The U.S. Marines and the 19th Century

The U.S. Marines and the 19th Century

Length: 1538 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The U.S. Marines and the 19th Century



In the beginning of the 21st Century the U.S. Marine Corps stands at a strength of approximately 200,000 personnel. The Marines are also equipped with tanks, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and specialized ships, manned by the U.S. Navy, to transport them to various destinations. These numbers constitute a larger force than the entire armed forces of many countries and the U.S. Marine Corps is considered the junior service of the U.S. military. The Defense Act of 1947 guaranteed the continuing existence of the Marine

Corps as law. All this happened in the 20th century. During the 19th century the Marines not only fought the enemies of this country, foreign and domestic, but had to fight for their very existence.

“In 1806 Marine Corps registers showed a paid strength of only eleven officers and 307 noncommissioned officers and enlisted men. Its main duties at sea focused on guarding against mutinies on U.S. Navy ships. In combat, marines fired their muskets at enemy ships’ officers and crew during battle, formed contingents to board enemy ships or attack enemy shore installations, and repelled enemy boarders. On shore, marines guarded U.S. Navy yards in several American cities.” (With Fidelity and Effectiveness: Archibald Henderson’s Lasting Legacy to the U.S. Marine Corps, Joseph Dawson, p. 271) The early 19th century saw the United States as a small agrarian society trying to build a unified country. After the Revolution the Army, Navy and Marines were disbanded as they were believed to be not needed. No one planned to go to war with anyone and any possible land conflict could be handled by the various state militias. This changed with the influx of piracy by the French and a few North African Arab kingdoms, commonly called the Barbary pirates. The United States had a thriving mercantile marine that proudly sailed across the world to find new markets. This made them perfect targets. John Adams, the 2nd president, reconstituted the Navy and with that the Marines. New ships were built and sailors and Marines were recruited to man them. They fought against pirates in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. This had the un-intended effect of preparing them for the 2nd war with Great Britain from 1812 to 1814.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The U.S. Marines and the 19th Century." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=36149>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Social Norms Of The 19th Century Essay

- For a young women, the idea of motherhood means taking on the ultimate responsibility of caring for a defenseless child in spite of the youth and inexperience. To complicate matters, include the social norms of the 19th century that young women should not have children out of wedlock and a lack of personal independence since most young women do not have livable income and a space to call her own. These norms are enforced upon young women so much that typically their only hope of survival is with the help of a patriarchal figure....   [tags: Sociology, Marriage, Love, 19th century]

Research Papers
1603 words (4.6 pages)

American Capitalist Society In The 19th Century Essay

- Herman Melville’s Utilization of Bartleby the Scrivener: the Story of Wall Street As a Means of Criticizing Capitalism and Its Crimes Against Humanity Herman Melville's "Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" scrutinizes the alienation of labor, the social ideologies and the dehumanizing consequences of the American capitalist society in the 19th century. Bartleby is the main character in the story. The other characters in the story, Ginger Nut, Nippers and Turkey, barely survive their pragmatic enslavement because they have been brainwashed by the ideology of complying and acknowledging their given place in society....   [tags: 19th Century America]

Research Papers
1834 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Women During The 19th Century

- Traditionally, women during the 19th century were expected to submit to the patriarch of the house and obediently follow his commands and the commands of society. According to Elaine Fortin, writer of “Early Nineteenth Century Attitudes Toward Women,” society’s expectations of married women included catering to their husbands by caring for the children, performing household chores, and preparing all meals so their husbands could focus all of their attention “on the matters of the world.” To broaden this definition of a wife’s duties during the 19th century, Judy Brady, an activist for women’s rights and renowned author, said women had to satisfy their husbands sexually but refrained from sol...   [tags: Gender, Feminism, Jimmy Carter, 19th century]

Research Papers
1263 words (3.6 pages)

The Spanish And Italian Literatures Of The 19th Century Essay

- My research explores political essay in the Spanish and Italian literatures of the second half of the nineteenth century. In particular, I analyze the perception of a “national/supranational conscience” to prove how European liberal thinkers in nineteenth century attempt to build and establish a supranational entity. As “supranational” I intend a shift in international politics - constituted by the agreement among sovereign states - to create common structures of power and identity (Neyer 2012)....   [tags: Europe, European Union, 19th century, Spain]

Research Papers
1002 words (2.9 pages)

A Male Dominated Society During the 19th Century Essay

- During the 19th century, women were controlled by a male dominated society. The women were in pure agony knowing that there was no faith for them to have a crucial change in civilization. This could often lead to “clinical depression” in which a human could feel lonely, empty, confounded and miserable. In this time period, women’s role in society was to be simply mothers and wives. A world where women had rights, control, and power was a fantasy. According to Hall, he states, “Key to all feminist methodologies is the belief that patriarchal oppression of women through history has been profound and multifaceted” (Hall 202)....   [tags: women's role, 19th century, the awakening]

Research Papers
963 words (2.8 pages)

The Oppression of Women in the 19th Century as seen in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

- The oppression of woman is evident in the everyday life of a women living in the 19th century. This oppression was not only localized to their duties at home, but it made its way into women’s health issues as well. Women of the 19th century, and even still at the turn of the century, were suffering from postpartum depression, and they were misdiagnosed because postpartum, like almost any woman's illness, was treated as illness of the womb. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, affirms that the oppression of women resulted in their injurious medical treatment, which, in the end, was the equivalent to life in prison....   [tags: 19th century, history, women's rights, Yellow Wall]

Free Essays
359 words (1 pages)

Essay on Women Authors of the 19th Century

- Women Authors of the 19th Century Some of the most influential women authors of all time lived in the 19th century. These women expressed their inner most thoughts and ideas through their writings. They helped to change society, perhaps without knowing it, through poetry, novels, and articles. Emily Dickinson, Harriet Jacobs, Kate Chopin, Louisa May Alcott, and Elizabeth Oakes Smith are the best-known controversial and expressive women authors of their time. On December 10, 1830 a poet was born....   [tags: Women 19th Century Authors Writers Essays]

Research Papers
3165 words (9 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis : ' The Marines ' Essay

- Put into another form, “[The Marines] pour forth with the poignant power of superb human beings doing what they believe is truly righteous. There is grace and magnetism in the way these clean-cut kids hurl themselves out of planes, surge through forbidding terrain and leap with awesome fortitude over one barricade after another. The ads use sophisticated psychology to lure today 's peace-loving young adults into our "humanitarian" military.” (Kronstadt, 2014). It’s through these images and power attached to words and amazing propaganda that gets youth to dive into the world of war with the Marines....   [tags: United States Marine Corps, Marine, Royal Marines]

Research Papers
835 words (2.4 pages)

Being a Good Leader in the Marines Essay

- Being a Good Leader in the Marines “In order to be a good leader, there are two things to remember. Lead from the Front and always set the Example. From these two leadership principles, everything else will fall into place.” These are the words that have ended all of my counseling sheets with since I began writing them as a Corporal and will continue to do as long as I counsel Marines. I was brought up in the Marine Corps with this philosophy and have adopted it as my own. Leading from the front is often times one of the leadership principles that is easier said by some than actually done....   [tags: Marines Leadership Counseling Advice Essays]

Research Papers
787 words (2.2 pages)

The 19th Centuary Essay

- In the first half of the 19th century the processes known as Industrialization and Urbanization started to transform Europe. It affected and changed every aspect of life of every citizen of every European nation. The notorious results of these changes were the horrible living and working conditions of the working class, who made up the majority of the society. Great Britain was involved most profoundly in this Industrial Revolution as it led the way in the development of railroads and factories....   [tags: World History]

Research Papers
794 words (2.3 pages)

Related Searches

For the first two decades of the nineteenth century the Marines were fully employed in their traditional duties. But times were changing. The traditional duties of the Marines were starting to be seen as archaic and redundant. New technologies were entering military as well as civilian life.

One problem the Corps had at this time was perception. Many saw Marine officers as someone who could not acquit themselves well enough to serve in the Army or the Navy so through “influence” they were given commissions in the Corps. Many Navy officers were questioning the need for Marines on board ships. “Naval officers often viewed the Marines as an inferior breed and referred to Marines on board ship as ‘idlers’. An occasional piece would appear in naval professional journals about reducing the number of Marines or taking them altogether off naval vessels.” (Daniel Pratt Mannix and the Establishment of the Marine Corps School of Application, 1889-1894 Jack Shulimson p.470). These views were even shared by the President of the United States. In 1829 President Andrew Jackson called for the abolishment of the Marine Corps and its assimilation into the Army. Rising to the Corps defense was its energetic Commandant, Brigadier General Archibald Henderson.

“Archibald Henderson wore the uniform of the United States Marine Corps for nearly fifty three years, and for almost thirty nine years he served as Commandant of the Corps. He guided the marines through shoals of criticism and set a personal example for leadership. Supervising new officers initial training that began their transition from civilian to military life, Henderson made himself the exemplar of duty for nineteenth century marines. Henderson’s personal supervision partially compensated for the lack of formal training courses during the early decades of the Corps. From the 1820’s through the 1850’s he advocated increasing the number of enlisted marines and officers in order to better to fulfill the variety of tasks assigned to the Corps by the Navy Department”. (With Fidelity and Effectiveness: Archibald Henderson’s Lasting Legacy to the U.S. Marine Corps, Joseph G Dawson p.727).

The Marine Corps in the 19th century can almost be packaged into one man: Brigadier General Archibald Henderson. General Henderson joined the Marines in 1806, became Commandant in 1821 and served in that capacity until his death in 1859. For his long service he is justly called the “old man of the Corps”. He knew for the Corps to survive and flourish he had to do more than the standard shipboard duties and guarding navy yards. He pushed for more training, officer and enlisted. To guard against any charge of corruption he made sure that every penny was accounted for and any piece of equipment was not to be thrown away if someone could use it. He imprinted his personality on the Corps that lasts to this day.

Trying to expand the roles of the Corps General Henderson also offered the services of his Marines in joint operations with the Army. Notably this occurred in Florida in the Seminole War and more famously in the Mexican-American War. This type of duty gave his Marines active service outside of their normal duties. Not only did they get experience in different types of operations but they also became more noticed, in a favorable way, in the public eye. This change in perception helped the Commandant in his battles with Congress to reform and enlarge the Corps.

What General Henderson was basically trying to do during his tenure was to make the Marine Corps not just combat ready or look good to the public but to make it a “professional” service. This was a trend not just going through the military but throughout American society. “The Marine officer experience was a result of the several larger trends that altered all aspects of American life during this period. Among the most important of these impulses were technological change, advances in formal knowledge, an expanding industrialism, a restructuring in both of private and public organizations, and a pervasive profesionalization of American society. Whether called a ‘search for order’ the ‘visible hand’ or the ‘organizational revolution’, the dominant feature of this entire process was its avowed emphasis upon rationality and control. It was in the industrialization and urbanization processes of the late nineteenth century that the professions, like other aspects of American life, took on their modern cast.” (Military Professionalism: The Case of the U.S. Marine Officer Corps, 1880-1898, Jack Shulimson p. 232)

After the end of the end of the Civil War this movement for reform seemed to stagnate in the Marine Corps. The commandants immediately following General Henderson did not have the same vision or strength to move the Corps in a forward direction. It took a new generation of young officers to take those steps forward. Captain Daniel Pratt Mannix was one of these officers. In 1889, with the consent of the commandant, he created the Marine Corps School of Application. This was the first Marine specific school to teach officers their trade. At this time the Naval Academy at Annapolis was allowing its midshipmen to accept officer commissions in the Marines.

As these reforms took shape the search for a mission was also being discussed among Marines, Navy and Congress. A new “Steel” navy was being built as the United States was entering the competition of empire building with other European powers. Once again naval officers were questioning a need for Marines on board ships and looked on the Corps as a leftover from the old days of sail. Tradition bound Marines did not want to lose their role with the Navy while more progressive naval officers did not see a reason to have Marines taking up space on board ship. This controversy dominated Marine and Navy thinking for the last part of the century. It was actually resolved on the battlefield.

During the Spanish-American War the Navy found that their goals tended to be different than the goals of the Army. The Army’s goal was the destruction of the Spanish Army in Cuba. The Navy’s goal was the destruction of the Spanish fleet. To meet the Navy’s goal the heights above the harbor of Santiago had to be captured. The Army did not see this as an important objective so the Marines were sent in to capture this important high ground. “For the Navy, the message was that it could not depend upon the Army to secure land-based sites for naval purposes. The Navy required its own land force. It had this in the Marine Corps” (Shulimson p.240). The seizure of advanced bases for the navy became one of the main missions of the Corps.

The end of the 19th century did not end the debate about the Corps, but the idea’s and the reforms initiated by General Henderson, Captain Mannix and others laid the foundations for the achievements of later Marines. The idea’s of joint operations and advanced training, though belittled by critics, later proved essential for waging a modern war.
Return to 123HelpMe.com