During the 19th century, United States fought in a number of wars. These were fought against various enemies. Some were waged against Native Americans who opposed the Westward expansion of the country.
Others were fought against European powers such as Spain and Britain. America also fought against Mexico during the century. The wars that took place during this period shaped the country and forged it as a great military power.
The most notable wars of the period include the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Other small-scale wars were also fought from 1801 to 1900.
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Warfare against Native Americans was generally meant to remove the Native Indians from their territories and relocate them to federal reservations.
This was necessitated by the steady expansion of the United States towards the west. Through these wars, Native American tribes from the American south, east, and Midwest were displaced.
Tribes in other regions were also deprived of their territories and moved to federal reservations.
The United States fought in a number of wars against Britain during the 19th century. Britain had a strong presence in North America, especially Canada, even after the United States was born.
It also had a formidable naval power that dominated the Atlantic waters. Early in the 19th century, the War of 1812 was fought between Britain and the United States.
The issue of contention was the forced impressment of American vessels and sailors by the Royal British navy.
Another war fought between the two nations was the Aroostook War which was fought in 1838 – 1839. The ‘Pig War’ was another military conflict between UK and US that took place in 1859.
Aroostook and Pig wars were bloodless conflicts. Both sides showed off their military strength but didn’t actually engage in any fighting.
The largest war that took place in 19th century America was the American Civil War.
This war was fought between the Northern states and the Southern states. The issue of contention was slavery. Southern states, called the Confederacy, supported slavery and broke away from the Union.
The Northern States, called the Union, opposed slavery and were led by Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War raged from 1861 to 1865.
It sped up the military organization, weaponry, and inventions in the country. In the end, the Union forces were victorious and slavery was permanently abolished.
Another major 19th-century conflict that involved the United States was the Spanish-American War.
This war started over the issue of Cuban Independence – the United States intervened on the side of the Cubans and against Spanish colonial rule. The war took place from April to August 1898.
During this period, Spain was decisively defeated. Overseas territories of the Spanish Empire such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were taken over by the United States.
The war launched the United States as an imperial power and brought an end to the Spanish overseas empire