Today was the start of several days worth of debate over related issues of rebellions, militias, standing armies, pirates, and war making powers. Declare War entered the Constitutional lexicon.
Despite our seeming isolation from always-at-war Europe, the US presented an inviting morsel to their land hungry rulers. Within the past twenty five years we fought the French and British, the latter of whom still controlled frontier forts in the Northwest Territory. The Spanish had been established almost three hundred years along the Gulf coast and recently closed the Mississippi and New Orleans to American shipping. An American general named James Wilkinson was in their employ to convince settlers in the old southwest of TN, AL, MS to swing their allegiance to the Spanish King. IIRC, Savannah GA was attacked in late 1787 by a Spanish led force of Creek Indians. Speaking of Indians, and also in 1787, they attacked and burned settlements within thirty miles of Philadelphia.
As for internal enemies, there were 600,000 miserable black slaves. I cant envision myself owning another human being, but if I did, I doubt I would be able to sleep very well knowing that cutting my throat would be their first step toward freedom. Slave rebellions were a fact of life and had to be dealt with. Second were beaten down white farmers and ex-soldiers. Shays rebellion figured among the first and the officers of the Newburgh Crisis figured among the latter, although the two were not always distinguishable.
Given these matters, and the general poor performance of State Militias during the war, it logically followed our Framers would support a professional standing army. No chance. Despite the dangers, standing armies were associated with Kings who quickly turned an army supposedly designed for external defense, inward on the people. So, the question to answer was, How to provide for national defense without endangering the republic?
From todays debate, is there any doubt (aside from actual or impending attack) Congress shall declare and fund the wars that the President executes? What of our kinetic military actions in Libya?
Our kinetic war in Libya— you are so right. Mr.Morris failed to see a time when our Legislature would be AWOL in its duty to defend our Constitution. and It seem Mr.Wilson —and others failed to comprehend a time when our Courts would abandon “common law” and we the people kept ignorant-and divided-and distracted by our own (modern) slave masters in
Congress.We have “forgotten from whence we came” and cannot see where those we have chosen would lead.