Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study is an attempt to understand better how the Congress of the United States worked to establish the proper size and form of the Peace Establishment of the United States between 1821 and 1855. Central to this study is an attempt to determine if partisan or sectional attitudes were key factors in how Congress viewed the Regular Army.

The research in this study is centered on the primary materials generated by the Congresses under study. The debates and speeches conducted in Congress as found in the contemporary reports of the day, the Journals of the House and Senate, and the reports and documents produced by the two Houses during the period are key sources Roll call votes are analyzed when available in an attempt to determine if there were any party or sectional differences in the voting patterns. Since only a few roll calls were taken and recorded on the issue, each vote is treated separately.

In an attempt to clarify the sectional issue, a three region model is used. A state is placed in its traditional North or South region unless it bordered a frontier area. States bordering a territory are placed in the Frontier region. Districts which have differing characteristics than their parent states have been moved into the region with which they share the most in common.

The conclusions of the research show that party and section played no significant role in the debates to find the proper size of the Peace Establishment between 1821 and 1855. With only the most minor exceptions, no party or section disagreed with the decisions of the Congress on the eight individual issues studied. At most, one party or section supported the change to a greater or lesser degree than the rest of the Congress. The general trend to increase of the Regular Army between 1821 and 1855 occurred in response to the great increase in the size of the country and the need to have a military presence far beyond the settled frontier.