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Discussion in 'History Forum' started by LadyEagle, Aug 5, 2004.
...The one at 1600 Penn Av...
Sorry, I'll go away now
"Don't know" for me.
Let me see - off the top of my head I belive the following started under Democrats.
War of 1812: Democratic
Mexican War: Democratic
Civil War: Republican
Spanish-American War: Republican
Vietnam: Depends on exactly how you count it.
Gulf War I: Republican
Gulf War II: Republican
Not to mention the multitude of other scrapes: Barbary Pirates, intervention in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, Panama (repeatedly), Dominican Republic, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, Grenada, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo and others. And that doesn't count the CIA operations that weren't necessarily "military."
You are right about the Civil War - miscount in my part.
I didn't start counting till then since there were no Republicans before then.
How can one count Vietnam to start under Eisenhower?
Well lets look at it using Stephens list as a starting place.
Revolution - Whigs (not to be confused with the Whig party that arose in the 1830s.)
Whiskey Rebellion - Federalists
War of 1812 - Democratic Republicans
Various and Sundry Indian Wars east of the Mississippi (Democratic Republicans)
Mexican War - Democrats
All of these can be pretty much discounted since the notion of Republican/Democrat - Conservative/Liberal in those days are not in sync with the modern notions of those terms.
The Filibusters in Central America in 1850s were largely led by Southerners (at the time Democrats) without sanction of the Federal government.
Civil War - Both - Stubbornness from both parties started this one.
Various and sundry wars against various and sundry native American tribal groups west of the Mississippi - Republican.
Boxer Rebellion - China - Republican
Spanish American War - Republican
Phillipines - Republican
Mexican Border (1916) - Democrat
World War I - Democrat, under duress from the German Navy.
World War II - Democrat, under duress from the Germans and Japanese.
Korea - Democrat, with significant pressure from the Republicans in Congress to stop communism.
Bay of Pigs - A wash, neither party is clean on this one.
Vietnam - Democrat, with significant pressure from the Republicans in Congress to stop Communism.
Lebanon - Republican
Grenada - Republican
Panama (1989) - Republican
Gulf War I - Republican
Somalia - Democrat
The Former Yougoslavia - Democrat
Afghanistan - Republican
Gulf War II - Republican
So here goes the count --
Republican - 10 1/2
Democrat - 7 1/2
One really should discount from the politics of the thing World War II and Afghanistan, as both were results of direct, unprovoked attacks by foreign powers, and hopefully either party would have supported a war in those cases, which leaves
Republlican 9 1/2
Democrats 6 1/2 (giving 1/2 point each for the Civil War)
And if you want to add in wars by proxy, then the totals will change. Here are a few:
Nicaraugua - Contras - Republican
Iran-Iraq - Republican
Afghanistan - U.S.S.R. - Republican
Angola Civil War - Republicans.
Drug Wars in South America - Both
Or, one could argue that most of the wars of the 20th century were just theatres of the larger cold war. And, it would be easy to claim that, had it not been for Wilson's intervention in WWI and the subsequent treaty at Versaile, Hitler would have remained a wallpaper hanger without a following and Lenin may never have left a German prison. So, following that logic, we could argue that Wilson started the cold war which was played out in the proxy wars, Cuba, Korea, and Vietnam.
Another problem with the War Between the States - Most yankee (and therefore politically correct) historians would claim Jeff Davis started the war and not Lincoln. Davis was a conservative democrat. I do not agree with the yankee "logic" but there it is.
In history and life there is always that pesky law of unintended consequences. No matter what you do, there will be some unintended consequences.
As for Jeff Davis/A. Lincoln, in my scenario, I give 1/2 point to each side. The various sides of the slavery/states rights issue were on a collision course from at least 1820, if not before, and as time progressed, both sides became rather stiff necked about any prospect for compromise. And of course it wasn't these two men all by themselves who threw the nation in a cauldron and stirred.
The same could be said about most of the wars. The question was about which political party had committed troops to combat most often. Up until 1945, it was Congress in an act of war who did it, not just the man in the WhiteHouse who did it. Even after that, the politics of the situation required consultation for the use of troops in many situations, with some semblance of national approval.
A better question might have been, at least from my perspective, which wars were institigated by less than honest means.
If that would be the question, then
Mexican War - Democratic
Most of the Plains Indian Wars - Republicans
Spanish American War - Republican
Vietnam - Republican/Democrat Split.
The Mexican War, the Plains Indian Wars, and the Spanish American War were all blatant land grabs, with fabricated excuses for going after whomever.
In Vietnam, as everyone knows, or at least should, it was largely a bi-partisan attempt to stop Communism. But Lyndon Johnson has to be listed as a prime malfactor in presenting less than honest information to the Congress in seeking the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. George W. Bush will likely be listed in the same category for less than honest information presented for the case against Iraq.
The historical verdict is still out on the more recent conflicts.
I would count only "major" wars.
1812 - DemocratRepublican (Democrat)
Mexican - Democrat
Civil - Democrat
Spanish - Republican
WWI - Democrat
WWII - Democrat
Korea - Democrat
Vietnam - Democrat
BTW, South seceded and declared independence from the Union during Buchanon, not Lincoln. Lincoln called up troops, in April, but it started the previous December under a Democrat.
"Somalia - Democrat"
I'm quite certain that placing US troops in Somalia was a Republican idea. one of the last acts as a president of old Bush.
There's no such thing as a war started by any single administration. Wars are complex issues, with many levels of complexity. Take for instance the Civil War. It can be argued that the civil war began building with the statement "All men are created equal" -- Jefferson himself had a moral problem with slavery and saw the confliction. It slowly built during the 1800's with the rise of the North's industry, and the south’s dependence on conscripted human labor. It came to a head during Lincoln's reign. The war wasn't instigated or started by any one person, but the clash of two ideologies. Discussions like this one trying to lame blame on any administration are trollers looking to lay blame and make political points that don't have relevance.
Yes, it is a bit complex to pin on a single administration. Even my critique of Wilson is tempered by the fact that he was being pressured by a pretty loud bunch of nationlist-crazed republicans to do something.
One of the best books I've read on the First WW (almost forgotten but pivotal I think in understanding American history in the last century) is Fleming's _The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I_
Quite right, my bad. I was asleep at the switch.
With a couple of possible of exceptions, it is quite impossible to lay full blame for anyone conflict on any one individual or party. It is just not the way the world works.
We have deployed significant numbers of troops in harm's way as an instrument of national policy well over 200 times, not counting the ones we don't know about. Presidents from Federalist, Democratic-Republican, Whig, National Democrat, Democrat, and Republican parties have deployed forces.
Our involvement in Vietnam started with OSS operations in 1942-43, working WITH the forces under Ho Chi Minh to rescue downed fighters and harass the Japanese forces in Indochina. The first US soldier to die in action there was in 1945, albeit it was supposed to be a mistaken identity (The Viet Minh thought he was French). We supported the French through the Truman and first Eisenhower administrations, and we took the war on as ours in 1954 with the Geneva accords, which partitioned the nation. We began sending advisors there after that, and I believe that when JFK got to the White House, our forces there were around 18,000 (I'd have to check the number to be sure).
That is the dirty but necessary business of diplomacy and international relations. In a fallen world, the choice is to have a police force or have tyranny and chaos everywhere.
Like the deals in Afghanistan (we trained Bin Laden and supported him against the Russians), and Iraq (we supported Saddam against Iran from 1980-88), we often fall victim of the Law of Unintended Consequences, aka "Stuff Happens." One could also mention Manuel Noriega, Aguialdo (Philippines), and probably a few other "bad guys" that started as our good guys, or as LBJ said of one fellow, "He's a ******, but he's our ******."
Anyone attempting to find a consistent "Good Party" "Bad Party" pattern in I.R. will be disappointed. The Demos and the GOP both have their share of "attaboys" and "Ooooops's".
[ August 08, 2004, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: Major B ]