The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000

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Penguin, Nov 29, 2005 - History - 544 pages
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Americans often think of their nation’s history as a movement toward ever-greater democracy, equality, and freedom. Wars in this story are understood both as necessary to defend those values and as exceptions to the rule of peaceful progress. In The Dominion of War, historians Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton boldly reinterpret the development of the United States, arguing instead that war has played a leading role in shaping North America from the sixteenth century to the present.

Anderson and Cayton bring their sweeping narrative to life by structuring it around the lives of eight men—Samuel de Champlain, William Penn, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, and Colin Powell. This approach enables them to describe great events in concrete terms and to illuminate critical connections between often-forgotten imperial conflicts, such as the Seven Years’ War and the Mexican-American War, and better-known events such as the War of Independence and the Civil War. The result is a provocative, highly readable account of the ways in which republic and empire have coexisted in American history as two faces of the same coin. The Dominion of War recasts familiar triumphs as tragedies, proposes an unconventional set of turning points, and depicts imperialism and republicanism as inseparable influences in a pattern of development in which war and freedom have long been intertwined.   It offers a new perspective on America’s attempts to define its role in the world at the dawn of the twenty-first century.


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THE DOMINION OF WAR: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Imperialists? Who, us? This consideration of American history suggests that empire-building by force has been the rule rather than the exception, even if Americans—or American historians—may not ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - languagehat - LibraryThing

Superb. Fred Anderson is my favorite American historian. Read full review


I Wished to Help Them Against Their Enemies
War and Trade in the Age of Contact
Wherefore Now Consider What You Wish to Do
The Beaver Wars and the Imperial Iroquois
The Anomalous English Empire
The Covenant Chain and the Origins of Iroquois Neutrality
A Sufferer for Truths Sake
Planting the Eagle of the Mexican Empire
Dragged Along by the Insatiable Desire to Acquire Glory
A Frenzy to Usurp and Gain Control of That Which Rightfully Belongs to Its Neighbors
The People of Mexico Are a Very Different Race of People
Violence Is the Order of the Day
No Man Surrenders from Conviction But from Superior Force
Social Equality Is Not a Policy to Be Legislated Upon
Martial Virtues Must Be the Enduring Cement

I Desire to Winn and Gain Your Love Freindship
Much Time in Councel
Crisis and Recovery
A Land of Freedom Flourishing
The Violent Genesis of a Long Peace
Governd by Their Interest
Penns Bargain
The Rise of George Washington
The Collision of Empires
Lessons Learned
Postwar Reformsand Crises
An Imperialists Progress
The Revolutionary Origins of a Republican Empire
A Revolutionary Settlement and the Foundations of Empire
Mission Accomplished?
Merrit Alone Ought to Be the Road to Preferment
Conquest May Become Necessary
They Have Disappeared from the Face of the Earth
A Cruel Unprovoked War Against the Citizens of the U States
A Great Moral Battle for the Benefit of All Mankind
For Fear that They Stood to Lose Everything in the General Disorder
Fighting and Civilizing and Educating at the Same Time Doesnt Mix Very Well
It Shall Not Lie with the American People to Dictate to Another People What Their Government Shall Be
We Desire No Conquest No Dominion
They Must Settle It for Themselves
The Air Was Charged with Renewed Vitality
War War War All You Boys Ever Talk About Is War
An Army of Freedom Dedicated to the Cause of Human Freedom
We Must Assist Free People to Work Out Their Own Destinies in Their Own Way
War Should Be the Politics of Last Resort
A View in Winter
Champlains Legacy
Penns Bargain
Washingtons Apprenticeship
Washingtons Mission
Jacksons Vision
Santa Annas Honor
Grants Duty
MacArthurs Inheritance
MacArthurs Valedictory
Powells Promise

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About the author (2005)

Fred Anderson is professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of several books, including Crucible of War, which won the Francis Parkman and Mark Lynton prizes.

Andrew Cayton, distinguished professor of history at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, is the author or editor of eight books, including Frontier Indiana and Ohio: The History of a People.

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