The United States has been at war for many years in its nearly 246-year history. Some sources contend the U.S. has been in some form of conflict – declared war, undeclared war, armed intervention – for 90% of its history dating back to its founding. In some of the wars in which the United States has emerged victorious, its opponent has formally surrendered, sometimes unconditionally. (These are the shortest wars in history.)
To find which countries have surrendered to the United States, 24/7 Wall St., used material from Britannica, U.S. naval history sources, History, the Library of Congress, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Presidency Project, and the National Archives, and various media sources. We selected only nations and related entities that officially surrendered to the United States and, in some cases, its allies. The Civil War is excluded because the Confederacy was never recognized as a separate nation.
Since its inception, the U.S. has fought wars for various reasons: ideological (Korean War), expansion (Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War), commercial (Barbary Wars), intervention (Central and South America), and counterterrorism (Afghanistan). In nearly all of its military engagements, the U.S. has used its overwhelming industrial and military power to defeat opponents. (These are the deadliest battles in U.S. history.)
Historically, a surrender has occurred following a defeat in battle, and a sovereign nation has signed a peace treaty outlining the capitulation agreement. On the battlefield, those surrendering became prisoners of war. Among the terms of a surrender were the relinquishment of territory, fortifications, ships, or armament to another country or power. Such was the case in the Mexican-American and Spanish-American wars, whose results led to a dramatic increase in the physical size of the United States.
Both Germany and Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies in 1945. The nature of unconditional surrender – a surrender without conditions, except for those provided by international law – reflected the resolution of the Allies to win World War II without reservations or conditions.
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