Is Thoreau`s position on the Mexican War an anomaly for an otherwise popular war? Was it a popular war? Does dissent play a role in any of the other wars such as the American Revolution and the War of 1812 that we have studied to date?Thoreau’s position on the Mexican War was far removed from the mainstream though of the United States at the time as most Americans supported “Manifest Destiny” in the same way that other countries populace supported their governments in colonialism and expansion.
Considering that wealth and resources would be increased upon an expansion, the bulk of the population had far too much to gain from expansions to show a lack of support for the war.Dissent did play a large part in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, but it was not out of any desire to see war avoided, but more for economic reasons. That is, the anti-war movement that existed during the era had much to gain financially from allying with the British. In the American Revolution, real estate and land interests played a major role in opposing the war.
Altruism had nothing to do with the opposition. Anti-war movements are, at their core, not what they seem to be. There was significant protest against World War One, Korea, Vietnam, etc and the primary oppositional forces were found in Marxist and quasi-Marxist factions that were ominously silent at minimum and, in certain cases, complicit in Soviet purges, mass genocide and invasions and occupations.To discuss the dissent that has been prevalent since 1975 is a somewhat murky matter.
The reason for this is that while there will be tens of millions of people who may oppose military action, there have been tens of millions of people who have supported millions of action. Ronald Reagan launched an invasion into Grenada that many people voiced dissent over. Reagan was later re-elected in a landslide. While there were many detractors, George H.
W. Bush saw his greatest popularity in the polls after crushing Panama and Iraq in military excursions and so on. Yes, there is dissent, but there is also significant support for military incursions as well as seen in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and the first year and a half of the Second Iraq War as Pres. Bush did receive 61 Million votes in his re-election bid.