From Agepedia

Jump to: navigation , search

MILITIA (from the Latin militia); in the modern adaptation of the word, a body of armed citizens regularly trained, though not in constant service in time of peace, and thereby contradistinguished to standing armies. It includes all classes of the citizens, with certain exceptions, who are drilled at particular periods in peace, and liable, according to certain laws, to march, in cases of emergency, against the enemy, in some countries, however, not beyond the frontiers. The regular organization of the militia distinguishes it from the leveeenmasse. (q. v.) The militia exists in different countries under different names ; thus, in France, the national guards are what, in the U. States, are called militia (see Guards, National); in some countries, they are denominated hurgherguards; in Austria and Prussia, Landioehr (defence of the country), while the leveeenmasse is called, in these two countries, Landsturm. In . the articles Army, and Army, Standing, is given a brief sketch of the different organization of armies from the feudal militia to the standing armies of the last century, and from them again to the citizen soldiers of later times. The reader will also find there the titles of several works which afford interesting information on this subject. In the article Feudal System, the origin of the armies in the middle ages was briefly touched on. When the feudal system had rendered almost every nobleman on the European continent an independent monarch in miniature, he kept his own warriors in his castle or territory, and the difficulty of assembling a large general army, even for a good purpose, was im41* mense. In the cities (q. v.) where a more republican spirit prevailed, all the citizens were obliged, at least, to take part in the defence of their city,a duty which they were not seldom called upon to perform. The introduction of standing armies, chiefly in consequence of the endeavor of monarchs to render their governments more and more independent upon the nation at large, caused the citizens to take less and less share in the military service, and, in many cases, excluded them from it entirely; yet, while, in some countries, the services of the citizen soldiers were becoming every day of less importance, so that burghermilitia even became a term of contempt in many places, other governments began to foster the national MILITIA. The Swedish army was, at an early period, a kind of general MILITIA. The army consisted of twentyone regiments, of which each owner of landed property was bound to maintain one man. They assembled every year for three weeks, and, during this time as well as in war, received full pay (as is now the case in Prussia). The Danish army was formed on a somewhat similar plan, about a third of each regiment consisting of enlisted foreigners, while two thirds were Danish subjects, who, like those in Sweden, were supported by the owners of landed property, but, in return, were obliged to assist the latter in the cultivation of their estates. In Germany, similar plans were adopted. The privates and noncommissioned officers of the militia followed their agricultural or mechanical pursuits, and were generally under the command of officers out of active service. They were only, obliged to serve within the country. Frederic the Great used them to garrison the fortresses: the same was the case with the Austrian militia during the war of succession. The bad organization and unmilitary spirit of these troops rendered them the butt of the troops of the line. In some cases, it was even considered allowable, by the laws of war, not to give them any quarter, when they were employed out of the limits of their country, and were taken prisoners. They became extinct almost every where on the European continent. Similar, but better organized, was the English MILITIA. The origin of this national force is generally traced back to Alfred. The feudal military tenures succeeded, and, although the personal service which this system required degenerated by degrees into pecuniary commutations, or aids, the defence of the kingdom was provided for by kws requiring the general arming of the citizens. Under Edward III, it was provided that no man should be compelled to go out of the kingdom at any rate, nor out of his shire, but in cases of urgent necessity, nor should provide soldiers, unless by consent of parliament. We first find lordlieutenants of counties, whose duty was to keep the counties in military order, mentioned as known officers in the fifth year of Philip' and Mary. When Charles I had, during his northern expeditions, issued commissions of lieutenancy, and exerted certain military powers, which, having been long exercised, were thought, by one party, to belong to the crown, it became a question, in the long parliament, how far the power over the militia did inherently reside in the king, which, after long agitation, ended by the two houses denying the crown this prerogative, and taking into their own hands the entire power of the MILITIA. After the restoration, when the military tenures were abolished, the sole right of the crown to govern and command the militia was recognised. The most characteristic features of the English and Scottish militia at present are, that a number of persons in each county is drawn by lot, for five .years (liable to be prolonged by the circumstance of the militia being called out and embodied), and officered by the lordlieutenants and other principal landowners, under a commission of the crown. They are not compellable to leave their county, unless in case of invasion or actual rebellion within the realm, nor, in any case, to march out of the kingdom. When drawn out, they are subject to military law. In all cases of actual invasion, or imminent danger thereof, and in all cases of rebellion or insurrection, the king may embody the militia, and direct them to be led into any part of the kingdom, having communicated the occasion to parliament, if sitting, or, if not sitting, having declared it in council, and notified it by proclamation. In Tyrol, a general arming against the French was effected in 1799. When, in 1808, the archduke Charles was placed at the head of military affairs, a general Landwehr was organized throughout the Austrian provinces. In 3809, these troops fought well, and amounted, at that time, to 300,000 men ; after 1811, only to 71,500; but, after 1813, the Landivehr was again placed on its old footing, and, quite lately, parts of it have been called out to increase the army, which stands ready to overrun Italy. In Hungary, the common law obliges every nobleman to serve himself and tc bring his vassals into the field, if called upon. This levee is called an li insurrection of the nobility." In 1809, this insurrection consisted of 17,000 horse and 21,000 foot. In 1807, a geiieral militia was Organized in Russia, which, in 1812, was of considerable service against t:ie French. Prussia has carried the Landivehr to greater perfection than any other country: in that country, the militia forms the main body of the army. In 1813, every male person under fortyeight years of age was obliged to serve against the French in the militia. The national militia, at that time, included both infantry and cavalry. The lower commissioned officers were elected by the militiamen, and the higher by the estates of each circle. When Napoleon returned from Elba, Prussia had 150,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry of the militia under arms. After the peace of 1815, the Landwehr was established on its present footing. Every Prussian, with the single exception of mediatized princes, is obliged to serve for three years in the standing army, between his seventeenth and twentythird year. Part of this time, however, he is generally on furlough. If a person equips himself and undergoes an examination, by which he proves that he has received a certain education, he has to serve one year only in the standing army. After this time, every Prussian belongs^ until his thirtieth year, to the first class of the Landwehr, attends frequent drills on Sunday afternoons, and has to serve for three weeks every year, when the Landwehr is called together for great manoeuvres. Every man is in the Landwehr what he was in the standing army'footsoldier, horseman or artillerist. Government hires horses for the time of manoeuvring, and, as they are well fed and ridden by experienced men, the owners generally like to let out their horses for the occasion. Every Prussian, from his thirtieth year until his fortieth, belongs to the second class of militia. This is not called together in time of peace, and, in war, only in time of the greatest emergency, and then only for local or provincial service. Thus Prussia is enabled to assemble a very large army in proportion to its population, whether to the injury of the nation is a question not to be discussed here. In regard to the militia of the U. States, it is provided, by act of congress of 1792, that all ablebodied, white male citizens, between the ages of eighteen and fortyfive, with certain exceptions (officers of government, members of congress, mariners in service, &c. &c.) shall be enrolled in arms of infantry, and with ball cartridges, &c, at their own expense. These are arranged into brigades, regiments, companies, &c, as the legislatures of the several states may direct. Each battalion is to have at least one company of grenadiers, lightinfantry or riflemen, and each division at least one company of artillery and one troop of horse. Proper ordnance and field artillery is to be provided by the government of the U. States. The cavalry and artillery troops are to consist of volunteers from the militia at large, not exceeding one company to each regiment, and are to equip themselves, with the exception of the ordnance above mentioned. Whenever the U. States shall be invaded, or in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe, the president is authorized to call forth such number of the militia of the state or states most convenient to the scene of action as he may judge necessary. In case of any insurrection in any state against the state government, he may, on application from the legislature of such state (or from the executive, when the legislature cannot be convened) call forth such number of the militia of any other state or states as may be applied for, or as he may judge necessary to suppress the insurrection. So, whenever the laws of the U. States are opposed in any state by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals, the president may call forth the militia of such state, or any other state, to suppress them, and may continue the militia in service for thirty clays after the commencement of the next session of congress. During the last war with Great Britain, it was pro^vided, by an act which expired with the war, that, when the militia were in pay of the U. States, and acting in conjunction with the regular troops of the U. States, they were to be governed by the rules and articles of war in like manner with the regular forces, and subject to be tried by courts martial, these courts martial, however, to be composed of militia officers. It was also provided that the militia, when called into the service of the U. States, might, if the president of the U. States was of opinion that the public interest required it, be compelled to serve for a term not exceeding six months in any year. The sum of $200,000 is appropriated annually for the purpose of providing arms and equipments for the whole body respectively, in proportion to the number of effective militia in each. In all the states, the governor is commanderinchief of the militia, with more or fewer restrictions. In Massachusetts, he has power to exercise, assemble and govern them, and to employ them to resist invasion or detriment to the commonwealth, but cannot march them out of the limits of the state without their free consent, or the consent of the general court, except that he may transport them by land or water out of the state, for the defence of any part of the state to which access cannot otherwise conveniently be had. By the constitutions of many of the states, especially those which are of recent origin, the governor is not commanderinchief of the militia, when they are in the actual service of the U. States. This is to prevent collision between the general government and that of the separate states, such as took place between the government of Massachusetts and that of the U. States, during the last war with Great Britain. Such a provision exists in the constitutions of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Missouri. Maine. In some of the states, the governor is not to command personally, ex cept when so advised by the legislature. This is the case in Vermont, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana. In North Carolina, the governor cannot embody the militia of his own authority for the public safety, except in the recess of the genera* assembly. In some of the states, the organization of the militia is not provided for by the constitution, but. left to be settled by the legislature: this is the case in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama. In most of the states, however, particular provision is made fov the election or appointment of officers of different degrees. In Massachusetts, the captains and subalterns are elected by the written votes of their companies, the field officers of regiments by the written votes of the captains and subalterns of their respective regiments, the brigadiers by the fieldofficers of their respective brigades. The governor commissions these officers. The majorgenerals are appointed by the senate and house of representatives, each having a negative on the other, and are commissioned by the governor. If the electors of brigadiers, fieldofficers and captains neglect to choose, the governor, with the advice of the council, fills vacar c'ies. In New Hampshire, the general and fieldofficers of the militia are nominated by the governor and council. The captains and subalterns are nominated by the fieldofficers, and, if approved by the governor, appointed by him. The commanding officers of regiments appoint their adjutants and quartermasters, the brigadiers their brigademajors, the majorgenerals their aids, the captains and subalterns their noncommissioned officers. In Vermont, the militia companies elect their captains and other officers, and the captains and subalterns nominate and recommend the fieldofficers, who appoint their staffofficers. The superior officers are appointed by the governor and council. The provisions of the New York constitution are much the same as those of Massachusetts. In New Jersey, the captains and inferior officers are chosen by the companies, but field and general officers by the council and assembly. In Maryland, the officers of the militia are appointed by the governor. In North Carolina, the senate and house of commons appoint the generals and fieldofficers of the militia. In Georgia, the general officers of the militia are to be elected by the general assembly, and commissioned by the governor. The other officers are elected as the legislature may direct. In Kentucky, the commanding officers of the respective regiments appoint the regimental staff, brigadiergenerals their brigagemajors, majorgenerals their aids, and captains the noncommissioned officers of companies. A majority of the fieldofficers and captains in each regiment nominate the commissioned officers in each company, who are commissioned by the governor. In Tennessee, fieldofficers, captains, subalterns and noncommissioned officers are elected by the citizens subject to military duty in the districts of these officers, brigadiergenerals by the fieldofficers of their respective brigades, majorgenerals by th e fieldofficers of their respective divisions. The governor appoints the adjutantgeneral, the majorgenerals appoint their aids, the brigadiergenerals their brigademajors, and the commanding officers of regiments their adjutants and quartermasters. In Ohio, captains and subalterns are elected by their companies, majors by the captains and subalterns of the battalion, colonels by the majors, captains and subalterns of the regiment, brigadiergenerals by the commissioned officers of their respective brigades; majorgenerals and quartermastergenerals are appointed by the joint ballot of both houses of the legislature. The governor appoints the adjutantgenerals; the majorgenerals appoint their aids and other division officers, the brigadiers their majors, commanders of regiments their adjutants, quartermasters, and other regimental staffofficers, and the captains and subalterns the noncommissioned officers and musicians. In Indiana, the elections are much as in Tennessee, except that brigadiers are chosen by all the commissioned officers of their respective brigades, and majorgenerals by the commissioned officers of their respective divisions. In Missouri, the constitution provides that fieldofficers and companyofficers shall be elected by the persons subject to military duty within their respective commands ; brigadiergenerals by the fieldofficers of their respective brigades, and majorgenerals by the brigadiers and fieldofficers of their respective divisions, until otherwise directed by law. General and fieldofficers appoint their staffofficers. The governor appoints an adjutantgeneral, and all other militia officers whose appointments are not otherwise provided for. In Maine, the system is much as in the lastmentioned state, except that the majorgenerals are elected by the senate and house of representatives. The constitutions of some of the states exempt from militia duty, with more or less qualification, persons conscientiously scrupulous about bearing arms. This is the case with those of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Alabama. (See Military Colonies, Military Dictrids, Army, and Army, Standing.)