Many of the wars sandwiched between the American Revolution and Civil War have been overshadowed in history. Yet, there were a few intriguing conflicts that played a role in shaping the early republic in terms of national unity, the westward expansion and American relations around the world. Equally interesting were the sometimes bizarre and blatantly aggressive causes of those wars and the commanders who fought them, representing a mix of highly capable military heroes and unfit political hacks. Come learn the stories of these little-known, but intriguing wars fought in the first half-century of America’s history.
The Quasi-War — Ironically, America’s relationship with the French soured shortly after our revolution and, in part, on account of their revolution, ending in a naval engagement from 1798-1800.
The Barbary Pirate Wars — Also known as The Tripolitan Wars, these campaigns against pirates off the African coast tested the young navy and were fought from 1801-1805 and again in a second conflict in 1815.
The Seminole Wars — Also known as The Florida Wars, the campaign against the Seminoles was fought in three phases (1814-1819; 1835-1842; and 1855-1858). A ruthless affair, it ended in embarassment for the government.
The Mexican-American War — Also known as The Mexican War and fought from 1846-1848, this conflict impacted the westward expansion and dreams of empire, but was condemned as a naked land grab and aggression by slave interests.