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Wartime Memories: Institutionalizing American Wars, 1783-Present. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.”. John Stuart Mill.

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Wartime Memories: Institutionalizing American Wars, 1783-Present

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Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Wartime Memories:Institutionalizing American Wars, 1783-Present


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.”

John Stuart Mill


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

"God created war so that Americans would learn geography."

Mark Twain


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

“War is not nice.”

Barbara Bush


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

generalizations,

generalizations.

generalizations


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Following a war, most Americans adopt a sort of “official” description of that conflict’s meaning within the larger context of our national life.


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Although disagreements occur about a war’s true meaning, a majority consensus emerges very quickly.


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

George Carlin (1992)


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

AMERICA’S WARS


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Definition of “War” for the U.S.

Presidential or Congressional authorization of

military force against an enemy


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American Wars

The American RevolutionFries’s Rebellion “The Hot Water War”1775-17831797-1799RebellionThe Indian Wars1775-1890The Barbary WarsInter-State War (Rebellion)1800-1815

Inter-State WarShay's Rebellion1786-1787The War of 1812Rebellion1812-1815

Inter-State WarThe Whiskey Rebellion1794War of Texas IndependenceRebellion1838

Inter-State WarQuasi-War With France

1798-1800Mexican-American WarInter-State War1846-1848Inter-State War


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American Wars (2)

U.S. Slave RebellionsSamoan Civil War1800-18651898-1899Civil War & Foreign Intervention“Bleeding Kansas”1855-1860U.S. Philippine WarCivil War (Kansas)1899-1902

Civil War & Foreign InterventionU.S. Civil War1861-1865Boxer RebellionCivil War1900

Rebellion & Foreign InterventionHawaiian Revolution1893The Moro WarsRebellion & Foreign Interven-1901-1913

tionCivil War & Foreign Intervention

Spanish-American WarPanamanian Revolution18981903Inter-State WarRevolution & Foreign Intervention


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American Wars (3)

The Cuban RevolutionWorld War I1906-19091917-1918 (U.S. involvement)

Civil War & Foreign Interven-Inter-State War

tion

Russian Civil WarThe Banana Wars1919-19211909-1933Civil War & Foreign Intervention

Civil Wars & Foreign Interven- tionWorld War II

1941-1945 (U.S. involvement)

U.S. Occupation-Vera CruzInter-State War1914Inter-State WarThe Cold War

1945-1991Raid into MexicoInter-State War1916-1917Inter-State War


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American Wars (4)

The Korean WarThe Mayaguez Rescue Operation

1950-1953May 1975

Inter-State WarInter-State Conflict

The Vietnam WarIranian Hostage Rescue-”Desert One”

1956-1975April 1980

Civil War, Inter-State WarInter-State Conflict

U.S. in LebanonU.S. Libya Conflict

19581981, 1986

Civil War & Foreign Interven-Inter-State War

tion

U.S. in Lebanon

Dominican Republic War1982-1984

1965Civil War, Foreign Intervention,

Civil War & Foreign Interven- Inter-State War

tion


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American Wars (5)

Invasion of Grenada“No-Fly-Zone” War-Iraq

19831991-2003

Inter-State WarInter-State War

The Tanker WarU.S. in Somalia

1984-19881992-1994

Inter-State War & ForeignCivil War & Foreign Intervention

Intervention U.S. (NATO) in Bosnia

Invasion of Panama1994-1995

1989Civil War, Foreign Intervention &

Inter-State War Inter-State War

“Operation Desert Storm”Occupation of Haiti

19911994

Inter-State WarForeign Intervention


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American Wars (6)

Strikes on Afghanistan, SudanAttack on World Trade Center & Pentagon

August 1998September 2001(Response to)

Terrorist ConflictTerrorist Conflict

“Desert Fox” (Iraq)Afghanistan War

December 19982001-Present

Inter-State WarWar Against Terrorism

Kosovo War“Operation Iraqi Freedom”

19992003-Present

Civil War, Foreign Interven-Inter-State War

tion, Inter-State War

Attack on U.S.S. Cole

(Response to)

October 2000

Terrorist Conflict


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

“Republicans and Democrats prepare to battle over deficits and budget.”


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

“Packers and Steelers go to war in Super Bowl”

“The battle will be won or lost in the trenches”


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

20th-21st Centuries American “Wars”

“War on Drugs”

“War on Crime”

“War on Abortion”

“War on Poverty”

“War on Homosexuality”

“War on Alcohol”

“War on Gun Politics”

“War on Smoking”

“War on Obesity”

“War on Terrorism”


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

But, if

“War Is Not The Answer”

Doesn’t it depend on what the question is?


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American popular culture embraces war in both abstract and concrete ways, and always has. Why?


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

1939

Margaret Mitchell

1st edition 1936


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Report of the Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry (The Nye Report) 1936

“The committee finds, further, that the very quality which in civilian life tends to lead toward progressive civilization, namely the improvements of machinery, has been used by the munitions makers to scare nations into a continued frantic expenditure for the latest improvements in devices of warfare. . . .

While the evidence before this committee does not show that wars have been started solely because of the activities of munitions makers and their agents, . . . the committee finds it to be against the peace of the world for selfishly interested organizations to be left free to goad and frighten nations into military activity.”


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

War and Historical Memory—4 Questions

1. How do reasons for going to war affect our beliefs about who we are?

2. Which actions during a war most contribute to historical memories of that war?

3. In what ways do war’s outcomes underscore or challenge our historical beliefs?

  • 4. What effect does historical distance have on our memories of a war?


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

American popular culture embraces war in both abstract and concrete ways, and always has. Why?


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Wars mark the boundaries of American literary history

TIME PERIODLITERARY GENRE

Antebellum U.S.Romanticism

Post-Civil WarRealism

Post-World War IModernism

Post-World War IIPost-Modernism


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

MANUFACTURING MEANING FROM THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

The First Respected History of the Revolution

History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (3 vols., 1805)

Mercy Otis Warren


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

The First American Hero

Mason “Parson” Weems

George Washington (as pictured in Weems’ biography)


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Others Join the Pantheon

Patrick Henry

James Otis


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

THE ADVENT OF THE “BEST-SELLER”


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Stephen Crane

First edition, 1895


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

Paul Leicester Ford

First edition, 1899


Wartime memories institutionalizing american wars 1783 present

“My argument is that War makes rattling good history, but Peace is poor reading.”

Thomas Hardy, British poet and novelist, 1840-1928


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