By the 18th century, Europeans had succeeded in limiting the scope and cruelty of wars, yet by the time of the First World War, the tide had turned with massive civilian deaths, ethnic cleansing, slaughter of prisoners, violence against and expropriation of civilians, and bombing of civilian centers. One cause of the 20th century’s brutality was the U.S. government’s increasing willingness to do violence to civilians, starting during the War Between the States.

T. Hunt Tooley is Chairman of the Department of History at Austin College.
Defense and Foreign PolicyEuropeGovernment and PoliticsInternational Economics and DevelopmentPolitical History
Other Independent Review articles by T. Hunt Tooley
Fall 2009 Some Costs of the Great War: Nationalizing Private Life
Spring 2008 Bloody Germany: Berghahn’s View of Twentieth-Century State Violence
Fall 2004 A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930–1941