Military history

For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607 to 2012

For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607 to 2012

For the Common Defense examines the nation’s pluralistic military institutions in both peace and war, the tangled civil-military relations that created the country’s commitment to civilian control of the military, the armed forces’ increasing nationalization and professionalization, and America’s growing reliance on sophisticated technologies spawned by the Industrial Revolution and the Computer and Information Ages. This edition is also a timely reminder that vigilance is indeed the price of liberty but that vigilance has always been—and continues to be—a costly, complex, and contentious undertaking in a world that continually tests America’s willingness and ability to provide for the common defense.

Chapter 1. A Dangerous New World, 1607–1689

Chapter 2. The Colonial Wars, 1689–1763

Chapter 3. The American Revolution, 1763–1783

Chapter 4. Preserving the New Republic’s Independence, 1783–1815

Chapter 5. The Armed Forces and National Expansion, 1815–1860

Chapter 6. The Civil War, 1861–1862

Chapter 7. The Civil War, 1863–1865

Chapter 8. From Postwar Demobilization Toward Great Power Status, 1865–1898

Chapter 9. The Birth of an American Empire, 1898–1902

Chapter 10. Building the Military Forces of a World Power, 1899–1917

Chapter 11. The United States Fights in the “War to End All Wars,” 1917–1918

Chapter 12. Military Policy Between the Two World Wars, 1919–1939

Chapter 13. The United States and World War II: From the Edge of Defeat to the Edge of Victory, 1939–1943

Chapter 14. The United States and World War II: The Road to Victory, 1943–1945

Chapter 15. Cold War and Hot War: The United States Enters the Age of Nuclear Deterrence and Collective Security, 1945–1953

Chapter 16. Waging Cold War: American Defense Policy for Extended Deterrence and Containment, 1953–1965

Chapter 17. In Dubious Battle: Vietnam, 1961–1967

Chapter 18. The Lost War: Vietnam, 1968–1975

Chapter 19. The Common Defense and the End of the Cold War, 1976–1993

Chapter 20. World Disorder New and Old, 1993–2001

Chapter 21. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 2001–2011


Appendix A. Participation and Losses, Major Wars, 1775–2012

Appendix B. The Armed Forces and National Expansion

Appendix C. The Armed Forces of the Cold War and After

Appendix D. U.S. Troops Stationed Abroad

Appendix E. American Military and Diplomatic Deaths, Terrorist and Military Actions, 1980–2000

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