1794: America, Its Army, and the Birth of the Nation

Dave R. Palmer, Author
Dave R. Palmer, Author Presidio Press $24.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-89141-523-7
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-89141-561-9
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Having won independence from England, post-Revolutionary America was a fragile coalition of states whose future as a nation was uncertain, stresses Palmer. Among the many problems confronting the fledgling country was the lack of an effective army. The victorious Revolutionary Army had been disbanded because the colonies were without funds and because of the widespread fear of a standing army. While a weak military made it unlikely that the new government would be overthrown by a coup, or that individual rights would be suppressed, the absence of a fighting force made it difficult for the nation to confront foreign and domestic threats. Palmer ( Summons of the Trumpet: U.S.-Vietnam in Perspective ) takes a ``history as story'' approach in describing how the nation's army took shape, and he heaps lavish praise on George Washington not only for being the ``Father of His Country'' but also for his role in creating the army. Much of the information here will be familiar to history buffs, but Palmer does an adequate job of linking major events in early American history to how they affected the formation of the U.S. Army. (July)
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