War For Independence

A lot of things have changed over the centuries since Europeans began to settle in the Americas. From fighting to survive winter to a bustling nation of great strength; the same applies to the military, whichever forms it took on as either the militias of old or the US Armed Forces at the time of World War 1 (WWI). The military has evolved greatly and has learned a lot from its past failures and successes; such as the need for a central army, the need for a standing army even in times of ‘peace,’ and the effectiveness of total war.

The first and foremost most important thing that the US Armed Forces has learned is the need for a central army. While the militias of old proved effective in the defense of their towns and villages against Native American raids and wild-life attacks, the government(s) soon realized that they were not effective in the battle against nations with central armies. This was made clear in the Revolutionary War.

The vast majority of the militias were inadequately trained in the military tactics of the day and did not fare well in the lineup and shoot style of battles that were fought. Most militiamen would flee once the battle commence because they did not have the discipline needed to stand and face the enemy while bullets were flying, taking out men all around them.

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For this very reason, the Continental Congress raised the Continental Army. The Continental Army was trained to have the discipline to keep on fighting and taking orders even when their fellow brothers-in-arms were dying all around them.

Another important thing that the US Armed Forces learned was the need to have a standing army, even in times of ‘peace.’ After the Revolutionary War, the US Congress did not see it necessary to have a standing army at a federal level in times of ‘peace.’ Instead, each state was charged with keeping and maintaining militias. Congress soon learned that this was a mistake. When Shays’ Rebellion took place, the US Government did not have the means to raise an army comprised of the states’ militias in time to suppress the rebellion before too much was lost. After the rebels were suppressed, the lawmakers soon saw the errors of their ways and called a convention to write the Constitution of the United States of America, which included a federal, standing military that would exist both in times of war and peace. All though this was mainly a lesson for the US Government, it is in some ways a lesson for the US Armed Forces; It ultimately taught them the importance of protecting the nation’s government and more importantly to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the same,’ as is stated in the oath of enlistment for the US Armed Forces.

The last lesson that the US Armed Forces learned was not learned through failures but rather through success; the effectiveness of Total War. As the Civil War dragged on longer than the Union cared for,r the US Armed Force made a great and aggressive decision that would soon help bring the rebels to their knees; the decision to allow anyone and everything that supported the Confederacy fair game, as far as targets go. So in 1864 General Sherman began his ‘march to the sea.’ During this ‘march to the sea’, anyone and everything in his sight was leveled to the ground and left in such a state, that it was deemed impossible to repair or rebuild. After seeing the success of General Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea,’ the US Armed Forces started to apply the concept to all of their war plans to help keep the war in the favor of America and the American interest.

All in all, the US Armed Forces have evolved and learned a lot over the centuries since the Americas were settled; with the three biggest lessons being the need for a central army, the need for a standing army in times of ‘peace,’ and the implication and advantages of total wars.

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War For Independence. (2022, May 12). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/war-for-independence/

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