American Military History

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The evolution of the United States military and the notion of warfare can be traced to its roots in Colonial America during the early 1600s. Over the next several hundred years, the military as we know it, developed from a small militia to what is now considered the world’s greatest. Similar to the fruition of American history, warfare had the opportunity to encounter numerous noteworthy advances and life-changing adaptations. These shifts and modifications resulted in the American way of war seen in recent history; one which has transformed from an alternative to diplomacy to a systematic and professionalized method for declaring victory over an adversary-no matter the nature or cause. Beginning with Colonial America and ending with the aftermath of World War I, this piece will work to analyze the aforementioned concepts throughout this time period. In order to understand the changes in warfare, history and the American way of war, one must begin with the Colonial period in which organized militias were constructed as a primary means of defense. These units were utilized for small military operations which included seizing land, defending themselves from other European colonies and more commonly to oust Native Americans deemed intrusive. As a result, the majority of the conflicts which arose dealt primarily with Native Americans. The Pequot War in 1637 which took place in present day Massachusetts resulted in the Pequot tribe losing possession of their land. King Philip’s War in 1675 held similar objectives as did subsequent conflicts including the Yamasee War and Father Rale’s War crossing into the early 1700’s. In order to sustain any major operations however, the colonists relied heavily on the support of their motherland, ... ... middle of paper ... ...e conditions under which the National Guard could be activated. It also delivered federal funds to the National Guard to pay for equipment and training. The National Guard then began to organize its units far more similarly to the regular Army; taking steps to meet the same training, education and overall readiness requirements as active duty units. Further lawmaking and revamped doctrine led to the growth and modernization of the US armed forces. At this time an ongoing conflict was brewing which would soon become the field upon which the US could assess these modifications. The war to end all wars, WWI, became a decisive point in American military history in which its strength and brainpower was tested. Works Cited Millett, Allan Reed., and Peter Maslowski. For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America. New York: Free, 1984. Print.
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