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By Paul Foos

The Mexican-American warfare (1846-1848) came across americans on new terrain. A republic based at the precept of armed security of freedom used to be now going to battle on behalf of take place future, trying to overcome an unexpected country and other people. via an exam of rank-and-file squaddies, Paul Foos sheds new gentle at the battle and its impression on attitudes towards different races and nationalities that stood within the method of yank expansionism. Drawing on wartime diaries and letters now not formerly tested via students, Foos indicates that the event of squaddies within the struggle differed substantially from the confident, patriotic snapshot trumpeted by way of political and armed forces leaders looking recruits for a volunteer military. Promised entry to land, financial chance, and political equality, the enlistees in its place came across themselves subjected to surprisingly harsh self-discipline and harrowing conflict stipulations. for that reason, a few infantrymen tailored the rhetoric of show up future to their very own reasons, taking for themselves what have been promised, frequently by way of looting the Mexican nation-state or committing racial and sexual atrocities. Others abandoned the military to struggle for the enemy or search employment within the West. those acts, Foos argues, in addition to the government's tacit popularity of them, translated right into a extra violent, harmful number of happen future.

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Additional info for A Short, Offhand, Killing Affair: Soldiers and Social Conflict during the Mexican-American War

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Like other prominent figures in the American church, notably Bishop John 27 service and servitude Hughes of New York, McElroy made loyalty to the nation a high priority and sought to lay to rest any notions of contradictions between religious principle and patriotic action. Catholic soldiers found Mexican churches to be a refuge, offering familiarity and sometimes friendliness. 48 In remote areas of the Rio Grande, Mexican Catholic priests rode a circuit and preached to mixed congregations of soldiers and civilians.

T]he myths of Jackson and the other frontier heroes were in part consciously manufactured by not invisible image-makers; that Jackson was a planter and not a frontiersman, who won his victory at New Orleans by artillery and not rifle fire. . 15 In addition to the bearing of arms, an essential component of citizenship was the universal holding of, or at least access to, land. In popular thought land represented independence—that is, economic status sufficient to resist coercion by elites. The prominence of agrarian political movements, even among urban workers, is evidence of the deeply ingrained importance of the ideals through which Americans saw themselves and the republic.

In Massachusetts, already heavily industrialized in the 1840s, and harboring a large, floating work force, the decline of the state militia system disturbed leading citizens, and they decried the pacifist voices that called for an end to the militia system. Industrial disputes were inevitable, wrote a Whig editorialist from Wor38 c i t i z e n s ’ m i l i t i as cester, and provisions for order were necessary. The Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island was a case in point of the need for a ready militia.

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