Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: War Hawk
The term war hawk, in modern use, describes one who seeks war on a country or region and is used in contrast to the more peaceful dove.
Historical War Hawks
The War Hawks were Democratic-Republicans and were primarily from southern and western states. (The American West then consisted of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio, as well as territories in the Old Northwest which did not yet have votes in Congress.) The popular impression that they were mostly younger members of Congress has been shown to be false in recent scholarship, and indeed those advocating war were largely from the older block of the Congress and encompassed most Republicans. The War Hawks advocated going to war against Britain for reasons related to the interference of the Royal Navy in American shipping, which the War Hawks believed hurt the American economy and injured American prestige. War Hawks from the western states also believed that the British were instigating American Indians on the frontier to attack American settlements, and so the War Hawks called for an invasion of British Canada to punish Britain and end this threat.
Henry Clay, the War Hawk’s “guiding spirit."The term “War Hawk” was coined by the prominent Virginia Congressman John Randolph of Roanoke, a staunch opponent of entry into the war. There was, therefore, never any “official” roster of War Hawks; as historian Donald Hickey notes, “Scholars differ over who (if anyone) ought to be classified as a War Hawk.” Indeed, one scholar believes the term “no longer seems appropriate.” However, most historians use the term to describe about a dozen members of the Twelfth Congress. The leader of this group was Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina was another notable War Hawk.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Polit., a person who advocates a hard-line or warlike policy, opp. to a dove (cf. dove n. 2f). Also attrib. or as quasi-adj.
1962 Alsop & Bartlett in Sat. Evening Post 8 Dec. 20/1 The hawks favored an air strike to eliminate the Cuban missile bases.‥ The doves opposed the air strikes and favored a blockade.
1964 New Yorker 10 Oct. 108 Not one of them, whether a ‘dove’ or a ‘hawk’, took much stock in the notion of ‘overkill’.
1965 Economist 25 Sept. 1189/2 President Ayub’s difficulties in curbing the ‘hawks’ in his country.
1966 Guardian 10 Jan. 9/8 The Republicans are themselves divided into two prongs: the liberal Javits, or doubting dove wing; and the Gerald Ford, or hawk wing, which wants a ‘total win’ in Vietnam.
12 December 1962, Pasadena (CA) Star-News, “Washington Report” by Bill Sumner, pg. 25, col. 4:
“YOU TAKE THIS STORY in the Saturday Evening Post. The one about the hawks and doves. It gave Adlai quite a beating. Called him a dove, said he was trying to set up another Munich.”
14 December 1962, Brandon (Manitoba) Sun, “Assignment: Washington” with B. T. Richardson, pg. 4, col. 4:
The article classified Kennedy’s inner advisers as Hawks and Doves, but reported that motivations became mixed except in Stevenson’s case. Adlai remained a Dove. He is thereby represented as being soft on communism.
17 December 1962, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, pg. 10, col. 7:
Along With Hawks and Doves,
There Were Some Chickens
WASHINGTON—There has been a lot of talk in Washington these days as to who was a Dove and who was a hawk during the Cuban crisis.
A Dove, according to The Saturday Evening Post, was someone who was for a blockade of Cuba. A Hawk was someone who favored bombing the Russian missile bases.
It will come out sooner or later in some magazine piece, so we might as well confess right now, we weren’t a Dove or a Hawk—we were Chicken.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, January 20, 2012 • Permalink