The Rise of the National Guard: The Evolution of the American Militia, 1865-1920

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From the beginning of our republic the concept of a citizen soldiery, organized through militias, has undergirded American military philosophy. This nation fought the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War, and began the Civil War, relying on volunteer militias and only a skeletal professional military force. The Civil War demonstrated the need to adapt state militias to the requirements of modern war, yet the United States retained its original philosophy in what became the National Guard. The ...
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Overview

From the beginning of our republic the concept of a citizen soldiery, organized through militias, has undergirded American military philosophy. This nation fought the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War, and began the Civil War, relying on volunteer militias and only a skeletal professional military force. The Civil War demonstrated the need to adapt state militias to the requirements of modern war, yet the United States retained its original philosophy in what became the National Guard. The Rise of the National Guard describes in thorough detail the evolution of the state militia system to a more federally controlled National Guard during the crucial years of development. The subject is important because the "citizen soldier" and "militia-national guard" traditions form one of the two pillars on which American military policy is built; a professional, regular military force is the other. Jerry Cooper's detailed research, unique examination of the experience of individual states, and careful analysis make this work the standard treatment of the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

Labor History
"Energetically researched, careful, and fair-minded."—Labor History
The Historian - Michael P. Gabriel
"Cooper has written a very good book that deserves a very wide audience. His regional coverage of the guard, insights into who served, and inclusion of numerous statistical tables culled from a wide range of primary sources mark this a superior piece of scholarship."—Michael P. Gabriel, The Historian
Journal of the West
"Cooper's work has added immeasurably to the profession's awareness of the National Guard's formative years from the Civil War through World War I. . . . Cooper has compiled a useful tool for both military and Western historians in understanding the National Guard's functions in civil disorders and wartime mobilization."—Journal of the West
North Dakota History - Richard Stenberg
"Ambitious in its undertaking, The Rise of the National Guard is exhaustively researched, with material drawn from many primary sources, including state guard manuscripts and War Department reports that perhaps have not seen much use since their initial compilation. The narrative is very readable, and the book is lavishly illustrated with charts. It should serve as the standard reference work on the evolution of the National Guard for some time to come."—Richard Stenberg, North Dakota History
The Journal of Southern History
"The Rise of the National Guard provides a welcome overview of the evolution of the guard."—The Journal of Southern History
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jerry Cooper is a professor of history at the University of Missouri–Saint Louis. He is the author of The Army and Civil Disorder: Federal Military Intervention in Labor Disputes, 1877–1900 and The Militia and the National Guard in America since Colonial Times: A Research Guide.
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