History Content Summaries

Mead Publishes

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Summary of Event In 1911, Franz Boas, Margaret Mead’s mentor, published his landmark book The Mind of Primitive Man, which freed anthropology from the stigma of racism. Before that time, “higher” and “lower” races were considered to exist, rated on a scale of intellectual capacity. Boas’s book was the cornerstone of a new view of […]

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Electronic Resources

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

General 365Gay . http://www.365gay.com Colorful and packed with information, 365Gay is a gay- and lesbian-focused daily, online newspaper. It offers news, entertainment stories, lifestyle and travel sections, and an opinion section with letters to the editor. The site’s “Fun Zone” includes standard newspaper staples such as comic strips, horoscopes, and crossword puzzles. Like many sites, […]

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Chronological List of Entries

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

1800’s July 19-20, 1848 Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention July 4, 1855 Whitman Publishes Leaves of Grass Nov. 11, 1865 Mary Edwards Walker Is Awarded the Medal of Honor Aug. 29, 1867 Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Speaks Publicly for Gay and Lesbian Rights May 6, 1868 Kertbeny Coins the Terms “Homosexual” and “Heterosexual” 1869 Westphal Advocates […]

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Bibliography

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

General Reference Adam, Barry. The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Movement. 1987. Reprint. New York: Twayne, 1995. Detailed overview of how gays and lesbians organized in the last half of the twentieth century to press for their civil rights. Bagemihl, Bruce. Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. […]

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Dames and Moore v. Regan

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld actions taken by President Jimmy Carter during the Iran hostage crisis, expanding the U.S. president’s broad power to act in foreign affairs. U.S. embassy personnel in Iran were taken captive in 1979 and held hostage by Iranians. To resolve the crisis before leaving office in January, 1981, President Jimmy Carter signed […]

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Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas’s Brother Is Arrested for Murder

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In an unprecedented action, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo ordered the arrest of Raúl Salinas, the brother of his predecessor and political ally Carlos Salinas, for murdering the Salinas’s brother-in-law. Raúl Salinas was convicted and sentenced but was later acquitted of the murder and released. The ensuing scandal led to breaks in tradition, the exposure of […]

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Canada Invokes War Measures Act Against Quebec Separatists

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Canada, a nation with a nonviolent political tradition and democratic freedoms, confronted separatist terrorism by suspending civil liberties in its French-speaking province, Quebec. Summary of Event Political violence and upheavals have been very rare in Canadian history. In spite of the country’s divisive tensions, generated by regionalism and by cultural and ethnic diversity, Canada has […]

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Civil Rights Act of 1875

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was the last, and arguably the most progressive, major piece of civil rights legislation in the Reconstruction era. It was drafted in 1870 by Charles Sumner, a Republican senator from Massachusetts. Sumner, who had been an outspoken abolitionist since before the Civil War, was considered by many to represent […]

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An Address to the Negroes in the State of New York

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

“There are but two places where all go after death, white and black, rich and poor; those places are Heaven and Hell. Heaven is a place made for those, who are born again, and who love God, and it is a place where they will be happy for ever. Hell is a place made for […]

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Yugoslav state immigrants

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The history of Yugoslav state immigration divides into three distinct eras: the period before Yugoslavia was formed in 1918, the period during which Yugoslavia was an independent nation, and the period after the early 1990’s, when Yugoslavia began breaking into new, ethnically based independent states. Yugoslav immigration is further complicated by the large number of […]

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Censuses, U.S.

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the decennial censuses were originally undertaken for the purpose of apportioning congressional seats, electoral votes in presidential elections, and funding of government programs among the states. Over the years, the censuses have collected ever broader and more diverse data on residents of the United States. Data collected by the census […]

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New York: West Point

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

West Point was the site of an important fort controlling passage on the Hudson River. It was this fort that General Benedict Arnold (1741-1801) attempted to betray to England during the Revolutionary War. Since 1802, it has been the site of the United States Military Academy, the professional school for prospective Army officers. West Point […]

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Web Sites

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

An annotated list of web sites useful in the further study of weapons and warfare. The AK Site. http://kalashnikov.guns.ru/ Affiliated with: Military Parade magazine Contains detailed specifications and history of the development of the Kalashnikov rifle, in all of its variants the most widely adopted infantry weapon of the late twentieth century. American Battle Monuments […]

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Bibliography

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A bibliography of important works and further resources in the study of military history. Recently published secondary print resources are categorized by subject, such as General Studies, Military Theory and Strategy, and type of weapon or technology. Abbreviations are used at the end of each entry, summarizing features of the work as follows: “ill” for […]

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Time Line

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A time line of important events in the history of weapons and warfare. c. 13,000 b.c.e. Spears and spear-throwers appear as weapons. c. 10,000 b.c.e. Bows and arrows appear as weapons in Neolithic cave paintings. c. 9th millen. b.c.e. The sling makes its first known appearance. c. 7000 b.c.e. The inhabitants of Jericho construct massive […]

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Military Theorists

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

An annotated list of prominent military theorists. Although weaponry has changed substantially, some of the fundamental military tactics remain the same. Essentially generals have learned to choose their own battlefield, if possible, and to disengage if they face inevitable defeat. Over history, various generals have tried to adapt these and other tactics, and theoreticians have […]

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Lexicon

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A list of war-related terms and their definitions. Abteilung. AbteilungGerman term for a detachment or battalion in either the German (later West German or East German) or Swiss armed forces. During World War II (1939-1945), an Abteilung was generally for a unit of about 1,000 soldiers and was used in the Waffen-SS and other groups. […]

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War Literature

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The following works are important in the study of military history. The following works are important in the study of military history. They are selected for their value in representing the conflict and/or the period in question, and they are arranged in roughly chronological subsections, within which they are arranged alphabetically by title. Ancient World […]

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War Films

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The following films are important in the study of military history. The following films are important in the study of military history. They are selected for their value in representing the conflict and/or the period in question, and they are arranged in roughly chronological subsections, within which they are arranged alphabetically by title. An * […]

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Tactics

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Military units preparing for and in battle are governed by the overall strategy of the campaign. Overview Military units preparing for and in battle are governed by the overall Strategy;vs. tactics[tactics]strategy of the campaign. All component elements of a military force in a campaign maneuver fight within an operational plan. At the sharp end (in […]

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Strategy

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Simply stated, military strategy is the planning, coordination, and implementation of a set of actions, or tactics, that are aimed at defeating the enemy in an individual engagement or in a war as a whole. Overview Simply stated, military strategy is the planning, coordination, and implementation of a set of Tactics;vs. strategy[strategy]actions, or tactics, that […]

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Military Organization

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Military organization refers to the way a nation-state structures its armed forces. Overview Military organization refers to the way a nation-state structures its armed forces. Organization reflects the way a military perceives and develops its strategic mission and provides systematic command and control at the tactical level. An efficient organizational structure also includes administrative and […]

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International Arms Trade

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The international arms trade exists for weapons to be made in one country and sold for use in another country or occasionally to be transshipped to a third party. Overview The international arms trade exists for weapons to be made in one country and sold for use in another country or occasionally to be transshipped […]

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Intelligence and Counterintelligence

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Simply put, intelligence (or “intel”) is information that has been processed, evaluated, and analyzed. Overview Simply put, intelligence (or “intel”) is information that has been processed, evaluated, and analyzed. Intelligence exists to support policy makers and military leaders in a variety of ways. Basically, intelligence is concerned with issues related to national security and is […]

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Financing War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Finance can be defined as the way goods or services are funded. Overview Finance can be defined as the way goods or services are funded. Historically, financing of war, which is an expensive activity, has been achieved in a number of ways in order to pay for the logistics and the personnel of military forces. […]

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Diplomacy

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Diplomacy can be defined as the conduct of relations between sovereign entities such as nation-states, empires, and kingdoms. Overview Diplomacy can be defined as the conduct of relations between sovereign entities such as nation-states, empires, and kingdoms. Diplomacy takes the form of negotiations between duly appointed agents, known as diplomats. Diplomacy is relevant to an […]

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Cryptography

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Cryptography encompasses use of letters, numbers, symbols, and words to form coded messages. Overview Cryptography encompasses use of letters, numbers, symbols, and words to form coded messages. Military personnel utilize cryptography to transmit orders to officers and troops on land, sea, or in air as well as to mislead enemies who intercept messages. Historians have […]

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War Crimes and Military Justice

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Humans have committed war crimes against one another since wars were fought with clubs and stones, and for centuries war crimes were accepted as part of the horrendous price of waging war. Overview Humans have committed war crimes against one another since wars were fought with clubs and stones, and for centuries war crimes were […]

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Prisoners and War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Protocol I of 1977 constitute the legislation covering the protection of war victims. Overview The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Protocol I (Geneva Conventions)[Protocol 01]Protocol I of 1977 constitute the legislation covering the protection of war victims. Lawful combatants“Lawful combatants” who fall into the hands […]

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Peace Movements and Conscientious Objection to War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Peace movements are a loose assemblage of groups and individuals, often with dissimilar programs but in accord on seeking to reduce conflict or end war by achieving some change in foreign policy. Overview Peace movements are a loose assemblage of groups and individuals, often with dissimilar programs but in accord on seeking to reduce conflict […]

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Mercenaries

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Mercenaries are soldiers who serve not their own country, city-state, tribe, or clan but rather another group, purely for financial gain or other benefits. Overview Mercenaries are soldiers who serve not their own country, city-state, tribe, or clan but rather another group, purely for financial gain or other benefits. Most often (but not always), mercenaries […]

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Genocide

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Combining the Greek word genos (“race” or “tribe”) with the Latin cide (“killing”), Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), an obscure Jewish lawyer and refugee from Nazi-occupied Europe, coined the word “genocide” in 1944. Overview Combining the Greek word genos (“race” or “tribe”) with the Latin cide (“killing”), Lemkin, RaphaelLemkin, Raphael Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), an obscure Jewish lawyer […]

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Collaboration in War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Collaboration in war refers to the willful cooperation of local populations or elites with a foreign invader in a time of war. Overview Collaboration in war refers to the willful cooperation of local populations or elites with a foreign invader in a time of war. This can involve Fifth columns“fifth columns”–underground groups coordinated in advance […]

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Psychological Effects of War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In the anticipation of conflict, as well as during the fighting itself and afterward, there have long been known to be psychological effects on the people–both combatants and noncombatants–affected by conflict. Overview In the anticipation of conflict, as well as during the fighting itself and afterward, there have long been known to be psychological effects […]

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Medicine on the Battlefield

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Military medicine aims to keep soldiers and sailors fit enough to fight. Overview Military medicine aims to keep soldiers and sailors fit enough to fight. While it is likely that battlefield medicine has existed as long as humans have fought over territory, the subject has received comparatively little attention in the historical record. Much of […]

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Biology, Chemistry, and War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Science and war have always developed side by side. Overview Science and war have always developed side by side. New inventions were often made during war or to further bellicose goals. Scientists were tasked with inventing weapons that could kill the enemy more efficiently or ways to protect their governments’ own forces. Biology is the […]

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Women, Children, and War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Since ancient times, although men have predominated in leading and fighting in wars, women and children have been involved as well. Overview Since ancient times, although men have predominated in leading and fighting in wars, women and children have been involved as well. Women have participated in war as leaders and combatants. They have formulated […]

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War’s Impact on Economies

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Although most histories focus on the battles that accompany wars, few address the economic impact those conflicts have on the societies involved or the neutral parties connected to them. Overview Although most histories focus on the battles that accompany wars, few address the economic impact those conflicts have on the societies involved or the neutral […]

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Revolt, Rebellion, and Insurgency

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The legal framework of war may be the only place where a serious and spirited debate over the differences between revolt, rebellion, and insurgency can occur. Overview The legal framework of war may be the only place where a serious and spirited debate over the differences between revolt, rebellion, and insurgency can occur. However, for […]

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Propaganda

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Propaganda, simply put, is the manipulation of opinion. Overview Propaganda, simply put, is the manipulation of opinion. This, however, is the only thing simple about it. In its nuances and implications, propaganda’s basic appearance belies its utter complexity. To begin with, the propagandist aims to communicate messages at the level of the emotions rather than […]

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The Press and War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The notion of the fourth estate–the “press” (or the “media”)–has evolved over human history from oral recitation through the advent of print to the current digital age. Overview The notion of the fourth estate–the “press” (or the “media”)–has evolved over human history from oral recitation through the advent of print to the current digital age. […]

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Paramilitary Organizations

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Prior to the establishment of standing armies, groups of people armed themselves for their own protection, and essentially this is the origin of the many paramilitary organizations that have existed since ancient times. Overview Prior to the establishment of standing armies, groups of people armed themselves for their own protection, and essentially this is the […]

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Education, Textbooks, and War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Military veterans and officers instruct soldiers how to fight effectively in combat. Overview Military veterans and officers instruct soldiers how to fight effectively in combat. Lessons often include lectures or textbook assignments describing military history and exercises to enhance physical strength and agility and acquire skills with weapons. Military education emphasizes discipline and organization to […]

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Counterinsurgency

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Counterinsurgency, often referred to as COIN by the U.S. armed forces, refers to the attempt by a government to maintain its legitimacy against an armed uprising of a part of the populace. Overview Counterinsurgency, often referred to as COIN by the U.S. armed forces, refers to the attempt by a government to maintain its legitimacy […]

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Civilian Labor and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Military forces often relied on civilians to fulfill labor and support demands, obtaining weapons, food, and other essential items to enable combat troops to focus on warfare. Overview Military forces often relied on civilians to fulfill labor and support demands, obtaining weapons, food, and other essential items to enable combat troops to focus on warfare. […]

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Television and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Just as the film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) changed the ways that many people looked at warfare, so the presence of warfare in televised media of various types has once again changed public perceptions. Overview Just as the film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) changed the ways that many people […]

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Religion and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Religion, inseparable from warfare throughout human history, has changed in significance over time, between contemporary cultures, or even within a nation or culture. Overview Religion, inseparable from warfare throughout human history, has changed in significance over time, between contemporary cultures, or even within a nation or culture. War has at times been a ritual process […]

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Music and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Music, a prime means of expressing the human experience, has been closely connected to warfare from earliest times. Overview Music, a prime means of expressing the human experience, has been closely connected to warfare from earliest times. Within military establishments, music fosters team spirit, conveys signals, and provides the cadence for coordinated marching. Music also […]

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Literature and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

War is life’s greatest conflict and the ultimate form of competition. Overview War is life’s greatest conflict and the ultimate form of competition. As such, it continues to provide writers with a fertile field for examining the always intriguing complexities of human nature. Warfare is often railed against, and on occasion it has been chic […]

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Ideology and War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

War has been a universal and almost continuous human phenomenon from the earliest days of human life. Overview War has been a universal and almost continuous human phenomenon from the earliest days of human life. The conduct of war until the modern era was mostly a matter for kings, emperors, chiefs, and their warriors. However, […]

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Film and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Film and warfare have been linked ever since celluloid images were first projected onto a screen. Overview Film and warfare have been linked ever since celluloid images were first projected onto a screen. The practice of using cinema as a nationalistic propaganda tool is as old as the medium itself. Beginning in 1896, one-reelers consisting […]

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Commemoration of War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Commemoration relies on objects (such as monuments) and rituals (such as parades) that function as catalysts for remembering specific events. Overview Commemoration relies on objects (such as monuments) and rituals (such as parades) that function as catalysts for remembering specific events. The selection of these catalysts for collective memory depends largely on the values and […]

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Art and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

“War art” is a form of artistic expression with warfare as its subject. Overview “War art” is a form of artistic expression with warfare as its subject. Historians of art as well as military historians have traditionally interpreted war art in purely mimetic terms, defining it by what they believed it represented: the timeless essence […]

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Geography, Weather, and Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Warfare takes place within natural contexts that humans can do little to affect. Some Geographic Considerations Warfare takes place within natural contexts that humans can do little to affect. Whether in military action, gathering to fight, campaigning, or fighting in pitched battle, geographical factors such as terrain, food resources, water, weather, and climate have all […]

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Global Military Capabilities

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The military capabilities of 2010 are not goals for the future but the functions of our militaries today. Overview The military capabilities of 2010 are not goals for the future but the functions of our militaries today. Indeed, some militaries today seem to be militaries of tomorrow, with robots, drone airplanes, and other high-tech weapons. […]

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Warfare and the United Nations

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

International law recognizes the right of states to defend themselves. Political Considerations International law recognizes the right of states to defend themselves. The United Nations system requires all states to abide by Article 2.4 of the U.N. Charter, prohibiting threat and use of force while also requiring that states resort only to peaceful countermeasures when […]

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The War on Terror

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Though the name “War on Terror” was invented by the administration of U.S. Political Considerations Though the name “War on Terror” was invented by the administration of U.S. president Bush, George W.Bush, George W.George W. Bush (2001-2009), the conflict between the Western powers (and their allies) and the usually less organized and therefore more difficult-to-track […]

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Warfare in Afghanistan: The United States

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The attacks by al-Qaeda against the United States on September 11, 2001, led to the war in Afghanistan, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom. Political Considerations The attacks by Al-Qaeda[Al Qaeda]al-Qaeda against the United States on September 11, 2001, terrorist attacksSeptember 11, 2001, led to the war in Afghanistan, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom. […]

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Warfare in Iraq

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Although conflict between Iraq and the United States and its allies did not begin until 1990, in order to understand the political situation that led to the conflict, it is necessary to start with a review of U.S.-Iraqi relations from 1980 to 1990. Political Considerations Although conflict between Iraq and the United States and its […]

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Warfare in Afghanistan: The Soviet-Afghan Conflict

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The war in Afghanistan was the last major conflict of the twentieth century involving a superpower, the Soviet Union, and a regional actor, Afghanistan. Political Considerations The war in Afghanistan was the last major conflict of the twentieth century involving a superpower, the Soviet Soviet Union;AfghanistanUnion, and a regional actor, Afghanistan. The Soviet invasion of […]

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Warfare in Vietnam

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

As the conclusion of World War II liberated Southeast Asia from Japanese domination, Indochinese Communist Party leader Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) swiftly moved ahead with his political goal of a unified and independent Vietnam, proclaiming a Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945. Political Considerations As the conclusion of World War II liberated Southeast […]

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Colonial Wars of Independence

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In the late nineteenth century a combination of increasing European industrialization, expanding trade and finance from growth centers in North America and Western Europe, and developing technological advances in transportation and communications fostered a global expansion of the imperial powers’ political and military domination. Political Considerations In the late nineteenth century a combination of increasing […]

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The Cold War: The Nonaligned States

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The term “nonaligned states” refers to those nations that attempted to stake out independent positions between the American- and Soviet-led power blocs in the international politics of the Cold War. Political Considerations The term “nonaligned states” refers to those nations that attempted to stake out independent positions between the American- and Soviet-led power blocs in […]

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Israeli Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Israel is a state measuring 27,000 square kilometers (including the West Bank and Gaza), with about 20,000 square kilometers within the Green Line, Israel’s pre-1967 border. Political Considerations Israel is a state measuring 27,000 square kilometers (including the West Bank and Gaza), with about 20,000 square kilometers within the Green Line, Israel’s pre-1967 border. It […]

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The Cold War: The Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and the Left

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In the initial years after World War II (1939-1945), there remained hope for a continuation of the Soviet-American wartime alliance, but suspicions on both sides opened a rift between the two superpowers. Political Considerations In the initial years after World War II (1939-1945), there remained hope for a continuation of the Soviet-American wartime alliance, but […]

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The Cold War: The United States, NATO, and the Right

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The World War II (1939-1945) alliance of the United States, Great Britain, France, China, and the Soviet Union against the Fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan masked fundamental ideological differences among the Allies, which became apparent as the victorious powers attempted to reorder international relationships. Political Considerations The World War II World War II […]

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China: Modern Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Late nineteenth century China was ruled by the imperial government of the Qing (Ch’ing) Dynasty, which had its capital at Beijing (Peking). Political Considerations Late nineteenth century China was ruled by the imperial government of the Qing (Ch’ing) Qing DynastyDynasty, which had its capital at Beijing (Peking). Although the royal family and most senior officials […]

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World War II: Japan

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The core of Japan’s military institution, the Imperial Japanese Army, began its ascendancy to political dominance in the 1930’s. Political Considerations The core of Japan’s military institution, the Imperial Japanese ArmyImperial Japanese Army, began its ascendancy to political dominance in the 1930’s. Through the intimidation and, often, the assassination of its political opponents, the military […]

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World War II: Germany and Italy

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In the years between 1918 and 1933, German armed forces assumed a political posture fundamentally hostile to the young Weimar Republic created at the end of World War I, blaming that state for Germany’s humiliating defeat in the war, for its enduring political turmoil and economic problems, and for the perceived fraying of its social […]

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World War II: The Soviet Union

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, they turned what had been a relatively localized readjustment of the balance of power in Europe into a continent-wide total war. Political Considerations When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, they turned what had been a relatively localized readjustment of […]

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World War II: United States, Britain, and France

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

At the end of World War I (1914-1918), there was no longer a balance of power in Europe. Political Considerations At the end of World War I World War I (1914-1918)[World War 01];aftermath(1914-1918), there was no longer a balance of power in Europe. Britain and France had been physically devastated and were close to financial […]

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The Spanish Civil War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In July of 1936, the government of Spain’s five-year-old Second Republic, an unstable popular front composed of liberal democrats, socialists, and communists, came under fire from the political right. Political Considerations In July of 1936, the government of Spain’s five-year-old Second Republic, an unstable popular front composed of liberal democrats, socialists, and Communism;Spanish Civil Warcommunists, […]

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The “Great” War: World War I

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Beginning in 1871, with the unification of Kaiser Wilhelm (William) I’s (1797-1888) German Reich through the diplomacy of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) and the efficiency of the Prussian Army, the balance of power in Europe began to change. Political Considerations Beginning in 1871, with the unification of Kaiser Wilhelm (William) William IWilliam I (kaiser […]

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The Age of Bismarck

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Congress of Vienna, held to settle European affairs after the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), completed its work in 1815 after deciding not to unite the German states, creating instead the German Confederation of thirty-nine principalities that replaced the Holy Roman Empire. Political Considerations The Congress of Vienna, Congress of (1814-1815)Vienna, held to settle European affairs […]

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Imperial Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The one hundred years between 1850 and 1950 constituted one of the most violent and troubled periods in all of recorded history. Political Considerations The one hundred years between 1850 and 1950 constituted one of the most violent and troubled periods in all of recorded history. It witnessed the growing reliance of governments on military […]

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China: The Qing Empire

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The adoption of an isolationist policy by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) began a period of decline that ended in the downfall of the regime. Political Considerations The adoption of an isolationist policy by the Ming Ming DynastyDynasty (1368-1644) began a period of decline that ended in the downfall of the regime. This decline became evident […]

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Japan: Modern

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In the years from 1600 to 1930, Japan underwent three major shifts in political leadership: The Tokugawa period was followed by the era of the Meiji Restoration, and then, shortly before 1930, the nation saw the triumph of military ultranationalism over constitutional government. Political Considerations In the years from 1600 to 1930, Japan underwent three […]

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Iran

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The names “Iran” and “Persia” are virtually synonymous. Iran is the name by which Iranians have always known their country. The name Persia, derived from the ancient Greek Persis, was used by outsiders until the twentieth century, when Reza Shah Pahlavi (1878-1944), the shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941, insisted that “Iran” should become […]

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African Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

From the sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuries, sub-Saharan Africa underwent drastic change, evolving from a continent of empires, kingdoms, states, and city-states to a continent under European domination. Political Considerations From the sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuries, sub-Saharan Africa underwent drastic change, evolving from a continent of empires, kingdoms, states, and city-states to […]

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The Mughal Empire

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Geographical features have played a critical role in the history of warfare in the vast subcontinent now called India. Political Considerations Geographical Geography;Indiafeatures have played a critical role in the history of warfare in the vast subcontinent now called India. The snow-covered Himalayas in the north protected India from massive military invasions. The protective Himalayan […]

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The Ottoman Empire

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Ottoman Empire, founded by Osman I (r. 1290-1326), dominated much of southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa between the fourteenth and early twentieth centuries. Political Considerations The Ottoman Empire, founded by Osman Osman IOsman I (Ottoman founder)[Osman 01]I (r. 1290-1326), dominated much of southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa between […]

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Colonial Warfare

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Significant political, economic, and cultural changes in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries allowed for extensive European colonial expansion to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Political Considerations Significant political, economic, and cultural changes in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries allowed for extensive European colonial expansion to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The […]

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The American Civil War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Long considered a watershed in American history, the American Civil War (1861-1865) was also a turning point in the execution of warfare. Political Considerations Long considered a watershed in American history, the American Civil War (1861-1865) was also a turning point in the execution of warfare. Although it did not begin as a radically new […]

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The Crimean War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Crimean War (1853-1856), fought by Britain, France, and the Ottoman Turks against Russia, took place in an era during which the major European powers were in heavy competition over trade and territory as they sought to build their empires. Political Considerations The Crimean War (1853-1856), fought by Britain, France, and the Ottoman Turks against […]

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The Era of Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Eighteenth century warfare prior to the 1789 French Revolution had been shaped by the political, social, and economic conditions of the day. Political Considerations Eighteenth century warfare prior to the 1789 French Revolution had been shaped by the political, social, and economic conditions of the day. Wars were fought over narrow dynastic issues by small […]

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The Era of Frederick the Great

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Military and naval combat in the 1700’s, the era that came to be dominated by King Frederick II of Prussia (or Frederick the Great, 1712-1786), saw changes in the style, organization, tactics, and strategy of engagement. Political Considerations Military and naval combat in the 1700’s, the era that came to be dominated by King Frederick […]

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The Era of Gustavus Adolphus

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Religious division, dynastic ambition, and national rivalry were all parts of the political context of warfare in the seventeenth century. Political Considerations Religious division, dynastic ambition, and national rivalry were all parts of the political context of warfare in the seventeenth century. These factors overlapped, often in complex ways. For example, the Thirty Years’ War […]

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European Wars of Religion

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In the sixteenth century, Europe experienced a period of civil strife, rebellions, and conflicts that came to be called the European Wars of Religion. Political Considerations In the sixteenth century, Europe experienced a period of civil strife, rebellions, and conflicts that came to be called the European Wars of Religion. The ProtestantsProtestant Reformation fueled strife […]

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Naval Development: The Age of Propulsion

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Warships have proliferated since the 1850’s, in size, number, and type. Nature and Use Warships have proliferated since the 1850’s, in size, number, and type. In the mid-nineteenth century, steam-powered warships replaced sailing ships as the main element of naval forces, screened by smaller frigates. The battleship emerged as iron replaced wood in the 1860’s, […]

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Naval Development: The Age of Sail

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The period from 1500 to 1850 saw dramatic developments in naval warships. Nature and Use The period from 1500 to 1850 saw dramatic developments in naval warships. Although the first effective gun-armed sailing ships had appeared around 1500, these ships were little more than converted merchant ships, not designed to make the most effective use […]

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Cavalry: Modern

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Cavalry are defined as horse-riding warriors. Nature and Use Cavalry are defined as horse-riding warriors. There are at least eighty-four different species of horses in the world, and the rider always seeks to find a size of horse that matches the classification of duty. Because a trained cavalry horse and rider can be four to […]

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Armies and Infantry: Modern

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Modern infantry warfare began in the sixteenth century with the advent of the pike, which transformed the concept of the infantry. Nature and Use Modern infantry warfare began in the sixteenth century with the advent of the Pikespike, which transformed the concept of the infantry. The pike was utterly useless when used alone, but when […]

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Sieges and Siege Techniques: Modern

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A siege is an operational method used by armies to capture heavily fortified or defended areas, including cities and castles. Nature and Use A siege is an operational method used by armies to capture heavily fortified or defended areas, including cities and castles. The process begins when the besieging force cuts off access and egress […]

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Modern Fortifications

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The fortifications of the sixteenth century differ little from those of medieval and ancient times with regard to key features such as moats, towers, and walls. Medieval Fortifications Nature Fortifications;medievaland Use The fortifications of the sixteenth century differ little from those of medieval and ancient times with regard to key features such as moats, towers, […]

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Chemical and Biological Weapons

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Both chemical and biological weapons are considered “silent weapons of mass destruction.” The distinction between chemical and biological warfare is important because of differences in the scientific research and technological development that have influenced their use in war. Nature and Use Both chemical and biological weapons are considered “silent weapons of mass destruction.” The distinction […]

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Rockets, Missiles, and Nuclear Weapons

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Although the terms “rocket” and “missile” are sometimes used interchangeably, when speaking of weapons the term “rocket” generally refers either to the means of propulsion or to a relatively small rocket projectile, and the term “missile” usually refers to a more complex weapon. Nature and Use of Rockets and Missiles Although the terms “rocket” and […]

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Aircraft, Bombs, and Guidance Systems

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Aircraft possess great mobility and firepower, which enable them to affect tactical or strategic situations decisively. Nature and Use Aircraft possess great mobility and firepower, which enable them to affect tactical or strategic situations decisively. They can circumvent both enemy and environmental obstructions to army and naval movement. Their speed and range can render any […]

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Tanks and Armored Vehicles

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Although primitive designs for horse-powered, armored combat vehicles date back to the fifteenth century, it was not until the nineteenth century that they actually took a cohesive shape. Nature and Use Although primitive designs for horse-powered, armored combat vehicles date back to the fifteenth century, it was not until the nineteenth century that they actually […]

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Artillery

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Broadly defined, the term “artillery” refers to machines designed to propel missiles or projectiles of any kind. Nature and Use Broadly defined, the term “artillery” refers to machines designed to propel missiles or Projectilesprojectiles of any kind. Since the Middle Ages, however, the term has described crew-served weapons using the combustion of a propellant charge […]

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Small Arms and Machine Guns

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Small arms are firearms that are designed to be carried and fired by individual soldiers. Nature and Use Small arms are firearms that are designed to be carried and fired by individual soldiers. A machine gun is a firearm that continues to fire automatically as long as the operator keeps the trigger depressed. Medium and […]

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