ancient world. They perfected, in the legion, a tactical military unit of great maneuverability comparable in some respects to the modern division; performed remarkable feats of military engineering; refined sophisticated war machines such as the ballista and the catapult; and developed elaborate systems for fortification and siege craft. With this system, they built a great empire that endured for hundreds of years.

As the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace") disintegrated in Western Europe, the Roman Empire in the West was succeeded first by a number of kingdoms of Germanic tribes and eventually by a highly decentralized political system known as feudalism, under which a multitude of warring nobles exercised authority over local areas of varying size. The art of war underwent profound change, with the armored knight on horseback succeeding to the battlefield supremacy that under the Greeks and Romans had belonged primarily to disciplined formations of infantry. Society in the Middle Ages was highly stratified, and a rigid division existed between the knightly or ruling noble class and the great mass of peasants who tilled the soil, most of them as serfs bound to the nobles' estates.

Warfare became for the most part a monopoly of the ruling classes, for only men of substance could afford horse and armor. Every knight owed a certain number of days of military service to his lord each year in a hierarchical, or pyramidal, arrangement, the king at the apex and the great mass of lesser knights forming the base. But lords who were strong enough could defy their superiors with relative impunity. Fortified castles with moat and drawbridge, built on commanding points of terrain, furnished sanctuaries where lesser lords with inferior forces could defy more powerful opponents. Nonetheless, wherever freemen were found,

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