Thomas Jefferson's Military Academy: Founding West Point

Overview

Why did Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to abhor war and fear standing armies, in 1802 establish the United States Military Academy? For more than two centuries this question has received scant attention, despite the significant contributions of both Jefferson and West Point to American history.

Thomas Jefferson's Military Academy is the most comprehensive treatment to date of the origins, purposes, and legacies of Jefferson's school on the cliffs above the Hudson River. In a ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $20.00   
  • New (3) from $68.35   
  • Used (6) from $20.00   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$68.35
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(975)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$76.20
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(2512)

Condition: New
0813922984 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. ... Thank you for supporting our small, family-owned business! Read more Show Less

Ships from: ACWORTH, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$79.94
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(215)

Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Why did Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to abhor war and fear standing armies, in 1802 establish the United States Military Academy? For more than two centuries this question has received scant attention, despite the significant contributions of both Jefferson and West Point to American history.

Thomas Jefferson's Military Academy is the most comprehensive treatment to date of the origins, purposes, and legacies of Jefferson's school on the cliffs above the Hudson River. In a series of essays, an interdisciplinary group of military historians, legal and constitutional scholars, and experts on Jefferson's thought challenge the conventional wisdom that the third president's founding of the academy should be regarded as accidental or ironic. Although Jefferson feared the potential power of a standing army, the contributors point out he also contended that "whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace." They take a broad view of Jeffersonian security policy, exploring the ways in which West Point bolstered America's defenses against foreign aggression and domestic threats to the ideals of the American Revolution.

Written in clear and accessible prose, Thomas Jefferson's Military Academy should appeal to scholars and general readers interested in military history and the founding generation.

Contributors:
· Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia
· Don Higginbotham, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
· David N. Mayer, Capital University Law School
· Elizabeth D. Samet, United States Military Academy
· Theodore J. Crackel, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
· Jennings L. Wagoner Jr., University of Virginia
· Christine Coalwell McDonald, Storm King School
· Samuel J. Watson, United States Military Academy
· Robert M. S. McDonald, United States Military Academy
· Jean M. Yarbrough, Bowdoin College

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Rosemarie Zagarri

McDonald's collection permanently corrects the view that Jefferson was the academy's 'accidental founder.' The contributors illuminate the complexity of Jefferson's motives as well as the larger context in which his decision was made. Taken together, the essays offer a compelling story of one of Jefferson's most unlikely, but most enduring, accomplishments.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813922980
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Series: Jeffersonian America Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. S. McDonald is associate professor of history at the United States Military Academy.

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Military education before West Point 23
"Necessary and proper" : West Point and Jefferson's constitutionalism 54
Great men and embryo-Caesars : John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the figure in arms 77
The military academy in the context of Jeffersonian reform 99
Mr. Jefferson's academy : an educational interpretation 118
Developing "republican machines" : West Point and the struggle to render the officer corps safe for America, 1802-33 154
West Point's lost founder : Jefferson remembered, forgotten, and reconsidered 182
Afterword : the role of military virtues in preserving our republican institutions 207
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    Suppose you are elected to the presidency of the United States in such a way that contemporaries and histories refer to your movement as revolutionary. Suppose you are elected to unify a polarized--and indeed lopsided--nation. Your predecessor used every power of his high office to destroy you and to quell your movement. He used the rhetoric of order to suppress dissent with powerful new legislation and new bureaucracies that would no doubt remain partisan in nature. Already in existence, of course, was the military, an organization already powerfully in your opponent's corner. He cleverly used second-tier bureaucratic appointees, like the regional US Attorneys, fully packed with his own partisans, to frustrate your causes every chance he got. You, in this case, are Thomas Jefferson, the 'change' candidate of the Revolution of 1800, and in the most acrimonious election in American history, you have taken control of the executive branch by defeating President John Adams. There is only one question: what do you do to reverse John Adams's machinations enough to allow you to govern? Ted Crackel, author of one of the finest essays in this collection, argues convincingly that President Jefferson, quickly and methodically moved to counteract Adams' residual presence in his branch by signing into law the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1802. In doing so, and in conjunction with his replacement of most other Federalist partisans in the first and second tier of federal appointments, Jefferson was moving to not only untie his own hands to govern, but to also move towards a more balanced union. The establishment of the Military Academy effectively meant that Jefferson would be able appoint future members of the US Army officer corps to an institution that would not only groom them for service, but help facilitate their Republican-ness. Jennings Wagoner and Christine Coalwell McDonald's essay on the educational history of the academy fascinates as well, and supports Crackel's thesis. Jefferson, always one to elegantly maximize his policy-proposals towards his broader vision, saw the military academy as an opportunity to not only Republicanize the Army, but as his best shot at a national scientific university that would complement his University of Virginia in Republcanizing the nation. Opening the volume, Don Higginbotham, David Mayer, and Elizabeth Samet all lay out various arguments connecting the Academy to the President. Higginbotham lays the groundwork for the Academy by laying out its pedagogical and institutional models. Mayer explains that a nuanced read of Jefferson's Constitutional reading allows for explanation of his perceived inconsistency in creating a national Military Academy. And Samet depicts the quiet ways in which Adams and Jefferson were alike in wanting to preserve the duty and disinterestedness of the early republic, even if they never quite saw eye to eye in the election of 1800. (As an aside, Sam Watson's essay easily claims the honor in the categories of 'confusing-long-sentences-with-erudition' and 'longest footnotes.') Rob McDonald's essay points to our upcoming election in much the same way that Ted Crackel's does in explaining how Jefferson was the lost founder of the Military Academy. His memory was clouded as the Academy became more partisan, and the neo-Hamiltonian wing of the Republican Party (the swaggering Roosevelt-ians who are clearly the predecessors of today's neoconservative movement.) In the end he associates hope for the Academy through its appreciation and self-association with Jefferson and Jefferson's ideas. One can hope that he is right, and that the unveiling of the Thomas Jefferson Library later this Fall on the West Point campus will help open the eyes of the cadets to the rights of man, and thus, inform the greater Army with liberal principles over partisan haggling.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2006

    Really now, scholars, give credit where credit is due

    This is not the first full book treatment of West Point and Thomas Jefferson. The book by Norman Thomas Remick, West Point: Thomas Jeferson: Character Leadership, was originally published in 1999, several years before this book. Though not a scholarly text like this is, it is actually a much more researched and comprehensive treatment of the founding of West Point. Not to take away from this book, but credit should be given where credit is due.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)