A Duty to Defend?: The Evolution of Aliens’ Military Obligations to the United States, 1792–1946

TitleA Duty to Defend?: The Evolution of Aliens’ Military Obligations to the United States, 1792–1946
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBredbenner, Candice
JournalJournal of Policy History
Volume24
Issue2
Pagination224-262
Abstract

This examination of aliens’ compulsory military service explores the political objectives and strategies that guided this seemingly contradictory development in the history of U.S. citizenship and military obligation. The major portion of the article focuses on the most critical years of policy development, those stretching from the introduction of the first federal laws governing the conscription of aliens during the Civil War through an active era of policymaking in the early decades of the twentieth century. Substantial expansions in the federal government’s administrative power over naturalization and the terms of military service would furnish both the authority and resources to enforce these enhancements in aliens’ political duties to the state. By the end of this period, the combined influence of law, policy, and community norms had dictated a sharper articulation of the civic responsibilities of noncitizen residents; and immigrants, especially those who aspired to become U.S. citizens, confronted rigorous new national and peacetime standards of political obligation.

URLhttps://muse.jhu.edu/article/471612
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