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Under the Shadow of NapoleonFrench Influence on the American Way of Warfare from Independence to the Eve of World War II$
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Michael Bonura

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709429

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709429.001.0001

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Bringing French Warfare to America, 1814–1848

Bringing French Warfare to America, 1814–1848

(p.41) 2 Bringing French Warfare to America, 1814–1848
Under the Shadow of Napoleon

Michael A. Bonura

NYU Press

This chapter chronicles how the French combat method came to be adopted in the American army. Initially, the issue of adopting the ideas and regulations of the French Revolution was hotly debated between the Anglophile Federalists and Francophile Republicans. This debate failed to produce a consensus in the military establishment, and America went to war in 1812 with no standard set of tactics or uniform way of conceptualizing the battlefield. From 1808 through 1814, the War Department unsuccessfully struggled to adopt a single system of tactics, and it was only after Winfield Scott, a Federalist officer with a reputation for victory at Chippawa, championed the French system that the Americans adopted the French combat method. Scott helped adopt the French system that served him so well during the Mexican–American War.

Keywords:   French combat method, Winfield Scott, American military, French system, Mexican–American War

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