Short, Offhand, Killing Affair Soldiers and Social Conflict During the Mexican-American War

ISBN-10: 0807854050
ISBN-13: 9780807854051
Edition: 2002
Authors: Paul W. Foos
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Description: The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) found Americans on new terrain. A republic founded on the principle of armed defense of freedom was now going to war on behalf of Manifest Destiny, seeking to conquer an unfamiliar nation and people. Through an  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/7/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) found Americans on new terrain. A republic founded on the principle of armed defense of freedom was now going to war on behalf of Manifest Destiny, seeking to conquer an unfamiliar nation and people. Through an examination of rank-and-file soldiers, Paul Foos sheds new light on the war and its effect on attitudes toward other races and nationalities that stood in the way of American expansionism. Drawing on wartime diaries and letters not previously examined by scholars, Foos shows that the experience of soldiers in the war differed radically from the positive, patriotic image trumpeted by political and military leaders seeking recruits for a volunteer army. Promised access to land, economic opportunity, and political equality, the enlistees instead found themselves subjected to unusually harsh discipline and harrowing battle conditions. As a result, some soldiers adapted the rhetoric of Manifest Destiny to their own purposes, taking for themselves what had been promised, often by looting the Mexican countryside or committing racial and sexual atrocities. Others deserted the army to fight for the enemy or seek employment in the West. These acts, Foos argues, along with the government's tacit acceptance of them, translated into a more violent, damaging variety of Manifest Destiny.

A Short, Offhand, Killing Affair
Introduction
Service and Servitude
Citizens' Militias in the United States
Volunteer Excitement among the Masses
The Politics of Compulsion
Discipline and Desertion in Mexico
The Wage of Manifest Destiny
Dreams of Conquest and the Limits of the White Man's Democracy
Free Soil and the Heritage of the Citizen-Soldier
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index

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