In all the years the U.S. has existed as a nation,what is the breakdown years at peace as opposed to years there has been an American citizen has been paid to be fighting somewhere in the world?

Are you tryin’ to start something, buddy?

Well, let’s see:

American Revolution: 1776-1783
Peace: 1783-1812
War of 1812: 1812-1815
Peace: 1815-1846
Mexican War: 1846-1848
Peace: 1848-1861
Civil War: 1861-1865
Peace: 1865-1898
Spanish-American War: 1898
Peace: 1898-1917
World War I: 1917-1918
Peace: 1918-1940
World War II: 1940-1945
Peace: 1945-1950
Korean War: 1950-1953
Peace: 1953-1959
Vietnam War: 1959-1975
Peace: 1975-1991
Persian Gulf War:1991
Peace: 1991-2001
“War on Terror”: 2001
Peace: 2001-2003
“Operation Iraqi Freedom”: 2003-?

I’m sure there are some conflicts I missed, but these are the major ones.

Years of war: ~44
Years of peace: ~185

Well, i suggest an even more interesting question to this… i hear people always talk about world peace and how they want it and everything, but in the history of mankind, has there ever been world wide peace.

Sorry for any hijacking

Loopus, is your real name Charlie Babbit?

Good job…

Every era had periods of peace. The Pax Romana springs to mind. What’s interesting to me is that in contemporary America we seem to be growing down right intolerant of peace

War is as American as apple pie.

Well, I think it would be Raymond Babbitt, an excellent driver.
Yeah, excellent.

“What pretension, ever-lasting peace. Everything must cease.” Bad Religion, Cease

The Pax Romana was hardly a time of peace. There were wars going on throughout the Empire. A more correct interpretation of those words would be Roman Pacification, not Roman Peace - just as the Gaullic and Germanic tribes in Europe.

While most nation-states have experienced peace at some time thoughout their hitory, I doubt that you would be able to find very many times in which armed conflict by some organized force throughout the globe has not been going on.

Loopus you left out the ongoing conflict kown collectively as the “Indian Wars”. Factor those in and there probably weren’t many years of peace in the US prior to the 20th century. There were also a number of “little wars” in Central America, the Caribbean, teh Philipines, China, etc where American soldiers saw combat.

I don’t want to lead a hijack, but there was definitely more to this story than “contemporary America … growing down right intolerant of peace”.

The United States has not been at peace since 1941. Most of this was known as the “Cold War.” Whether there were American citizens being paid to fight during all that time is a tough question, but there were certainly American citizens being paid for national defense and military intelligence during that entire period. Recall that the USA has maintained a military presence in Iraq, complete with regular attacks, since the Gulf War. I don’t know if there were any conflicts between 1989 and 1991, but I’m certain that domestic and overseas bases were manned and armed during that time. Would you be at peace if there were armed guards watching you? If not, then I don’t think we can say a country is at peace as long as they have a mobilized military.

The peace at home that North Americans have enjoyed since 1945 or so has been bought with intimidating military budgets (and dare I say, the lives of millions of brown people). The rest of NATO has had slightly more peace since around 1990, but smaller conflicts have kept their armed forces busy from time to time.

Somebody is going to tear me a new asshole for this post, which is annoying because I held back a lot. :o

Oh dear. I’m not supposed to say a**hole in GQ, am I? Sincere apologies!

Substatique, I think NHC was pretty clear in the OP as to what he (or she) regarded as being a state of war; “an American citizen has been paid to be fighting somewhere in the world”. The term “Cold War” is a metaphor. The United States was never actually at war with the Soviet Union anytime after 1945. The difference between wearing a uniform and being shot at is one that I think most people would be able to discern. And finally, while I can’t attest to the color of their skin, I think it’s safe to say that the total dead of every war that the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the various nations of Central America and the Caribbean have fought since 1945 would not add up to “millions” of dead.

Loopus’ list of major wars is pretty accurate but there were quite a few armed interventions by U.S. troops during the periods of official peace. Undeclared wars that resembled wars in all pertinant characterics (soldiers, guns, death).

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the United Staes has commited troops on many occaisions with various levels of bloodletting resulting. Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, the Philipines (which was actually an outgrowth of the Spanish-American War, lasted until 1902, and probably resulted in over 200,000 deaths), to Somalia, Yugoslavia/Bosnia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

These are off the top of my head, and by no means exhaustive, if debate contuies I’ll do my best to provide cites.

See this site for a complete list (through 1993) of American military action abroad. This does not include the many campaigns against American Indians. Significant “mid-major” land and sea wars have included:

Undeclared naval war with France 1798-1800
War against Barbary pirates 1801-05 and 1815
Suppression of Philippine insurrection 1899-1902
Suppression of Boxer Rebellion 1900
Punitive expedition against Pancho Villa 1916-17
Intervention in Russian Civil War 1918-1920
Invasion of Grenada 1983
Invasion of Panama 1989
Somalian “peacekeeping” deployment 1992-93

More recent “low intensity conflict” has tended toward aerial fighting and bombing: for example, Libya (1981, 1986), Afghanistan (1998), Sudan (1998), Serbia (1999), and Iraq between the two Gulf Wars.

:frowning: You’re right.