Reasons for U.S. Involvement in War

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1 Reasons for U.S. Involvement in War The United States has waged several wars throughout its history. These wars have in some ways differed drastically. For example, during the Revolutionary War, cannons that could fire 24 pound balls were one of the more powerful weapons. 1 Today, the United States has the capability of firing huge missiles thousands of miles. However, in other ways, war has remained the same. This can be seen when looking at the reasons why the United States has fought in wars. This paper will discuss three of these reasons and show how they have repeated throughout the history of our country. The first reason for U.S. involvement in war has been to liberate people from oppression. This motivation is clearly seen in the first war fought by the American people. Before the Revolutionary War, Americans suffered under a series of oppressive laws placed on them by Great Britain. Some of these laws included the Sugar Act (1763), the Quartering and Stamp Act (1765), and the Tea Act (1773). This strict legislation culminated with the Intolerable Acts of One of these laws restricted the power of the Massachusetts s legislature. 2 Outraged, many Americans called for a break from Britain. Nathanael Greene stated, I am determined to defend my rights and maintain my freedom or sell my life in the attempt. 3 Soon a war with Britain began. The struggle for liberation against oppression can again be clearly seen in the Civil War. In the late 1860s, southern states seceded from the Union and then, in 1861, formed the Confederate States of America. President Lincoln went to war with the Confederacy to preserve the Union. 4 However, another compelling reason surfaced in 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation. This document written by Lincoln freed all slaves in Confederate territory. The Civil War, thus, officially became a fight against the oppressive practice of slavery. 5 1 Artillery in the American Revolution and in the Reenacting Hobby, History and Reenacting Resources, 2003, < 2 Revolutionary War in America, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, McDougal Littell, The Americans, (Evanston:McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005) McDougal Littell, Creating America: Beginnings through World War I, (Evanston: McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006) Emancipation Proclamation, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, 13 December 2005, < eb.com/> 1

2 Another reason why the United States has fought wars is to gain land. The Mexican War is a prime example of this. During the 1840s, Mexico refused to sell some disputed land between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River to the United States. Soon President Polk sent U.S. troops into the area. Mexican soldiers attacked these troops, causing the United States to declared war on Mexico. Within 2 years, the United States had defeated Mexico and gained the land it desired. 6 Practically all wars fought by the United States and other countries deal with land. For example, in 1950 the United States and UN forces attacked the North Korean army after it invaded South Korea. The United States fought to win back land for South Korea, which was friendly with our country. 7 Retaliation for attack is a third reason why Americans have fought wars. On December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor. 8 The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested that Congress declare war on Japan, stating: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan... I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack... a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire. 9 Some attacks on the United States that have led to war have been disputed. For instance, in 1898, the battleship Maine was sent to Havana in the Spanish colony of Cuba to protect U.S. citizens from riots. Within a few weeks, an explosion sank the Maine, killing 260 sailors. The cause of this disaster remains a mystery to this day. However, at the time, several U.S. newspapers implied that the Spanish sabotaged the ship to increase public sentiment in favor of war. 10 The influence of these papers had a strong impact. On April 21, 1898, the United States entered into war with Spain Mexican War, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, Korean War, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, World War II, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, Request for a Declaration of War, December 8, Destruction of the Maine, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, 13 December 2005, < eb.com/> 11 Spanish-American War, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia,

3 The United States has fought wars to liberate people from oppression, gain land, and as a retaliation for attack. These reasons still hold true in today s world. The U.S. war on terrorism started after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The war in Iraq has been described as a fight against oppression. Although the ways wars have been fought have changed, the reasons why they are fought remain the same. Bibliography Primary Sources Roosevelt, Franklin D. quoted in Request for a Declaration of War by Franklin D. Roosevelt. December 8, Web sites Artillery in the American Revolution and in the Reenacting Hobby. History and Reenacting Resources < reenacting.com/> Destruction of the Maine. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Encyclopaedia Britannica 13 December 2005 < Emancipation Proclamation. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Encyclopaedia Britannica 13 December 2005 < Encyclopedia articles Martin, James Kirby (contributor). Revolutionary War in America. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Stout, Joseph A. (contributor). Mexican War. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Gardner, Lloyd C. (contributor). Korean War. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Stokesbury, James L. (contributor). World War II. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Freidel, Frank (contributor). Spanish-American War. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia

4 Books McDougal Littell. The Americans. Evanston: McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, McDougal Littell. Creating America: Beginnings through World War I Creating America: Beginnings through World War I. Evanston: McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company,

5 Reasons for U.S. Involvement in War Organization A research report has three basic parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction states the thesis, or main idea. The body provides supporting details for your thesis The conclusion can summarize or restate your thesis and also apply your thesis to today. In your report, draw meaning about America s immigration history and your own family s history in the conclusion. Reasons for U.S. Involvement in War introduction body The United States has waged several wars throughout its history. These wars have in some ways differed drastically. For example, during the Revolutionary War, cannons that could fire 24 pound balls were one of the more powerful weapons. Today, the United States has the capability of firing huge missiles thousands of miles. However, in other ways, war has remained the same. This can be seen when looking at the reasons why the United States fought in wars. This paper will discuss three of these reasons and show how they have repeated throughout the history of our country. The first reason for U.S. involvement in war has been to liberate people from oppression. This motivation is clearly seen in the first war fought by the American people. Before the Revolutionary War, Americans suffered under a series of oppressive laws placed on them by Great Britain. Some of these laws included the Sugar Act (1763), the Quartering and Stamp Act (1765), and the Tea Act (1773). This strict legislation culminated with the Intolerable Acts of One of these laws restricted the power of the Massachusetts s legislature. Outraged, many Americans called for a break from Britain. Nathanael Greene stated, I am determined to defend my rights and maintain my freedom or sell my life in the attempt. Soon a war with Britain began. thesis supporting details The struggle for liberation against oppression can again be clearly seen in the Civil War. In the late 1860s, southern states seceded from the Union and then, in 1861, formed the Confederate States of America. President Lincoln went to war with the Confederacy to preserve the Union. However, another compelling reason surfaced in 1863 with the Emancipation 5

6 Proclamation. This document written by Lincoln freed all slaves in Confederate territory. The Civil War, thus, officially became a fight against the oppressive practice of slavery. supporting details Another reason why the United States has fought wars is to gain land. The Mexican War is a prime example of this. During the 1840s, Mexico refused to sell some disputed land between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River to the United States. Soon President Polk sent U.S. troops into the area. Mexican soldiers attacked these troops, causing the United States to declared war on Mexico. Within 2 years, the United States had defeated Mexico and gained the land it desired. Practically all wars fought by the United States and other countries deal with land. For example, in 1950 the United States and UN forces attacked the North Korean army after it invaded South Korea. The United States fought to win back land for South Korea, which was friendly with our country. body Retaliation for attack is a third reason why Americans have fought wars. On December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet in Peal Harbor. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested that Congress declare war on Japan, stating: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan... I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack... a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire. Some attacks on the United States that have led to war have been disputed. For instance, in 1898, the battleship Maine was sent to Havana in the Spanish colony of Cuba to protect U.S. citizens from riots. Within a few weeks, an explosion sank the Maine, killing 260 sailors. The cause of this disaster remains a mystery to this day. However, at the time, several U.S. newspapers implied that the Spanish sabotaged the ship to increase 6

7 body conclusion public sentiment in favor of war. The influence of these papers had a strong impact. On April 21, 1898, the United States entered into war with Spain. The United States has fought wars to liberate people from oppression, gain land, and as a retaliation for attack. These reasons still hold true in today s world. The U.S. war on terrorism started after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The war in Iraq has been described as a fight against oppression. Although the ways wars have been fought have changed, the reasons why they are fought remain the same. supporting details apply your thesis to today 7

8 Taking Notes After you have taken notes from a variety of primary and secondary sources, look them over carefully. Identify three broad reasons for immigration to America and arrange your notes within those categories. After you have organized your notes, you should be able to answer the questions in the chart below. This was the chart used for Reasons for U.S. Involvement in War. Reason 1: liberate people from oppression What wars were waged for this reason? Reason 2: gain land What wars were waged for this reason? Reason 3: retaliation What wars were waged for this reason? Answer: Revolutionary War, Civil War When were these wars fought? Answer: Mexican War; Korean War When were these wars fought? Answer: World War II, Spanish-American War When were these wars fought? Answer: started in 1770s; 1860s What events gave rise to this reason? Answer: 1840s, early 1950s What events gave rise to this reason? Answer: started in 1941; 1898 What events gave rise to this reason? Answer: oppressive British laws; slavery Answer: disputed land, North Korea s invasion of South Korea Answer: bombing of Pearl Harbor; sinking of the Maine 8

9 Footnotes A footnote tells the reader where you found certain information. When you use a fact or quotation, you should footnote it. Footnotes are identified by small numbers in the text that correspond to numbers at the bottom of the page. If possible, each footnote should include the title, publisher, date, page number, or Web address. Footnotes can have different styles, but the goal of all footnotes is to give the reader enough information to find the original source. What sources will you footnotes in your immigration research report? The United States has waged several wars throughout its history. These wars have in some ways differed drastically. For example, during the Revolutionary War, cannons that could fire 24 pound balls were one of the more powerful weapons. 1 Today, the United States has the capability of firing huge missiles thousands of miles. However, in other ways, war has remained the same. This can be seen when looking at the reasons why the United States has fought in wars. This paper will discuss three of these reasons and show how they have repeated throughout the history of our country. The first reason for U.S. involvement in war has been to liberate people from oppression. This motivation is clearly seen in the first war fought by the American people. Before the Revolutionary War, Americans suffered under a series of oppressive laws placed on them by Great Britain. Some of these laws included the Sugar Act (1763), the Quartering and Stamp Act (1765), and the Tea Act (1773). This strict legislation culminated with the Intolerable Acts of One of these laws restricted the power of the Massachusetts s legislature. 2 Outraged, many Americans called for a break from Britain. Nathanael Greene stated, I am determined to defend my rights and maintain my freedom or sell my life in the attempt. 3 Soon a war with Britain began. 1 Artillery in the American Revolution and in the Reenacting Hobby, History and Reenacting Resources History and Reenacting Resources, 2003, < reenacting.com> 2 Revolutionary War in America, World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, McDougal Littell, The Americans, (Evanston:McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005) 107. footnotes 9

10 Bibliographies A bibliography lists the sources used to write a research report. If possible, each citation should include the title, author, publisher, date, page number, or Web address. Notice that the formats for footnotes and bibliographies are different. Also notice that different types of sources are grouped together, and that the sources within each group are listed alphabetically. Use the format below for your immigration bibliography. Primary Sources Roosevelt, Franklin D. quoted in Request for a Declaration of War by Franklin D. Roosevelt. December 8, Web sites Artillery in the American Revolution and in the Reenacting Hobby. History and Reenacting Resources < reenacting.com/> Destruction of the Maine. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Encyclopaedia Britannica 13 December 2005 < Emancipation Proclamation. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Encyclopaedia Britannica 13 December 2005 < Encyclopedia articles Martin, James Kirby (contributor). Revolutionary War in America. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Stout, Joseph A. (contributor). Mexican War. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Gardner, Lloyd C. (contributor). Korean War. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Stokesbury, James L. (contributor). World War II. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia Freidel, Frank (contributor). Spanish-American War. World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia type of source type of source listed alphabetically type of source 10

11 Books McDougal Littell. The Americans. Evanston: McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, McDougal Littell. Creating America: Beginnings through World War I. Evanston: McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, type of source 11

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