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By Ian Clarence Hope

While religion within the Enlightenment was once waning in other places by means of 1850, on the usa army Academy at West aspect and within the minds of academy graduates serving in the course of the nation Enlightenment considering continued, saying that conflict used to be governable by means of a grand idea available in the course of the examine of army technological know-how. officials of the usual military and teachers on the army academy and their political superiors all believed strongly within the threat of buying an ideal wisdom of conflict during the right curriculum.
A medical method of War analyzes how the doctrine of army technology developed from educating particular Napoleonic purposes to embracing matters that were useful for conflict in North the US. Drawing from a big selection of fabrics, Ian C. desire refutes previous fees of a scarcity of professionalization within the antebellum American military and an overreliance at the teachings of Swiss army theorist Antoine de Jomini. as a substitute, wish indicates that inculcation in West Point’s American army curriculum ultimately got here to supply the military with an officer corps that shared a standard doctrine and customary ability in army challenge fixing. The proliferation of army technological know-how ensured that at the eve of the Civil conflict there existed a highly American, and clinical, means of war.

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Additional info for A Scientific Way of War: Antebellum Military Science, West Point, and the Origins of American Military Thought

Sample text

Stephen Rochefontaine, assumed command of the garrison at West Point in 1796 and began teaching Vauban’s science of fortifications to selected young officers. Cadets and officers alike did not receive Rochefontaine well, and when a fire destroyed much of the school’s infrastructure in April 1796, instruction tapered off and stopped after only a few months. Another four years passed before opportunity came again to establish a proper military school. S. Army during the Quasi-War, and voiced dissatisfaction with progress of the First System and the poor state of officer training.

27 L’Enfant also promoted education, describing arithmetic, geometry, mechanics, architecture, hydraulics, drawing, and natural philosophy as essential. The duties of American engineer officers would include the surveying, planning, and construction of fortifications, magazines, and arsenals for mobilization and the calculation of peacetime garrison requirements for each post. His statements were remarkably prescient. L’Enfant, like Duportail, was transplanting the notion of Vauban’s ceinture de fer to America.

57 In the society’s papers, as in so many of the writings of the period, one can discern a predilection for rationalism and a continued belief in the utility of science and progress. These were common Enlightenment ideas basic to humanitarianism, deism, rationalism, and util36 early national military science itarianism, all promoting a faith that progress was the natural path for humankind and that science was the guide to progress. Science, to these thinkers, incorporated not only the physical sciences but also what is now distinguishable as technology.

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