"Ricardo Herrera’s superbly crafted study suggests that scholars may have been too quick to replace the Republican Synthesis with alternative interpretations to explain Americans’ motivations for military service between the end of the American Revolution and the Civil War. Herrera convincingly demonstrates how republican ideals stamped early nineteenth-century soldiers’ understanding of their duty, their service, and, paradoxically, the recognition and rewards they expected society to lavish upon them for embracing that duty and service. For Liberty and the Republic should inspire us to reconsider and reexamine the indelible power that republicanism held over American soldiers—West Point-trained professionals, militia men, and tens of thousands of volunteers alike—who fought the new nation’s wars."
—John Grenier, author of The First Way of War: American War Making on the Frontier, 1607-1814
"Herrera explores the ideological foundations of the military ethos among the male citizenry of the new American republic. His broad gaze takes in officers and men of the federal regulars, U.S. volunteers, and state militias. His research is deep and wide, and his analysis, rigorous and convincing. Herrera revises our historical understanding of the relationship between militancy, citizenship, and manhood."
—Durwood Ball, University of New Mexico
"Herrera has produced an important volume addressing the relationship of civilians and soldiers during the period from the American Revolution to the beginning of the Civil War."
“Herrera’s book provides an important look into the motivations that led citizens to put their lives on the line in early republic and antebellum America.”
—The Journal of America's Military Past
“Herrera succeeds in placing the motivations and beliefs of American soldiers within their broader text...His work captures the essence of what it meant to be a citizen and a solider and reminds us that at one time most Americans thought the two were inseparable.”
“This was a topic due for fresh reexamination. For Liberty and the Republic is a well-executed and convincing study of the ideological world of American soldiers as they defined themselves as actors in the great historical dramas of the early United States.”
“Ricardo A. Herrera’s book investigates the moral and political universe of American soldiers who served between the American Revolution and the Civil War. His central claim is that a ‘military ethos of republicanism,’ originating in the revolutionary war, became a shared inheritance among succeeding generations, surviving more or less unchanged until the Civil War.”
—American Historical Review
“Ricardo A. Herrera has endeavored to answer an important question about war and early American society: how did citizens value their military service?”
—Civil War Book Review
“Especially valuable for its nuanced treatment of citizen soldiers’ ‘contract ethos’ and the exclusive ‘voluntary associations’ that supplanted the organized militia during the nineteenth century, For Liberty and the Republic complements and complicates other recent works in the field to provide a composite portrait—at once impressionistic and compelling—of the American citizen soldier.”
— Journal of Interdisciplinary History
“The work is massively researched and documented. [Herrera] relied heavily on unpublished manuscript materials such as letters, journals, and diaries…From these sources, Herrera argues that the soldiers reveal their connection to American republicanism, a belief system that gave meaning to their lives and their relationships to society.”
—The Journal of American History
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