Military Actions in American History

Indian Wars is the name generally used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between the federal government and Native Americans. Also generally included in this term are those Colonial American wars with Native Americans that preceded the creation of the United States. The wars, which ranged from early 1600s to the Wounded Knee massacre and “closing” of the American frontier in 1890, generally resulted in the conquest of American Indians and their assimilation or forced relocation to Indian reservations.

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the thirteen “United Colonies” which expelled royal officials in 1775, set up the Second Continental Congress, formed an army, and declared their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, in 1776.

The War of 1812 (in Britain, the American War of 1812, to distinguish from the war with Napoleon) was fought between the United States of America, on one side, and on the other side the United Kingdom and its colonies, especially Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), Nova Scotia and Bermuda. The war was fought from 1812 to 1815 and involved both land and naval engagements.

The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as The Mexican War and in Mexico as la intervención norteamericana (the North American Intervention) or la guerra del 47 (the War of ’47), was a military conflict fought between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848, in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas. Mexico had not recognized the secession of Texas in 1836 and announced its intention to take back what it considered a rebel province.

The Spanish-American War was a conflict between the Kingdom of Spain and the United States of America that took place from April to August 1898. It was caused by American demands that Spain resolve peacefully the insurrection in Cuba, which Spain was unable to do. The explosion of the American battleship “Maine” raised tensions but was not the main cause of the war, nor was “yellow journalism” in New York City that harped on Spanish atrocities. The war ended after quick, decisive naval and military victories for the United States in the Philippines and Cuba. Only 113 days after the outbreak of war, the Treaty of Paris, which ended the conflict, gave the United States ownership of the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. The U.S. took control of Cuba, ended the insurrection, expelled the Spanish and granted independence there in 1902.

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a major war between the United States (the “Union”) and eleven Southern slave states that declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America, led by President Jefferson Davis. The Union, led by President Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, opposed the expansion of slavery and rejected any right of secession. Fighting commenced on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a federal military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

World War I, also known as WWI (abbreviation), the First World War, the Great War, and “The War to End All Wars,” was a global military conflict that took place mostly in Europe between 1914 and 1918. It left millions dead and shaped the modern world.

World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict fought between the Allied Powers and the Axis Powers, from 1939 until 1945. Armed forces from over seventy nations engaged in aerial, naval and ground-based combat. Spanning much of the globe, World War II resulted in the deaths of over 71 million people, making it the deadliest conflict in human history. The war ended with an Allied victory.

The Korean War, occurring between June 25, 1950 and a ceasefire on July 27, 1953, was a war fought in Korea that was divided by the post-World War II Soviet and American occupation zones, with large-scale participation by other countries. The war began with the invasion of capitalist South Korea by forces in communist North Korea in 1950 and ended as a stalemate between the two sides in 1953.

The Vietnam War (also known as the Vietnamese Revolution, the Second Indochina War and, in contemporary Vietnam, as the ‘American War’) was a military conflict in present day Vietnam occurring from 1959 to April 30, 1975. The conflict was a successful effort by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV or North Vietnam) and the indigenous National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam.

The Gulf War or the Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990–28 February 1991) was a conflict between Iraq and a coalition force of approximately 30 nations led by the United States and mandated by the United Nations in order to liberate Kuwait. The conflict is known by numerous alternative names that reflect the historical, political, and journalistic views of different groups and regions. These include Gulf War, Persian Gulf War, War in the Gulf, 1990 Gulf War, Second Persian Gulf War (to distinguish it from the Iran-Iraq War), Gulf War Sr. or First Persian Gulf War (to distinguish it from the 2003 Iraq War), Liberation of Kuwait, and War of Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm was the U.S. name of the airland operations and is often used to refer to the conflict.

The War on Terrorism, the War Against Terror, or War on Terror can refer to several distinct conflicts, but it is most recently the name given by the United States of America and some of its allies to an ongoing campaign with the stated goal of “ending international terrorism,” launched in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.

The Peacetime Flag Holder was designed by Berks County to honor all veterans who served their country in the military, but not during an armed conflict.