Using the America: History and Life with Full Text database in the CSU Online Library, find the article, “The First American Militia,” and write a two-page article review. Please address the following questions in your article review:
- Write a summary of the article. Include the purpose for the article, how research was conducted, the results, and
other pertinent information from the article.
- Discuss the meaning or implication of the article. Include your opinion of the article. Discuss any flaws you found
in the article, how you think it could have been better, and what you think it means.
- Discuss how the author could expand on the topic, what the article’s information means in the big picture, and
indicate a direction in which future research could move. Discuss how knowledge in the area could be expanded.
American Military History
The article titled by Shea William provides a brief account on how the first militia emerged in the U.S. in 1600s. In early 1600s, the first militia emerged in Virginia to protect people from attacks conducted by native Indians (Shea, n.d). This militia comprised of employees from the Virginia Company of London, formed after the company’s management realized the need to protect the company’s interests from incursion threats at the time. Following the collapse of Virginia Company in 1624, notable changes occurred in the militia’s organizational framework; the assembly took up the role to organize colonists to protect their interests. Various challenges were experienced, mainly the lack of volunteers to take up the militia role. This was due to the fact that being in the militia was deemed as less rewarding, highly risky, and took the colonists time (the colonists were mainly tobacco farmers) (Shea, n.d). With time, the assembly was able to successfully organize a militia that was charged with responding to Indian attacks and protecting the community, albeit not on full-time basis.
This article attempts to establish a historical foundation of militias in the U.S. The article takes back readers in time to early seventeenth century when the first militia appeared in the U.S. The article also attempts to convey to readers how militias were formed and the reasons behind the emergence of militias in the U.S. The author of the article conducted a literature review of existing books, charters, documents, and journals relating to the area of interest. Through analysis of historical records, the author was able to piece together the information and provide a clear picture regarding the emergence of the first militia. The results clearly indicate how the first militia came to be, founded out of the need to protect the colonists’ interests.
The article implies that the U.S. military history can be traced back to the early seventeenth century militias (Shea, n.d). Prior to this period, the U.S. did not have any records of militia or military organization. When it came to security, every man was charged with engaging in war or other actions to defend the community. However with the emergence of the first militia, the role of community protection became increasingly delegated to some few individuals who had been appointed to do so. The article gives a clear account of the events precipitating the formation of the first militia and consequently the U.S. military. There are a few flaws in the article. First, the article fails to provide citations to the sources used. This makes it difficult for readers to link specific information provided to any of the references listed. Secondly, the article fails to give the story from the native Indian’s perspective, instead focusing much on the colonists. The article means that the state or government must take care of the interests of those serving in the military since they risk a lot.
The author could expand on the topic by focusing more on the native Indians, and establishing the motives of their attacks. The author could dig deeper into how the native militia were organized and how they coordinated their attacks. In the bigger picture, the article’s information provide substantial evidence on the need to provide reasonable compensation to those in the military since it is a risky career. Future research may focus on formation of militias in other states and how they transitioned from militia to becoming military units that whose sole responsibility was to defend communities. Knowledge in the area can be expanded by looking closely at U.S. history from a national perspective. This means that there is need to look at the forces that were shaping the U.S. political arena at the time from a national perspective.
Shea, W. L. (n.d). The first American militia. University of Arkansas at Monticello.