He was a leading exponent of business history and oral history. Nevins was born in Camp Point, the son of Emma and Joseph Allan Nevins and his father was of Scottish heritage and his mother German. After education in public schools, Nevins attended the University of Illinois. He married Mary Fleming in 1916, and the couple ultimately had two daughters, Anne Elizabeth and Meredith, Nevins wrote his first book, The Life of Robert Rogers and a history of the University of Illinois during his postgraduate studies in that institution. Nevins accepted positions with the New York Evening Post and The Nation and worked as a journalist in New York City for twenty years and he resigned from the Nation in 1918, and the Post about a year after publishing its history in 1922. In 1923 Nevins published American Social History as Recorded by British Travellers and The American States During and After the Revolution, 1775–1789 in 1924. Nevins resigned from the Post to become editor of the New York Sun in 1924.
During a leave of absence from his job, Nevins spent a term teaching American History at Cornell University. As a journalist, Nevins covered many campaigns of Al Smith, in 1929, Nevins joined the history faculty of Columbia University, where he remained for three decades until his mandatory retirement in 1958. In 1931 he gave up his job in order to become a full-time faculty member and in 1939 succeeded Evarts Boutell Greene. Rockefeller, The Heroic Age of American Enterprise, during World War II, Professor Nevins taught at Oxford University from 1940 to 1941. In 1942, he published America, The Story of A Free People, upon returning to Columbia, Nevins began working on a multi-volume series on the American Civil War. The first volume The Ordeal of Union won the Bancroft Prize, in 1948 Nevins created the first oral history program to operate on an institutionalized basis in the U. S. which continues as Columbia Universitys Center for Oral History. In addition to publishing four volumes of the Civil War series.
In 1954 with Frank Hill, Nevins published the first of a biography of Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company, The Times, the Man. After retiring from Columbia, Nevins relocated to California, where he worked as researcher at the Huntington Library in San Marino. Nevins publicly supported John F. Kennedy in the 1960 Presidential Campaign, Nevins headed the national Civil War Centennial Commission, edited its 15-volume Impact series and finished the final volumes of his eight volume series on the American Civil War discussed below. He published Herbert H. Lehman and His Era and James Truslow Adams, Nevins died in Menlo Park, California, in 1971
Military history of the United States
The military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries. The Continental Congress in 1775 established the Continental Army and named General George Washington its commander and this newly formed army, along with state militia forces, the French Army and Navy, and the Spanish Navy defeated the British in 1781. The new Constitution in 1789 made the president the commander in chief, with authority for the Congress to levy taxes, make the laws, and declare war. As of 2017, the U. S. military consists of the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, there is the United States Coast Guard, which is controlled by the Department of Homeland Security. Governors have control of each states Army and Air National Guard units for limited purposes, the president has the ability to federalize National Guard units, bringing them under the sole control of the Department of Defense. The beginning of the United States military lies in civilian frontier settlers, armed for hunting and they relied on the British regular Army and Navy for any serious military operation.
In major operations outside the locality involved, the militia was not employed as a fighting force, instead the colony asked for volunteers, many of whom were militia members. This final war was to give thousands of colonists, including Virginia colonel George Washington, when shooting began at Lexington and Concord in April 1775, militia units from across New England rushed to Boston and bottled up the British in the city. The Continental Congress appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief of the newly created Continental Army and he drove the British out of Boston but in late summer 1776 they returned to New York and nearly captured Washingtons army. Meanwhile, the revolutionaries expelled British officials from the 13 states, the British, for their part, lacked both a unified command and a clear strategy for winning. With the use of the Royal Navy, the British were able to capture coastal cities, a British sortie from Canada in 1777 ended with the disastrous surrender of a British army at Saratoga.
With the coming in 1777 of General von Steuben, the training and discipline along Prussian lines began and Spain entered the war against Great Britain as Allies of the US, ending its naval advantage and escalating the conflict into a world war. The Netherlands joined France, and the British were outnumbered on land and sea in a world war, the main British army was surrounded by Washingtons American and French forces at Yorktown in 1781, as the French fleet blocked a rescue by the Royal Navy. The British sued for peace, as a battlefield tactician Washington was often outmaneuvered by his British counterparts. As a strategist, however, he had a idea of how to win the war than they did. The British sent four invasion armies, Washingtons strategy forced the first army out of Boston in 1776, and was responsible for the surrender of the second and third armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. He limited the British control to New York and a few places while keeping Patriot control of the majority of the population.
The Loyalists, on whom the British had relied too heavily, as the war ended, Washington watched proudly as the final British army quietly sailed out of New York City in November 1783, taking the Loyalist leadership with them
American Civil War
The American Civil War was an internal conflict fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, the Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U. S. history. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U. S. fortress of Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to eleven states, it claimed two more states, the Indian Territory, and the southern portions of the western territories of Arizona. The Confederacy was never recognized by the United States government nor by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal, including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North, the war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the dissolution of the Confederate government in the spring of 1865. The war had its origin in the issue of slavery. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, but before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.
The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, the first seven with state legislatures to resolve for secession included split majorities for unionists Douglas and Bell in Georgia with 51% and Louisiana with 55%. Alabama had voted 46% for those unionists, Mississippi with 40%, Florida with 38%, Texas with 25%, of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession, outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincolns March 4,1861 inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war, speaking directly to the Southern States, he reaffirmed, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed, the Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on King Cotton that they would intervene, but none did, and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.
Hostilities began on April 12,1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, while in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaigns into Maryland and Kentucky failed, dissuading British intervention, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, much of their western armies, the 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lees Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grants command of all Union armies in 1864