Dangerous Guests

Author: Ken Miller
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 080145493X
Format: PDF, ePub
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In Dangerous Guests, Ken Miller reveals how wartime pressures nurtured a budding patriotism in the ethnically diverse revolutionary community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. During the War for Independence, American revolutionaries held more than thirteen thousand prisoners—both British regulars and their so-called Hessian auxiliaries—in makeshift detention camps far from the fighting. As the Americans' principal site for incarcerating enemy prisoners of war, Lancaster stood at the nexus of two vastly different revolutionary worlds: one national, the other intensely local. Captives came under the control of local officials loosely supervised by state and national authorities. Concentrating the prisoners in the heart of their communities brought the revolutionaries’ enemies to their doorstep, with residents now facing a daily war at home. Many prisoners openly defied their hosts, fleeing, plotting, and rebelling, often with the clandestine support of local loyalists. By early 1779, General George Washington, furious over the captives’ ongoing attempts to subvert the American war effort, branded them "dangerous guests in the bowels of our Country." The challenge of creating an autonomous national identity in the newly emerging United States was nowhere more evident than in Lancaster, where the establishment of a detention camp served as a flashpoint for new conflict in a community already unsettled by stark ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences. Many Lancaster residents soon sympathized with the Hessians detained in their town while the loyalist population considered the British detainees to be the true patriots of the war. Miller demonstrates that in Lancaster, the notably local character of the war reinforced not only preoccupations with internal security but also novel commitments to cause and country.

Lenape Country

Author: Jean R. Soderlund
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812246470
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In 1631, when the Dutch tried to develop plantation agriculture in the Delaware Valley, the Lenape Indians destroyed the colony of Swanendael and killed its residents. The Natives and Dutch quickly negotiated peace, avoiding an extended war through diplomacy and trade. The Lenapes preserved their political sovereignty for the next fifty years as Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, and English colonists settled the Delaware Valley. The European outposts did not approach the size and strength of those in Virginia, New England, and New Netherland. Even after thousands of Quakers arrived in West New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the late 1670s and '80s, the region successfully avoided war for another seventy-five years. Lenape Country is a sweeping narrative history of the multiethnic society of the Delaware Valley in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. After Swanendael, the Natives, Swedes, and Finns avoided war by focusing on trade and forging strategic alliances in such events as the Dutch conquest, the Mercurius affair, the Long Swede conspiracy, and English attempts to seize land. Drawing on a wide range of sources, author Jean R. Soderlund demonstrates that the hallmarks of Delaware Valley society—commitment to personal freedom, religious liberty, peaceful resolution of conflict, and opposition to hierarchical government—began in the Delaware Valley not with Quaker ideals or the leadership of William Penn but with the Lenape Indians, whose culture played a key role in shaping Delaware Valley society. The first comprehensive account of the Lenape Indians and their encounters with European settlers before Pennsylvania's founding, Lenape Country places Native culture at the center of this part of North America.

A Generous and Merciful Enemy

Author: Daniel Krebs
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806189053
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Some 37,000 soldiers from six German principalities, collectively remembered as Hessians, entered service as British auxiliaries in the American War of Independence. At times, they constituted a third of the British army in North America, and thousands of them were imprisoned by the Americans. Despite the importance of Germans in the British war effort, historians have largely overlooked these men. Drawing on research in German military records and common soldiers’ letters and diaries, Daniel Krebs places the prisoners on center stage in A Generous and Merciful Enemy, portraying them as individuals rather than simply as numbers in casualty lists. Setting his account in the context of British and European politics and warfare, Krebs explains the motivations of the German states that provided contract soldiers for the British army. We think of the Hessians as mercenaries, but, as he shows, many were conscripts. Some were new recruits; others, veterans. Some wanted to stay in the New World after the war. Krebs further describes how the Germans were made prisoners, either through capture or surrender, and brings to life their experiences in captivity from New England to Havana, Cuba. Krebs discusses prison conditions in detail, addressing both the American approach to war prisoners and the prisoners’ responses to their experience. He assesses American efforts as a “generous and merciful enemy” to use the prisoners as economic, military, and propagandistic assets. In the process, he never loses sight of the impact of imprisonment on the POWs themselves. Adding new dimensions to an important but often neglected topic in military history, Krebs probes the origins of the modern treatment of POWs. An epilogue describes an almost-forgotten 1785 treaty between the United States and Prussia, the first in western legal history to regulate the treatment of prisoners of war.

Targeting Civilians in War

Author: Alexander B. Downes
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801457296
Format: PDF, Docs
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Accidental harm to civilians in warfare often becomes an occasion for public outrage, from citizens of both the victimized and the victimizing nation. In this vitally important book on a topic of acute concern for anyone interested in military strategy, international security, or human rights, Alexander B. Downes reminds readers that democratic and authoritarian governments alike will sometimes deliberately kill large numbers of civilians as a matter of military strategy. What leads governments to make such a choice? Downes examines several historical cases: British counterinsurgency tactics during the Boer War, the starvation blockade used by the Allies against Germany in World War I, Axis and Allied bombing campaigns in World War II, and ethnic cleansing in the Palestine War. He concludes that governments decide to target civilian populations for two main reasons-desperation to reduce their own military casualties or avert defeat, or a desire to seize and annex enemy territory. When a state's military fortunes take a turn for the worse, he finds, civilians are more likely to be declared legitimate targets to coerce the enemy state to give up. When territorial conquest and annexation are the aims of warfare, the population of the disputed land is viewed as a threat and the aggressor state may target those civilians to remove them. Democracies historically have proven especially likely to target civilians in desperate circumstances. In Targeting Civilians in War, Downes explores several major recent conflicts, including the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Civilian casualties occurred in each campaign, but they were not the aim of military action. In these cases, Downes maintains, the achievement of quick and decisive victories against overmatched foes allowed democracies to win without abandoning their normative beliefs by intentionally targeting civilians. Whether such "restraint" can be guaranteed in future conflicts against more powerful adversaries is, however, uncertain. During times of war, democratic societies suffer tension between norms of humane conduct and pressures to win at the lowest possible costs. The painful lesson of Targeting Civilians in War is that when these two concerns clash, the latter usually prevails.

Scars of Independence

Author: Holger Hoock
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0804137285
Format: PDF
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A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE A magisterial new work that rewrites the story of America's founding The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It's a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this deeply researched and elegantly written account of America's founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war--one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand. In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story of the Revolution. American Patriots persecuted and tortured Loyalists. British troops massacred enemy soldiers and raped colonial women. Prisoners were starved on disease-ridden ships and in subterranean cells. African-Americans fighting for or against independence suffered disproportionately, and Washington's army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock's new reckoning also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint toward fellow subjects, while the Patriots documented war crimes in an ingenious effort to unify the fledgling nation. For two centuries we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, revealing the inherent tensions between moral purpose and violent tendencies in America's past. In so doing, it offers a new origins story that is both relevant and necessary--an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.

The Enemy in Our Hands

Author: Robert Doyle
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813173833
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Revelations of abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay had repercussions extending beyond the worldwide media scandal that ensued. The controversy surrounding photos and descriptions of inhumane treatment of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from the war on terror marked a watershed moment in the study of modern warfare and the treatment of prisoners of war. Amid allegations of human rights violations and war crimes, one question stands out among the rest: Was the treatment of America’s most recent prisoners of war an isolated event or part of a troubling and complex issue that is deeply rooted in our nation’s military history? Military expert Robert C. Doyle’s The Enemy in Our Hands: America’s Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror draws from diverse sources to answer this question. Historical as well as timely in its content, this work examines America’s major wars and past conflicts—among them, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam—to provide understanding of the United States’ treatment of military and civilian prisoners. The Enemy in Our Hands offers a new perspective of U.S. military history on the subject of EPWs and suggests that the tactics employed to manage prisoners of war are unique and disparate from one conflict to the next. In addition to other vital information, Doyle provides a cultural analysis and exploration of U.S. adherence to international standards of conduct, including the 1929 Geneva Convention in each war. Although wars are not won or lost on the basis of how EPWs are treated, the treatment of prisoners is one of the measures by which history’s conquerors are judged.

The War for American Independence A Reference Guide

Author: Mark Edward Lender
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1610698347
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An indispensable resource for investigating America's War for Independence, this book provides a comprehensive yet concise narrative that combines the author's original perspectives with the latest scholarship on the subject. • Offers readers an incisive view of the ferocity of the war and the human cost of independence • Documents how and why the Continental Army became a racially integrated army, something America would not see again until the Korean War • Explains how a colonial rebellion in America became part of a world war

Scars of Independence

Author: Holger Hoock
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0804137285
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE A magisterial new work that rewrites the story of America's founding The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It's a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this deeply researched and elegantly written account of America's founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war--one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand. In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story of the Revolution. American Patriots persecuted and tortured Loyalists. British troops massacred enemy soldiers and raped colonial women. Prisoners were starved on disease-ridden ships and in subterranean cells. African-Americans fighting for or against independence suffered disproportionately, and Washington's army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock's new reckoning also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint toward fellow subjects, while the Patriots documented war crimes in an ingenious effort to unify the fledgling nation. For two centuries we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, revealing the inherent tensions between moral purpose and violent tendencies in America's past. In so doing, it offers a new origins story that is both relevant and necessary--an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.

Almost a Miracle

Author: John E. Ferling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195382927
Format: PDF, ePub
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Describes the military history of the American Revolution and the grim realities of the eight-year conflict while offering descriptions of the major engagements on land and sea and the decisions that influenced the course of the war.