Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865

Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865

by Wayne E. Lee
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA


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Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865

The most important conflicts in the founding of the English colonies and the American republic were fought against enemies either totally outside of their society or within it: barbarians or brothers. In this work, Wayne E. Lee presents a searching exploration of early modern English and American warfare, looking at the sixteenth-century wars in Ireland, the English Civil War, the colonial Anglo-Indian wars, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War.

Crucial to the level of violence in each of these conflicts was the perception of the enemy as either a brother (a fellow countryman) or a barbarian. But Lee goes beyond issues of ethnicity and race to explore how culture, strategy, and logistics also determined the nature of the fighting. Each conflict contributed to the development of American attitudes toward war. The brutal nature of English warfare in Ireland helped shape the military methods the English employed in North America, just as the legacy of the English Civil War cautioned American colonists about the need to restrain soldiers' behavior. Nonetheless, Anglo-Americans waged war against Indians with terrifying violence, in part because Native Americans' system of restraints on warfare diverged from European traditions. The Americans then struggled during the Revolution to reconcile these two different trends of restraint and violence when fighting various enemies.

Through compelling campaign narratives, Lee explores the lives and fears of soldiers, as well as the strategies of their commanders, while showing how their collective choices determined the nature of wartime violence. In the end, the repeated experience of wars with barbarians or brothers created an American culture of war that demanded absolute solutions: enemies were either to be incorporated or rejected. And that determination played a major role in defining the violence used against them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199376452
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 04/11/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 356
Sales rank: 1,309,816
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Wayne E. Lee is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lee served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1992. He is the author of Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina: The Culture of Violence in Riot and War and the general editor of the Warfare and Culture series.

Table of Contents

Notes on Style

Part 1: Barbarians and Subjects: The Perfect Storm of Wartime Violence in Sixteenth-Century Ireland
1. Sir Henry Sidney and the Mutiny at Clonmel, 1569
2. The Earls of Essex, 1575 and 1599

Part 2: Codes, Military Culture, and Clubmen in the English Civil War
3. Sir William Waller, 1644
4. The Clubmen, 1645

Part 3: Peace Chiefs and Blood Revenge: Native American Warfare
5. Wingina, Ralph Lane, and the Roanoke Colony of 1586
6. Old Brims and Chipacasi, 1725

Part 4: Gentility and Atrocity: The Continental Army and the American Revolution
7. "One Bold Stroke": Washington in Pennsylvania, 1777-78
8. "Malice Enough in Our Hearts": Sullivan and the Iroquois, 1779
Conclusion: Limited War and Hard War in the American Civil War


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