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Old October 2, 2012, 11:07 PM   #86
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,524
Shall we get some of our facts straight?

The earliest recorded militia in the colonies, was first organized by Capt. John Endecott, the colonial governor of the Bay colony (MA), in 16361. Like our 2A, the colonial militia was descended from the English concept.

Hence all able bodied male citizens served, within the militia. The militia was highly localized with control generally being the individual towns and settlements2. Officers were generally elected by the local townspeople, with the exception being larger and thus more wealthy cities3.

By the mid 17th century, MA was divided into shires (later to become counties), and by law, each shires militia was commanded by the Shire Lieutenant (in England, the Lord Lieutenant). MA however never appointed Shire Lieutenants. Instead, the Sergeant Major was the nominal leader within the Shire.

Little change in the militia occurred in the colonies until shortly before the revolution. In 1774, when the British attempted to disarm the populace, citizens formed private militias that were independent of the governor's control.

Point of fact: The militia were never part of the regular Army (State or Federal. This is the root of the term: Irregulars). Even when employed by the Federal government, the various States Militias were not part of the Federal (National) Army.

Fact is, that the NY Militia, specifically the 2nd Battalion, 11th New York (artillery) Regiment has the honor of the name, National Guards. It was during the last vist of the Marquis de Lafeyette to New York in 1824, that the officers of the 2nd Bn. 11th Regiment decided to change their name in honor of Lafeyettes Garde Nationale de Paris4. This unit, a short time later, was reorganized and became the 7th Regiment of New York.

Before the start of the Spanish American War, several States had renamed their militias, National Guards. These were recognized in 1903 by the Dick Act which codified the Militia Act of 1903. The Guard was fully nationalized by the National Defense Act of 1916.

In sum, the National Guard, while descended from the States Militias, is fully part of the Federal Armed Forces and not a militia as it was/is known.

Fact: The militias only context to the 2A was that it was a singular reason, but not the sole reason, to keep the citizens armed. The 2A is a restriction upon the powers of the Federal Government, and via the 14th amendment (however the courts choose to address it), applicable against the States and local governments.

1 Massachusetts Militia Roots: A Bibliographic Study
2 The History of the Militia in the United States
3 Legal And Historical Aspects Of The Militia
4 History of the Seventh Regiment, National Guard, State of New York, During the War of the Rebellion. William Swenton, 1886. Digitized version available at Google Books:
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