Fighting for Ameican Manhood

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Omar Perez-Velazco
Hist. 460
Dr. McDonough
February 18, 2013
Since the beginning of time the topic of human gender its differences has been a controversial subject that always attracts attention. After the Spanish-American War, many men were seen as heroes, some even put into important positions in our nations’ government. Men like McKinley and Roosevelt, for example, used such praise and recognition to reinforce their positions of President and, later on, Vice President, respectively. “One of the men who benefited from this line of thought was President McKinley, who no doubt was delighted to find that being a commander in chief during a war restored his image as a capable leader” (110). Roosevelt was a man with power, being the assistant secretary of the navy, but he gave it up to join 1st United Stated Volunteer Cavalry, more commonly known as the Rough Riders. He received nationwide praise and everyone knew him as a hero. “Two years later, Roosevelt’s military record helped him win the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket” (112). Women held many important roles during this war, such as nurses. While women were vital to the war effort, many people did little to spread the news. “In magazines and newspapers of the time, stories glorifying soldiers and sailors are hard to miss. In contrast, stories covering women’s wartime contributions are difficult to find” (128). How does considering gender change our views of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars? This is the argument that Kristin Hoganson makes in Fighting for American Manhood.

I believe that without the aid of women in the camps, the wars would have gone much differently. “This book shows how international relations affected ideas about gender, how gendered ideas about political authority affected American democracy in an imperial era, and how high politics served as a vibrant locus of cultural struggle” (14). I can agree with the author on all these points and I believe that...
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