Tuesday, December 13, 2011

America's First Step to Militarism


"Today is the 375th birthday of the United States Army National Guard, formed in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1636," informed Garrison Kiellor in today's edition of The Writer's Almanac. Mr. Kiellor continued:
    It's the oldest branch of the country's military: 139 years older than the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps; and 311 years older than the Air Force. Individual towns in other colonies had formed their own militias, but the Massachusetts Bay was the only region whose population density was great enough to warrant the formation of more than one regiment. Towns around Boston were grouped into the North, South, and East regiments. Because the Massachusetts Bay Colony still considered itself British, the General Court ordered the formation of a traditional English militia: all able-bodied men were obligated to own arms and participate in the defense of the colony, whether by upholding its laws or defending against attack. Militiamen took turns serving in nightly guard details, and drilled weekly. The Army National Guard has participated in every American war or conflict since the Pequot War of 1637.
Mr. Kiellor fails to mention that most of those wars, and all of them since 1898, had nothing to do with guarding the nation but rather with expanding the empire. Wikipedia's article on National Guard of the United States reminds us, "The early United States distrusted a standing army, and kept the number of professional soldiers small."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Phil Ochs

"I Ain't Marching Any More"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgAiuHIBlVs

December 13, 2011 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

"375th birthday of the United States Army National Guard"

I'm impressed. Garrison Kiellor makes Lincoln look like a piker in comparison.

Lincoln only took the formation of the nation state back to the Declaration of Independence. And here the impressive Kiellor is turning a state militia into creature of the leviathan nation state a good 140 years earlier.

December 14, 2011 at 9:49 AM  

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