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Why The Founding Fathers Opposed A Standing Army

Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > Local DUI  > DUI Lawyer  > Why The Founding Fathers Opposed A Standing Army

Why The Founding Fathers Opposed A Standing Army

founding fathersJust how opposed were the Founding Fathers to a standing army?  

Their revolutionary experience of the founding fathers forged a deep mistrust of standing armies.  They viewed them as a pernicious threat to liberty. Here are just a few quotes that explain how and why the idea (what we would call a police state today) was anathema to the first Americans.

During the Virginia ratifying convention, James Madison described a standing army as the “greatest mischief that can happen.”

In addition, fellow delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, George Mason put a finer point on it:

“No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valor. But when once a standing army is established in any country, the people lose their liberty. When, against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence [sic], — yeomanry, unskilful and unarmed, — what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havoc, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies!”

Was A Standing Army A Threat To The Founding Fathers?

In addition, in The Federalist, No. 29, Alexander Hamilton echoes not only Mason’s warning against a standing army, but his solution to the threat, as well.

If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.

In addition, commenting on Blackstone’s Commentaries, founding  jurist St. George Tucker speaks as if he foresaw our day. He addresses the fatal combination of an increasingly militarized police force and the disarmament of civilians:

Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.

A Modern Look At The Issue

In an essay published in the Wall Street Journal last August, Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop” presents chilling and convincing evidence of the blurring of the line between cop and soldier:

Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

Balko rightly connects the menace of the martial police with the decline in liberty and a disintegration of legal boundaries between sheriffs and generals. The threat of the police becoming a standing army of the sort our forefathers believed to be “inconsistent with liberty” is a reality on our streets. Also, understanding the issues of law and policy raised by a militarized police force, Balko informs our understanding of the issues we are (and will be) struggling with as Americans for the next generation.

Call Charles M. Rowland II, DaytonDUI.com

Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case. He has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. In addition, you can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App.  Get DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

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For more info on civil liberties and the standing army, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield,Kettering, Trotwood,Vandalia,XeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsSpringboroOakwood,Beavercreek, Centerville

Charles Rowland

charlie@daytondui.com

Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

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