Militias Essay, Research Paper

Cory Smith

Eng 101


November 13, 2000


Militias in our country come in all sizes and shapes, they offer a wide variety of purposes. They started off as minutemen in the American Revolution. They have been perpetuated by society as a negative group but believed to fight for the war against evil. They have also changed rapidly throughout the years by their characteristics and there involvement with the nation. Some are more interested in selling goods and merchandise than anything else. Others are very closed to the outside world and will give little information about them. Still a third type is secret, underground and shy away from even admitting they exist. All across the nation militias have been training for war, they know feds will be attacking sometime soon, there Guns, silencers, explosives, fuses, blasting caps and hand grenades are what their fighting for, to them its there freedom. On the other side, the government knows the militias will be ready to fight to the death for their independence, their land, and their family values.

Militias have no centralized structure. In the beginning they started off as part-time citizen-soldiers (minutemen) who were trained to serve in times of emergency. Initially militias were a means of military training for men and were intended for defensive purposes. During the American Revolution (1775-1783) white men were away from home fighting as minutemen, white women, often wives of these minutemen, filled in and served as the armed forces defending their homes.

In 1792 the federal Uniform Militia Law was created and required free white men ages 16 to 45 to arm themselves to defend their towns and there nation. In regards to that the federal government decided to maintain only a small standing national army. This standing army was called militias and each state had their own men for the job, which responded to both national and international emergencies, although they were used as a defensive force. The states were responsible for the maintenance of the militias and had the power to appoint militia officers, this was a major deal because they weren?t even thought of as our United States army.

The militias operated in their own communities and in some national incidents. In 1786 and 1787, a militia helped to out at the Shays’ Rebellion, a major fight in Massachusetts. During the War of 1812 (1812-1815) the number of militia members that participated has been estimated at 100,000 people. These people usually served for short periods of time, unlike the soldiers in the regular army.

As the militias declined, men were no longer required to join. Instead volunteer militias joined and ceremonial functions developed. By the late 19th century, the volunteer militias in many states were known as the National Guard. The guards were state institutions that were usually called on when local police forces could not control a situation. The National Guard, although controlled primarily by the states, became increasingly federalized. The 1903 federal Dick Act officially established the National Guard as the ?organized militia,? separating the National Guard from the state’s reserves forces, which included all citizens between 18 and 45 who could be called to serve during a war.

When the 21st century came about militias broke free from the government, they became concerned with guns, silencers, explosives, fuses, blasting caps and hand grenades. They became paranoid that the United States government is going to take their weapons. Militias fight for these weapons because they believe its what got their freedom in the beginning.

Not only do these militias have issues with guns by also education, abortion and the environment. Other hate groups have had a serious impact from militia groups. Some group leaders have backgrounds with the Aryan Nations, KKK, Neo-nazi groups and other racial, religious and ethnic hate groups. Obviously, the skinheads and their off the wall hatred of minorities and others, would only form an alliance with like minded organizations. A major example of these organized hate groups is Waco Texas.

Militias also offer social acceptance. The majority of the members are white men in there early 20?s and 30?s. They attract people who have trouble fitting in anywhere else. They need people they can identify with ?secret societies? is the result of this.

The major differences between Christian fundamentalists and militias are there beliefs of the end of the world. Most fundamentalists think Jesus will come before the Armageddon occurs and take the believers away. Militias believe Christ will return only after a violent apocalypse witch is a good reason for them to fight for gun control, if our government takes there weapons away they wont have a chance in the end. They say God needs their help; that could be a good reason why they want possession of guns, tanks, missiles, and high explosives.

American militias are private armies preparing for war. Their present in all 50 states and numbering anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 in members, militias define themselves as the true ?patriots? of the U. S. They believe that they and their guns are the sole defenders of our freedom. Militias are here and that?s a sad fact we cannot change. They say they want to protect our freedom. What they really want, pure and simple, is to bring anarchy to our country.

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