On May 13, 1846, the United States Congress declared war on Mexico. Although the Mexican-American War lasted only 18 months, its consequences were profound. Mexico lost nearly half of its territory to the United States: Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. Some historians have described this conflict as America's first step toward empire.
"George C Scott is great"
On April 25th, 1898, the United States declared war on Spain. Less than seven months later, a victorious America claimed the former Spanish colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands. To the American diplomat John Hay, the Spanish-American War was "a splendid little war". It had been popular, brief, and inexpensive, especially in terms of casualties. But the Spanish-American War marked a change in America's international role.
On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered what remained of his Confederate Army. But what had the North won? The United States of America was now one nation, but that nation was crippled by the economic costs of war: wholesale destruction, inflation, and poverty. The political costs were no less. Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated and Southern leaders were in jail. Northern politicians now began to "reconstruct" the South, to build state governments that would be loyal to the union.
World War II redrew the map of the world. No longer would Europe be the center of power. As the continent exhausted itself in yet another war, two new nations with conflicting ideologies were rising to prominence: the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Both nations would eventually fight on the same side in World War II, but they would not emerge as partners.
The United States emerged from the American Revolution still engaged in old world politics. In particular, America faced all the trade restrictions of the British Navigation Acts. As a result, The United States declared war on Great Britain in 1812, and proceeded to invade Canada, one of Britain's possessions, an invasion which failed. At a cost of $80 million in national debt and of a single party assuming almost unchallenged power, the War of 1812 has been called "America's most unpopular war".
"An interesting listen"
In 1895 Cuba began its struggle for independence from Spain - a struggle that resulted in a demand for US involvement. This demand gained intensity when the USS Maine inexplicably sank in a Havana harbor in 1898. Tensions between the two nations rose as the United States continued to insist that Spain grant Cuba its independence and withdraw forces from the island. On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. Due to an utter lack of preparedness on Spain’s part, the war was decidedly one-sided.
In 1776 the 13 American colonies, refusing to pay unjust taxes, declared their independence from Britain. The resulting years of war became known as the American Revolution, but many of the Founding Fathers believed the real American revolution was not the war with Britain but the revolution in ideas that had preceded and caused the war. From 1760 to 1775, many Americans were transformed from loyal British subjects into rebels. Together, the 13 colonies set out to create something new: a government that derived its just authority from the consent of the governed.
When World War I erupted, Americans fiercely debated US involvement; the nation had a deep tradition of avoiding foreign wars. But while the Spanish-American War had challenged this tradition, the First World War would shatter it.
"Ralph Raico and the war that was the beginning of the end"
By early August 1914, the world was convulsed by the first world war, which engulfed Europe. On the western front, there was constant carnage, but little movement. Soldiers bled and died to win a stretch of dirt, which was quickly lost again. Europe seemed to be deadlocked in a bloodletting frenzy. As the nation-states battled, they awaited the response of the greatest of the neutral powers: the United States.
In 1764, Britain imposed the first of several taxes with the Sugar Act. This was followed by the Stamp Act and the Townshend Revenue Act. In 1773, the Seven Years War with France had made Britain the greatest power on earth. But the war had doubled her national debt; interest payments alone consumed 5/8ths of Britain's annual budget. To ease this burden, Britain made a fateful blunder: she decided to impose and enforce taxes upon the American colonies.
"Not quite what I expected."
"Good book for a short Historical review "
Following World War II, the United States and Soviet Russia vied for dominance around the world in an intense contest called the Cold War. Both Korea and Vietnam felt the full brunt of this conflict, and each was divided into two ideologically opposed sectors; to the north, the Communists dominated, while to the south, the United States prevailed. In both countries, America would face her worst nightmare: a land war in Asia. It began in Korea but continued in Vietnam, where more than 58 thousand Americans would die.
Historians have said that World War II was a continuation of World War I, but with greater violence and less regard for the values of civilization. The Treaty of Versailles, which had officially ended WWI, had caused the European balance of power to swing wildly. Germany had been stripped of her colonies, divided into pieces, and burdened with a staggering war debt. New nations were created; old hostilities were renewed. Some of these hostilities had found a voice in a new political philosophy: fascism.
"too many fake voices"
After WWII, Korea was divided in half at the 38th parallel. To the north were the Communists; to the south were the United Nations peacekeeping forces. In June 1950, North Korean soldiers backed by Soviet-built tanks poured across the parallel. The Korean conflict became on of the first expressions of the Cold War between Russia and America. It was an attempt to balance the power that had been thrown so badly out of alignment by WWII. But Korea would bring victory to neither side.
"Wow. Just wow."
This volume is a two-part history of the Civil War. Part I. From 1861 to 1865 America was caught in the convulsions of war—the Civil War. No historical event, short of the American Revolution itself, has so deeply affected the United States. The Civil War is often called the War between the States by Southern historians, aptly illustrating the political question underpinning the war: Was the United States one nation, or were the United States a group of sovereign entities that could choose to disassociate? Both sides honored the same constitution, spoke the same language, and worshipped the same God. But the two could not agree on whether America was a union or a compact of states.
From 1861 to 1865 America was caught in the convulsions of war, the Civil War. No historical event, short of the American Revolution itself, has so deeply affected the United States. The central question involved the nature of the union. Was the United States one nation, or were the United States a group of sovereign states that could choose to disassociate?