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The Lexington Minuteman, a statue commemorating Captain John Parker, a commander of Massachusetts militia forces, during the American Revolutionary War
The Lexington Minuteman, a statue commemorating Captain John Parker, a commander of Massachusetts militia forces, during the American Revolutionary War

A militia /mɪˈlɪʃə/[1] is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a nation, or subjects of a state, who can be called upon for military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel, or historically, members of a warrior nobility class (e.g., knights or samurai). Generally unable to hold ground against regular forces, it is common for militias to be used for aiding regular troops by skirmishing, holding fortifications, or irregular warfare, instead of being used in offensive campaigns by themselves. Militia are often limited by local civilian laws to serve only in their home region, and to serve only for a limited time; this further reduces their use in long military campaigns.

With the emergence of professional forces (in the form of mercenaries whose livelihood was military service) during the Renaissance, Western European militias wilted; later however, they would be revived as part of Florentine civic humanism, which held that professional militaries were a result of corruption, and admired the Roman model.[2] The civic humanist ideal of the militia was spread through Europe by the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli (According to Hörnqvist, The Prince, ch. 12 and 13, Discourses on Livy, and The Art of War.)

Beginning in the late 20th century, some militias (in particular officially recognized and sanctioned militias of a government) act as professional forces, while still being "part-time" or "on-call" organizations. For instance, the members of some U.S. Army National Guard units are considered professional soldiers, as they are trained to maintain the same standards as their "full-time" (active duty) counterparts.[citation needed]

Militias thus can be military or paramilitary, depending on the instance. Some of the contexts in which the term "militia" is used include:

  • Forces engaged in defense activity or service, to protect a community, its territory, property, and laws.[3]
  • The entire able-bodied population of a community, town, county, or state, available to be called to arms.
    • A subset of these who may be legally penalized for failing to respond to a call-up.
    • A subset of these who actually respond to a call-up, regardless of legal obligation.
  • A private, non-government force, not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government.
  • An irregular armed force enabling its leader to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state (See: Warlord).
  • An official reserve army, composed of citizen soldiers. Called by various names in different countries, such as the Army Reserve, National Guard, or state defense forces.
  • The national police forces in several former communist states such as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries, but also in the non-aligned SFR Yugoslavia. The term was inherited in Russia and other former CIS countries, where they are known as militsiya.
  • In France the equivalent term "Milice" has become tainted due to its use by notorious collaborators with Nazi Germany.[citation needed]
  • A select militia is composed of a small, non-representative portion of the population,[4] often politicized.[citation needed]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • One of America's Most Notorious Militias
  • America's Militia's: Why The FED Fear Us! [Full Documentary] 2015
  • EPIC!! ARMED Citizens/Militia Vs. Cops/FEDs!! 2015
  • Border Situation 2018- Migrant Caravan, Military And Militia Deploys
  • How/Should YOU join a Militia? What to look for- tips and opinions


[MUSIC - I'M IN YOU, "HERE COMES THE WAR"] THOMAS MORTON: If there's anybody more excited about the impending '90s revival than us and Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm, it is the militia movement. Born out of the baby-ridden ashes of Waco and Ruby Ridge, groups of armed citizens, like the Tri-States Militia of South Dakota and Norm Olson's Michigan Militia, coalesced to the delight of hack TV reporters and editorial cartoonists worldwide. Though their depiction in the media typically ranged from hey, look at these kooky anti-government gun nuts to hey, look at these kooky anti-government racists, the movement's numbers grew and grew. They were even making inroads into mainstream politics until Tim McVeigh pulled off the ultimate PR coup by blowing up 149 people and 19 children in Oklahoma City. Plagued by its association with the attack, the militia movement foundered, and as one of its most visible groups, the Michigan Militia bore the brunt of the shit storm. There were allegations that the Nichols brothers and McVeigh were members, brow-beatings at the hands of congressional pantywaists like Arlen Specter, and lively infighting by militia members upset over the leadership's alternative hypothesis for the bombing. The militia disbanded in the early '00s, and founders Norm Olson and Ray Southwell left Michigan for Alaska. While this seemed like the sad but likely end to their endeavor, according to a Homeland Security report earlier this year, militia activity, like ketamine and Docs with shorts, is once again on the hot list. And Norm and Ray are gearing up to hit the reunion circuit. RAY SOUTHWELL: How're you doing? THOMAS MORTON: Thomas. RAY SOUTHWELL: Thomas. THOMAS MORTON: How are you doing? RAY SOUTHWELL: Fine, fine. You're from the VBS TV, huh? THOMAS MORTON: Yes. RAY SOUTHWELL: Well, come on in. We've got a lot to talk about here. THOMAS MORTON: [LAUGHTER]. RAY SOUTHWELL: [INAUDIBLE]. THOMAS MORTON: Hi, I'm in Nikiski, Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula with Norman Olson and Ray Southwell, formally of the Michigan Militia. Currently of the Alaska Militia. NORMAN OLSON: Hi, I'm Norman Olson, and a longtime proponent of the Constitution. 20-year-plus military veteran. Standing by the red, white, and blue, no matter what happens. And telling it like it is. Michigan Militia from the very beginning. This goes back to, let's see. Dates-- oh, 1994. Started the little militia in-- in fact, this one goes back even earlier than that. "Patriots gather to rail against the 'New World Order.'" My, were we young then, huh? Year number one was what was called Operation Visibility. We knew that we had to become visible. If we didn't maintain our visibility, we couldn't maintain our legitimacy. It's so important that if you believe in what you're doing is right, you've got to stand up and make yourself visible. Look at that mean look on that man's face. Oh, boy. But we were just regulars, trying to point out that we're not the terrorists. We're counter-terrorists. We're going to stop those people that are destroying America. RAY SOUTHWELL: What we've always done with our militia-- and this is what people don't understand, again-- militias command information. So I may be a commander. My job is not to give you orders. My job as a commander is to give you information so that you sort that out in your own conscience and decide what action you should take. The army is command control. You're my soldier, I'm going to give you an order, and you better carry it out. An example, when you go back to the Revolutionary War, Washington had a heck of a time when the militia would show up. The militia was not command control. If these guys got there and they looked at that battlefield and they decided, this is not a battle worth fighting, they left. That's the way it is today, too. NORMAN OLSON: So we went fast all over the country, starting up militias in every state. Some of our militia training exercises brought in folks from all over the country. But we'd put on these training sessions, dog-and-pony shows, and the media loved that too. They came in from all over the world to see what we were doing, because it never happened before, since 1776, you know, of course. Or 1775, I should say, Lexington and Concord. And we were growing and getting more national exposure. RAY SOUTHWELL: Our goal was to unite these militias. And understand, there's militias all over the country, all over the peninsula, but they're small groups-- five people, ten people. So we networked with each other so we can be a unified force, a protective force, so we don't have to call upon the federal troops or Blackwater. THOMAS MORTON: It's important, it would seem to me, that it'd be as important in times of crisis or impending crisis as it is in times of well-being to have what the Second Amendment describes, which you're talking about-- an unorganized citizens' militia. How do you go about that in times when-- NORMAN OLSON: In times of peace? THOMAS MORTON: Bingo. Of fatness, good-- NORMAN OLSON: Here's the thing. When you put a life preserver on your child and you're going out on a lake, do you do it after? Or do you do it with the perception that something could happen out on the lake? Of course you do. You don't wait for your child to drown. You think ahead. You're frightened of the possible situation. That fear motivates you to do something good. So is the-- RAY SOUTHWELL: Who would you rather trust? Your neighbor, or a stranger? NORMAN OLSON: Yeah. RAY SOUTHWELL: You know, that's-- NORMAN OLSON: And when somebody comes rolling up your driveway, when the lights go out, would you be comforted if you knew it was your neighbors in it, bringing over a generator or bringing over foodstuffs, rather than a big, black SUV coming to take your guns away? Again, to keep the control. So the question is, who will come in to aid us? If we are well-disciplined and well-trained and well-equipped, then we can take care of ourselves, thank you. But you see, the media won't allow that to happen. The media has to spin it so that we are always demonized with misinformation and looked at as the bogeyman running around the woods with our cammies on, rather than people who can help and organize each other. It looks like Mark Farner. You know Mark Farner? THOMAS MORTON: Um, Grand Funk, right? NORMAN OLSON: Yeah, yeah. He's a personal friend of ours. THOMAS MORTON: Oh. Neat. NORMAN OLSON: Yeah, he's a good boy. THOMAS MORTON: Are you guys buddies with the Nuge? NORMAN OLSON: Oh yeah, you betcha. We did a program on the steps of the Capitol with Ted. Ray and I went out to Montana there, we went up to the FBI lines, and I was carrying a teddy bear, and Ray was carrying a Red Cross pack. What we want to do is humanize it, put a human face on it, so that those people wouldn't be bulldozed. Western New York that I helped, they were going to bulldoze his house trailer because it didn't comply with building codes. We went to help this old gentleman, bless his heart. Here's an old fellow that was-- he was a construction worker in Northern Michigan, 87 years old, he and his wife. And they had all this old machinery on their property. Well, the county came out and said it was a blight and they had to remove it all. And so we went out there and faced down the sheriff and fought for him for a long time. The Stitt family. And they lived down a little island in northern Lake Huron, and they were being pushed off the island because they were preparing for Y2K. And they were raising chickens and emus and all sorts of stuff. THOMAS MORTON: Were they trying to grow hemp? NORMAN OLSON: I think so. Now I don't have anything bad to say about marijuana. To me, it's just like alcohol. All things in moderation. I'm a libertarian when it comes to that. Again, it's a human right. If it's a measure of relaxation and enjoyment, then what's the difference between smoking a joint or popping a Quaalude, you know? We went out there to support them. We're always trying to support the little guy, you know? THOMAS MORTON: One thing that's marked a lot of the coverage and, I think, has muddied the waters is trying to overlay many of these issues with kind of racial politics. Mitch-- NORMAN OLSON: Mitch [INAUDIBLE]. He was a Hawaiian. THOMAS MORTON: Ah. NORMAN OLSON: Yeah, yeah. So from the very beginning, we had racial diversity. THOMAS MORTON: Now you guys have referred to the Black Panthers and stuff as a militia-- not necessarily exactly the same as you, but in the same spirit, in its early days. NORMAN OLSON: Whether you sit down with the Black Panthers or you sit down with the Native Americans, I'm sure that we all want the very same thing. RAY SOUTHWELL: So it's not the black community that sees us as racists. It's the ignorant white community, who are so quickly misled by the media. NORMAN OLSON: Who keeps us divided? Remember we were talking about control and power and central government? Of course. It's to the benefit of a central government to keep us divided, to set up these little target groups, marginalizing so that people cannot come together, so that the power cannot be given back to the people. As long as we're squabbling among ourselves, we'll never be able to stand up against tyranny and oppression. We'll be arguing with ourselves while they march us into a trench to machine-gun us. It just doesn't make any sense. Then it happened. Boy, it all hit the fan. I'll tell you what. When Oklahoma City, that event happened, it surprised everyone. I had heard rumors along the Missouri border that there was going to be a bombing against the federal building, either in Tulsa or in Oklahoma City. It was common knowledge. The Feds knew that. They knew it was going to happen. They didn't know where. But when it happened, it surprised everybody in the militia. I remember Leslie Stahl was in the gun shop there when it all happened, and they made the mention of Timothy McVeigh and the brothers, what are their names? RAY SOUTHWELL: Nichols. NORMAN OLSON: Nichols. Terry Nichols. And they linked it with the Michigan Militia. And then it all started to unravel it. We deactivated after seven years and started to go home. Some stayed. Some stayed. People got frightened then, because the media picked up on it and ran with the militia connection, to the extent that the militia, a third of the militia ran and hid. A third of them went underground. Didn't want to be seen, didn't want to be on a list, didn't want to be photographed. Another third just quit the militia altogether. They realized this wasn't paintball in the woods on the weekend. This was life-and-death stuff. And another third became more aggressive, more adamant about standing up against the government, because we saw the conspiracy against it, against what was happening. THOMAS MORTON: Do you think there was ever a possibility that what happened in Oklahoma and as a result of it could have been fully averted? Or was it just-- NORMAN OLSON: Actually, I believe it was the CIA. It sounds crazy. THOMAS MORTON: Well, the CIA's done a lot of crazy things. NORMAN OLSON: Well, listen to me. You know, when you talk about neo-Nazis and skinheads and white supremacists, which McVeigh was closely associated with-- who's funding all of that hatred? And if they could get a stooge like Timothy McVeigh to do that, and Terry Nichols collaborating? But what about the unknown? What about this fellow that went back to Germany? I don't think it'll ever be known, the extra leg they found in the rubble with the military boot on it, that they couldn't match up to anybody. Where did that come from? You don't read about that, but it was there. And so did they know beforehand? Did somebody go in there and set charges? I don't know. But I'm welcome to hear any theory, because that's all I have, is a theory. There's something out there, but I guess Fox Mulder was right. The truth is out there, somewhere. Did the federal government stage the Oklahoma City bombing to bust up the militia because the militia was growing too strong? That could be argued. And history may reveal it. I don't know. We think it did. We think that they had to stop the militia because we were growing so fast across the country that we were threatening to take the power away from the federal government. THOMAS MORTON: Did you personally meet Tim McVeigh before-- NORMAN OLSON: No, not personally. He was downstate. I was up north. I didn't get a chance to meet him. Of course, the federal government did a fine job of proving that Timothy McVeigh was working out of an act of revenge. So when I went up to Washington to testify before the Senate and got into that pissing contest with Arlen Specter, I pointed that out to him. And he couldn't understand how I could understand what was going on in Timothy McVeigh's mind. Well, you don't understand the problem that we've had in Northern Ireland. You don't understand the problem that we've had in South Africa. You do not understand the hatred and retaliation, the retribution and the revenge that has been going on around this globe since time immortal. Then you don't understand the dynamic, sir. ARLEN SPECTER: Well, Mr. Olson, I may not understand. And that's why we've had these hearings, so that you could have a full opportunity to express yourself. NORMAN OLSON: I said well, it'd be about as simple as I slap you, you slap me in retaliation. OK? What don't we understand about that? Of course, we tried to distance ourself from all of that. And we threw the meat in on the other side of the river, claiming the Japanese did it, but what happened was is that took all of the emphasis away from us and headed it in another direction. Kind of dispersed that whole feeling. And fear is strong. THOMAS MORTON: About the theory that the Japanese were retaliating for the sarin gas thing? NORMAN OLSON: No, we didn't have any strong connection. We brought that out-- actually, what it did was it defused the direction we were going. Because we were going headlong into a big confrontation with the Feds. They thought we were all wacky and crazy. But that actually freed us up to go in a different direction at that time, which we needed. And what may be thought of as bad actually worked out good. Today, they laugh at us and make-- but it's a matter of strategic decisions that we made. But things changed after Oklahoma City, changed drastically. And a lot of people fell away. And then Bush came onto the scene and everything got to be nice and the government was seen to be a kind, friendly, benevolent government, ready to help us. But that was just a facade. That was just a cover. They're not there to help us at all. They're there to eke out our substance and to rob us of everything that we have. And take away our power. So power to the people, huh? Our job in Michigan was pretty well done. THOMAS MORTON: Why did you leave Michigan? And why did you pick Alaska? NORMAN OLSON: I often ask people that question. Why did you come to Alaska? I'm always interested where they come from and the reason why. And many people don't really know. Something just drew them. I know that sounds ethereal and all of that, but here's the thing. Alaska is a place, it's a new frontier. I think socially, economically, culturally there is much that appeals to us. We were in Michigan. Michigan, anybody who wants to look at the statistics knows that Michigan is going bottom-up economically. There was nothing there for us, no reason to stay. And people had pretty well lost their desire to stand up. I think the spirit of resistance, the spirit of standing up against the encroaching IRS and federal government intrusion into people's lives had pretty well wasted away their spirit. And so they feel like leaving. We were on the tail-end of that, and seeing it all come about, some of us came up here for new adventures, new opportunities. Others came up here to leave something behind. RAY SOUTHWELL: And it's the last adventure state left in the union, as far as I'm concerned. So I think that was probably the big emphasis on why we moved up. NORMAN OLSON: This one was just from a couple weeks ago, September 16. We are free from individual income tax here. Much of the state is free from sales tax. So there are many, many benefits. THOMAS MORTON: It seems very personal-liberty-oriented, and yet there's some odd spots about it. I think the lack of sheriffs in the entire state-- how do you feel about Alaskan state politics, in that sense? RAY SOUTHWELL: We had an excellent working relationship in Michigan with our sheriff. I met with him on usually a monthly basis to let him know when we were doing training, where we were training. And officially, he could never support us, you know, the politics involved with it. But he publicly came out and told the community through the media that we were doing nothing wrong. So the sheriff, as an elected servant of the people, truly understands how to build that relationship with the people. So we trusted him. NORMAN OLSON: You see, people say, well, we can trust the Alaskan government. Well, I don't know how far Alaska has sold out to the federals for whatever payment is due for all that the federal government has poured into Alaska. There's too many strings attached to a lot of the bailouts and all the rest of it. So I'm always concerned about what liberties and what rights are at risk when we give the promise of safety into the hands of governmental authorities. I like to keep this liberty and this freedom at the lowest level possible-- among the citizens themselves. RAY SOUTHWELL: I think the other part of this area, and probably throughout Alaska, is our independence. And I was talking to one of the local gun dealers. The peninsula has 50,000 people. And this particular one gun dealer is selling 1,000 military arms a month. So in the last month, or last year, he has sold 12,000 firearms to 50,000 people. So you can start seeing those numbers. But what's happening-- NORMAN OLSON: They're upgrading. RAY SOUTHWELL: There's two mindsets, I think, that are out there, is Alaskans' independence. I can take care of myself and my family. I will arm myself and I will prepare for whatever may come, and I'll be ready. The other mindset is I am doing that same issue, but I don't want anybody to know it. It's a secret, because the feds might come and take my guns, or just a tremendous amount of independence, but there's also a tremendous amount of fear. What my fear is is that if and when there's an economic disintegration, there's going to be anarchy all over the country. THOMAS MORTON: Given the rate at which things are going, does it concern you that militia may not be ready? RAY SOUTHWELL: Yes. NORMAN OLSON: Oh, yes. RAY SOUTHWELL: Yeah. Yes. NORMAN OLSON: Too little, too late. RAY SOUTHWELL: Yes. I foresee more anarchy. NORMAN OLSON: We're very vulnerable. RAY SOUTHWELL: Neighbor fighting neighbor for goods. NORMAN OLSON: There's only two extremes-- anarchy and tyranny. I'm concerned that we are not networked. We are not prepared. We are very vulnerable here in Alaska. One road in, one road out. The wise people will prepare for what may be coming, and what we believe will come with economic collapse, with social disruption, with more government intrusion. So all we are doing is being prudent, long-viewed people who are able to read the times, prepare for the worst. It's as simple as that. And we still have some pages to fill. Isn't that optimistic? If nothing else, you know, they say at the end of your life, everything that you own is either going to be put out by the side of the road, auctioned off, or end up in a landfill. The only thing you can leave your children is a legacy of who you were, what you tried to do. If it's a life well spent doing what you think is right, then can't argue with that. Just try and help the little guy, you know? Help the little guy survive. There's a lot of folks out there that are being chewed up by the system and need help. So we just keep on helping, you know? Call us crazy, call us fanatics, call us loons, but don't call us shortsighted. Trying to look far enough ahead to prepare for what's coming. [MUSIC - I'M IN YOU, "HERE COMES THE WAR"]



Militia derives from Latin roots:

  • miles /miːles/ : soldier[5]
  • -itia /iːtia/ : a state, activity, quality or condition of being[6][7]
  • militia /mil:iːtia/: Military service[5]

The word militia dates back to ancient Rome, and more recently to at least 1590 when it was recorded in a book by Sir John Smythe, Certain Discourses Military with the meanings: a military force; a body of soldiers and military affairs; a body of military discipline[8] The word Militia comes from ancient Latin, in which it meant defense service, as distinguished from a body of (armed) defenders which would be volgus militum. It should be noted that the term is used by several countries with the meaning of "defense activity" indicating it is taken directly from Latin.


In the early 1800s Buenos Aires, which was by then the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, was attacked during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata. As regular military forces were insufficient to counter the British attackers, Santiago de Liniers drafted all males in the city capable of bearing arms into the military. These recruits included the criollo peoples, who ranked low down in the social hierarchy, as well as some slaves. With these reinforcements, the British armies were twice defeated.[9] The militias became a strong factor in the politics of the city afterwards, as a springboard from which the criollos could manifest their political ambitions.[10] They were a key element in the success of the May Revolution, which deposed the Spanish viceroy and began the Argentine War of Independence. A decree by Mariano Moreno derogated the system of promotions involving criollos,[clarification needed meaning unclear] allowing instead their promotion on military merit.

The Argentine Civil War was waged by militias again, as both federalists and unitarians drafted common people into their ranks as part of ongoing conflicts. These irregular armies were organized at a provincial level, and assembled as leagues depending on political pacts.[11] This system had declined by the 1870s, mainly due to the establishment of the modern Argentine Army, drafted for the Paraguayan War by President Bartolome Mitre.[12] Provincial militias were outlawed and decimated by the new army throughout the presidential terms of Mitre, Sarmiento, Avellaneda and Roca.[13]


Armenian fedayi were Armenian irregular militia formed in the late 19th and early 20th century to defend Armenian villages.
Armenian fedayi were Armenian irregular militia formed in the late 19th and early 20th century to defend Armenian villages.

Armenian militia, or fedayi played a major role in the independence of various Armenian states, including Western Armenia, the First Republic of Armenia, and the currently de facto independent Republic of Artsakh. Armenian militia also played a role in the Georgia-Abkhazia War of 1992–1993.


In the Colony of New South Wales Governor Lachlan Macquarie proposed a colonial militia but the idea was rejected. Governor Ralph Darling felt a mounted police force was more efficient than a militia. A military volunteer movement attracted wide interest during the Crimean War.[14] Following Federation, the various military reserve forces of the Commonwealth of Australia became the Citizen Military Force (CMF).

A citizens' militia modeled on the British Home Guard called the Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC) was founded by the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) in 1940 in response to the possibility of a Japanese invasion of Australia. In the beginning, members didn't have uniforms and often paraded in business attire. They were given instruction on guerrilla warfare, and later the private organization was taken over by the Australian Government and became part of the Australian Military Forces (AMF). The government supported the organization and equipped them with anti-aircraft artillery; however, they were disbanded by the end of World War II due to the fact that there was no longer a significant threat to national security.


Republikanischer Schutzbund was an Austrian militia formed in 1923, one of several militias formed in post-World War I Austria.
Republikanischer Schutzbund was an Austrian militia formed in 1923, one of several militias formed in post-World War I Austria.

During the Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire, a National Guard was established in Vienna. A separate but related Academic Legion was composed mainly of students in the capital city.

After World War I, multiple militias formed as soldiers returned home to their villages, only to find many of them occupied by Slovene and Yugoslav forces. Especially in the southern province of Carinthia the Volkswehr (Peoples Defense Force) was formed, to fight the occupant forces.

During the First Republic, similar to the development in Germany, increasing radicalization of politics led to certain paramilitary militias associating with certain political parties. The Heimwehr (German: Home Defense) became affiliated with the Christian Social Party and the Republikanischer Schutzbund (German: Republican Defense League) became affiliated with the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria. Violence increasingly escalated, breaking out during the July Revolt of 1927 and finally the Austrian Civil War, when the Schutzbund was defeated by the Heimwehr, police, Gendarmerie and Austrian Armed Forces.

After World War II the Austrian Armed Forces (Bundesheer) were reestablished as a conscript military force. A basic part of it is the militia, which is a regular reservists force of the Bundesheer, comparable to the national guard units of the United States. The conscript soldiers of the militia have to store their military equipment at home, to be mobilized quite fast within a few days in case of emergency. The system was established during the Cold War and still exists, but the members of the militia now are volunteers only.

See also: Republikanischer Schutzbund, Heimwehr


Depiction of a mortally wounded Issac Brock urging the York Volunteers forward during the Battle of Queenston Heights. The York Volunteers were a part-time militia unit in the War of 1812.
Depiction of a mortally wounded Issac Brock urging the York Volunteers forward during the Battle of Queenston Heights. The York Volunteers were a part-time militia unit in the War of 1812.

In Canada the title "Militia" historically referred to the land component of the armed forces, both regular (full-time) and reserve. The earliest Canadian militias date from the beginning of the French colonial period. In New France, King Louis XIV created a compulsory militia of settlers in every parish that supported French authorities in the defence and expansion of the colony.

Following the British conquest of New France in 1760, local militia units supported British Army regiments stationed in British North America. In addition to the Canadian militia, British regiments were also supported by locally raised regulars (including the 40th Regiment of Foot, and the 100th (Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot) and Fencibles regiments. These regiments were raised through ordinary modes of recruiting, as opposed to being raised by ballot like the militia. Most militia units were only activated in time of war, but remained inactive in between. The battle honours awarded to these colonial militia regiments are perpetuated by modern regiments within the Canadian Army.

Defence of the Canadas long relied on a contingent of British soldiers, as well as support from the Royal Navy. However, the Crimean War saw the diversion of a significant amount of British soldiers from British North America. Fearing possible incursions from the United States, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada passed the Militia Act of 1855, creating the Active Militia.[15] The Active Militia, later referred to as the Permanent Active Militia (PAM), was created as a full-time professional army, although it continued to use the label militia. After PAM's formation, the remaining sedentary militia regiments were collectively referred to as the Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM).[16]

Prior to Canadian Confederation, the colonies that made up the Maritimes, and Newfoundland maintained their own militias independent of the Canadian Militia.[17] From 1853 to 1871, the Colony of Vancouver Island (and the succeeding Colony of British Columbia) periodically raised and disbanded militia units. These units were raised for specific purposes, or in response to a specific threat, real or perceived.[18]

Uniforms of the Canadian Militia in 1898. The force included the Permanent Active Militia, a full-time professional land force which became the Canadian Army in 1940.
Uniforms of the Canadian Militia in 1898. The force included the Permanent Active Militia, a full-time professional land force which became the Canadian Army in 1940.

After the Treaty of Washington was signed between the Americans and British, nearly all remaining British soldiers were withdrawn from Canada in November 1871.[19] The departure of the majority of British forces in Canada made the Canadian militia the only major land forces available in Canada. In 1940, both components of the militia, PAM and NPAM were reorganized, and renamed the Canadian Army. NPAM was integrated into the Canadian Army as the Army's Primary Reserve.

The term Militia is still used from then to the present day to refer to the part-time army reserve component of the Canadian Forces. Currently, Militia troops usually train one night a week and every other weekend of the month, except in the summer. Summertime training may consist of courses, individual call-outs, or concentrations (unit and formation training of one to two weeks' duration). In addition, Primary Reserve members are increasingly used for voluntary service as augmentation to the regular force overseas—usually NATO or United Nations missions. Most Canadian cities and counties have one or more militia units.

In addition to the various colonial militia units, and the regiments of the Canadian militia, in 1942, the Army's Pacific Command created the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers. Intended to function similarly to the United Kingdom's Home Guard, the Rangers were a secondary defence force, defending the coast of British Columbia and Yukon from potential Japanese attack.[20] The Rangers were disbanded in September 1945, shortly after the conclusion of World War II. The legacy of the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers is perpetuated by the Canadian Rangers, a component of the Primary Reserve that provides a military presence in areas where it would not be economically or practically viable to have conventional Army units - most notably northern Canada.


China's current militia falls under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and forms part of the Chinese armed forces. Under the command of the military organs, it undertakes such jobs as war preparation services, security and defense operational tasks and assistance in maintaining social order and public security.[21]

Historically, militias of varying levels of ability have existed in China, organized on a village and clan level, especially during periods of instability and in areas subject to pirate and bandit attack. When the British attempted to take control of the New Territories in 1898, they were resisted by the local militias which had been formed for mutual defence against pirate raids. Although ultimately defeated, the militias' dogged resistance convinced the British to make concessions to the indigenous inhabitants allowing them to preserve inheritance, property and marriage rights and customs throughout most of the period of the British rule.[22][23]


Cuba has three militia organizations: The Territorial Troops Militia (Milicias de Tropas Territoriales) of about one million people (half women),[24] the Youth Labor Army (Ejército Juvenil del Trabajo) devoted to agricultural production, and a naval militia.[25] Formerly, there existed the National Revolutionary Militias (Milicias Nacionales Revolucionarias), which was formed after the Cuban Revolution and initially consisted of 200,000 men who helped the 25,000 strong standing army defeat counter-revolutionary guerillas.[26]


A joint patrol between Arizona National Guard and the Danish Home Guard during the Golden Coyote training exercise.
A joint patrol between Arizona National Guard and the Danish Home Guard during the Golden Coyote training exercise.

The Danish Home Guard (Danish: Hjemmeværnet) (HJV) is the fourth service of the Danish military. It was formerly concerned only with the defence of Danish territory but, since 2008, it has also supported Danish international military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. There are five branches: Army Home Guard, Naval Home Guard, Air Force Home Guard, Police Home Guard, and Infrastructure Home Guard.

The Danish Militia played a major role in repelling the Swedish attackers during the assault on Copenhagen in 1659.


The Omakaitse (Home Guard) was an organisation formed by the local population of Estonia on the basis of the Estonian Defence League and the forest brothers resistance movement active on the Eastern Front between 3 July 1941 and 17 September 1944.[27] This arrangement was unique in the context of the war as in Latvia, which otherwise shared a common fate with Estonia, there was no organisation of this kind.[28]


Members of the White Guard after the Battle of Varkaus. The White Guard was a voluntary militia that fought for the Whites in the Finnish Civil War.
Members of the White Guard after the Battle of Varkaus. The White Guard was a voluntary militia that fought for the Whites in the Finnish Civil War.

While Finland employs conscription, they do not have separate militia units: all units are organized by and under the command of the Finnish Defence Forces. All men belong to the reserve until age 50 or 60 depending on rank, and may be called up in case of mobilization. Each reservist is assigned a position in a unit to be activated. However, since 2004, the FDF does have territorial forces, organized along the lines of regular infantry formations, which are composed of volunteers. Furthermore, long-range patrol units (sissi troops, a type of special forces) are assigned to local troops.

In history, before Finland became independent, two types of local militias existed: the White Guards and Red Guards, which were non-socialists and socialists, respectively. In the Finnish Civil War (1918) the White Guards founded the White Army, which was victorious over the Red Guards. White Guards continued their existence as a volunteer militia until the Second World War. In some cases their activity found overt political expression as in the Mäntsälä rebellion. However, in 1934 separate wartime White Guard units were dissolved and in the Second World War they served at the front, dispersed in regular units. They were dissolved as a condition of peace after the Continuation War.


The first notable militia in French history was the resistance of the Gauls to invasion by the Romans until they were defeated by Julius Caesar.[29] Centuries later, Joan of Arc organized and led a militia until her capture and execution in 1431. This settled the succession to the French crown and laid the basis for the formation of the modern nation of France.[30]

During the French Revolution the National Guard was a political home defense militia. The levée en masse was a conscription army used during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

At the time of the Franco-Prussian War, the Parisian National Guard engaged the Prussian Army and later rebelled against the Versailles Army under Marshal McMahon.

Under German occupation during World War II, a militia usually called the French Resistance emerged to conduct a guerrilla war of attrition against German forces and prepare the way for the D-Day Allied Invasion of France.[31] The Resistance militia were opposed by the collaborationist French Militia—the paramilitary police force of the German puppet state of Vichy.

Although defunct from 1871 until 2016, the French National Guard has now been reestablished for homeland security purposes.[32]


The earliest reports of Germanic militias was the system of hundreds described in 98 AD by the Roman historian Tacitus as the centeni. They were similar in nature to the Anglo-Saxon fyrd.

The Lützow Free Corps during the Napoleonic Wars. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Freikorps referred to volunteer forces that fought against the French.
The Lützow Free Corps during the Napoleonic Wars. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Freikorps referred to volunteer forces that fought against the French.

Freikorps (German for "Free Corps") was originally applied to voluntary armies. The first freikorps were recruited by Frederick II of Prussia during the Seven Years' War. These troops were regarded as unreliable by regular armies, so they were mainly used as sentries and for minor duties. During the Napoleonic occupation, organizations such as the Lutzow Freikorps fought against the occupiers and later joined the allied forces as regular soldiers.

However, after 1918, the term was used for nationalist paramilitary organizations that sprang up around Germany as soldiers returned in defeat from World War I. They were one of the many Weimar paramilitary groups active during that time. They received considerable support from Gustav Noske, the German Defence Minister who used them to crush the Spartakist League with enormous violence, including the murders of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg on January 15, 1919. Militia were also used to put down the Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919. They were officially "disbanded" in 1920, resulting in the ill-fated Kapp Putsch in March 1920. The Einwohnerwehr, active in Germany from 1919 to 1921 was a paramilitary citizens' militia consisting of hundreds of thousands of mostly former servicemen.[33] Formed by the Prussian Ministry of the Interior on April 15, 1919, to allow citizens to protect themselves from looters, armed gangs, and revolutionaries, the Einwohnerwehr was under the command of the local Reichswehr regiments, which supplied its guns. In 1921, the Berlin government dissolved the Einwohnerwehr. Many of its members went on to join the Nazi Party.[34]

The Volkssturm was a national militia formed by Nazi Germany in the last months of World War II.
The Volkssturm was a national militia formed by Nazi Germany in the last months of World War II.

In 1921 the Nazi Party created the Sturmabteilung (SA; Storm Detachment; Brownshirts), which was the first paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party and served as a Nazi militia whose initial assignment was to protect Nazi leaders at rallies and assemblies. The SA also took part in street battles against the forces of rival political parties and violent actions against Jews. From the SA sprung the Schutzstaffel (SS; Protective Squadron) which grew to become one of the largest and most powerful groups in Nazi Germany, which Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler (the leader of the SS from 1929) envisioned as an elite group of guards. The Waffen-SS, the military branch of the SS, became a de facto fourth branch of the Wehrmacht.[35]

In 1944–1945, as World War II came to a close in Europe, the German high command deployed increasing numbers of Volkssturm units to combat duties. These regiments were composed of men, women and children too old, young or otherwise unfit for service in the Wehrmacht (German Regular Army).[36] Their primary role was assisting the army with fortification duties and digging anti-tank ditches. As the shortage of manpower became severe, they were used as front line infantry, most often in urban settings. Due to the physical state of members, almost non-existent training and shortage of weapons, there was not much the Volkssturm could do except act like shields for regular army units. However, armed with Panzerfausts and deeply entrenched, a unit of Volkssturm could cause serious trouble for Soviet armor.[weasel words]


Salwa Judum (meaning "Peace March"[37] or "Purification Hunt" in Gondi language) is a militia active in the Chhattisgarh state of India.


The Basij militia founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in November 1980[38] is composed of 10,000 regular soldiers. It ultimately draws from about 11 million members, and is subordinate to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran.


Several armed militia groups are presently active in Iraq. The Mehdi Army is a sectarian armed force created by the Iraqi Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003. The Badr Organization is based in and around Karbala. The Anbar Salvation Council is a Sunni armed group in Iraq formed by members of baathist and nationalist elements to fight Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Kurdish militia, the Peshmerga, is estimated to number upwards of 500,000.

The Awakening Councils or "concerned citizens" are emerging to defend their neighborhoods against insurgents of every kind, functioning as a form of vigilante "militia" similar to the model of militia in the US.[39]


In modern times, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is often described as a heavily armed militia, not a full-fledged army, since it is legally and publicly viewed as a defensive force only, and since it relies heavily on the reserve duty of Israeli citizens who are annually called to service for set periods of time, rather than on professional, full-time soldiers.[40] Israeli settlements in frontier areas such as the Galilee, Negev, Judea and Samaria rely on armed militia teams for their security .[41] National service conscripts can also serve in the Israel Border Police (commonly known by its Hebrew abbreviation Magav which means border guard in Hebrew), which is a paramilitary branch of the Israel Police rather than the IDF.


Members of the Latvian National Guard during a training exercise. The Guard was created in 1991 as a voluntary military self-defense force.
Members of the Latvian National Guard during a training exercise. The Guard was created in 1991 as a voluntary military self-defense force.


Since the fall of Gaddafi's rule of Libya in the aftermath of the Libyan Civil War, rebel groups that have contributed to the revolution splintered into self-organized militia movements and have been involved in a feud for control of each city.[42] Since the revolution, reports of clashes and violence by militia groups have been increasing.[43]


Mexico has a history of various activities and insurrection by militia and paramilitary groups dating back several hundred years that include the exploits of historical figures such as Captain Manuel Pineda Munoz and Francisco "Pancho" Villa. This also includes groups such as the Free-Colored Militia (the interracial militias of New Spain, Colonial Mexico),[44] the Camisas Doradas, and the contemporary Self Defense Council of Michoacan.[45]

However some of the previous examples are historical, the current official view on the existence of such militias in Mexico, when are not backed by the government,[46] has been always label them as illegal and to combat them in a military and a political way.[47]

Modern examples on the Mexican view on militias are the Chiapas conflict against the EZLN[48] and against the EPR in Guerrero,[49] where the government forces combated the upraised militias. And in a more recent case when civilian self-defence militias appeared during the Mexican war on drugs,[50] the government regulated them and transformed the militias in to Rural federal forces,[51] and those who resisted were combated and imprisoned.[52]

New Zealand

Member of the Armed Constabulary shot during the New Zealand wars. The Constabulary was a law enforcement agency and a militia until it was reoriented into a police force in 1886.
Member of the Armed Constabulary shot during the New Zealand wars. The Constabulary was a law enforcement agency and a militia until it was reoriented into a police force in 1886.

From the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 until 1844 small detachments of British Imperial troops based in New Zealand were the only military. This changed as a result of the Flagstaff War,[53] with the colonial government passing a Militia Act on 25 March 1845.[54] Militia units were formed in Auckland, Wellington, New Plymouth, and Nelson. Service in the militia was compulsory.

Many localized militia saw service, together with British Imperial troops, during the New Zealand land wars. In the late nineteenth century a system of local Volunteer militias evolved throughout the country. These were semi-trained but uniformed and administered by a small number of regular "Imperial" officers.[55] The militia units were disbanded and reformed as the Territorial Army in 1911.

North Korea

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards is a North Korean paramilitary organization organized on a provincial/town/city/village level.


Members of the Norwegian Home Guard.
Members of the Norwegian Home Guard.


Militias have played an important role supporting Pakistan's Military since the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 when Pakistan, with the support of militias, was able to gain control of the region which is now known as Azad Kashmir.[56] Pakistan found the militias volunteering to participate in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 quite useful as well.

Currently Pakistani citizens forming militias from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are participating in the 'war on terror'.[57][58]


Article XVI, Section 4 of the Philippines Constitution states: "The Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be composed of a citizen armed force which shall undergo military training and serve as may be provided by law."[59]


Portugal had a long tradition in the use of militias for national defense. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, the municipal militias – composed of spearmen, pikemen, horsemen, slingers, javelineers, archers, crossbowmen and later arquebusiers – constituted the main component of the Portuguese Royal Army, together with smaller military forces from the King, the military orders and the feudal lords.

After some failed previous attempts, in 1570 King Sebastian of Portugal created the Ordenanças, a centrally managed military territorial organization that would replace the municipal militias and became the basis of a national army. After 60 years of foreign domination (1580–1640), the Ordenanças were reorganized for the Portuguese Restoration War. The Portuguese Army was then organized in three lines, with the 2nd and 3rd being militia forces. The Ordenanças became the 3rd line and acted both as a territorial draft organization for the 1st and 2nd line troops and as a kind of home guard for local defense. The 2nd line was made of the auxiliary troops, also militia units with the role of regional defense. In the end of the 18th century, the auxiliary troops were renamed "Militias".

In the Peninsular War, the Militia regiments and the Ordenanças units had an important role in the defense of the country against the Napoleonic invader army. Still in the 19th century, the Militia units also had an important role in the Liberal Wars, with the majority of those troops fighting on the side of King Miguel. Besides the regular militias, a number of volunteer militia units were formed to fight on both sides of the war.

With the establishment of the constitutional regime, the old Militias and Ordenanças were replaced by a single national militia force, the National Guard. However, the National Guard revealed itself an ineffective and undisciplined force. Their units became highly politicized, being involved in a number of conspiracies and coups. The National Guard having less and less confidence from the authorities, became extinct in 1847, terminating a long tradition of national militias in Portugal.

During the 20th century, some experiments with militia type forces were made. From 1911 to 1926, the Portuguese Army was organized as a militia army. Also, in 1936, the Estado Novo regime created the Portuguese Legion as a political volunteer militia, dedicated to the fight against the enemies of country and of the social order. From World War II, the Portuguese Legion assumed the responsibility for civil defense, this becoming its main role during the Cold War, until its extinction in 1974.

Russia and the Soviet Union

Banner of Saint Petersburg militia from Napoleon's invasion of Russia.
Banner of Saint Petersburg militia from Napoleon's invasion of Russia.

Neither the Russian Empire, nor the Soviet Union ever had an organised force that could be equated to a militia. Instead a form of organisation that predated the Russian state was used during national emergencies called Narodnoe Opolcheniye (People's Regimentation). More comparable to the English Fyrd, it was a popular voluntary joining of the local полк polk, or a regiment, though it had no regular established strength or officers, these usually elected from prominent local citizens. Although these spontaneously created popular forces had participated in several major wars of the Russian Empire, including in combat, they were not obligated to serve for more than one year, and notably departed for home during the 1813 campaign in Germany. On only one occasion, during the military history of the Soviet Union, the Narodnoe Opolcheniye was incorporated into the regular forces of the Red Army, notably in Leningrad and Moscow.

The term Militsiya in Russia and former Communist Bloc nations was specifically used to refer to the civilian police force, and should not be confused with the conventional western definition of militia. The term, as used in this context, dated from post-revolutionary Russia in late 1917 and was intended to draw a distinction between the new Soviet law enforcement agencies and the disbanded Tsarist police. In some of these states militia was renamed back to police such as Ukraine while in the other states it remains such as Belarus. In Russia it was renamed to Police (in Russian: Полиция, Politsiya) in March 2011.[60]

Sri Lanka

The first militias formed in Sri Lanka were by Lankan Kings, who raised militia armies for their military campaigns both within and outside the island. This was due to the reason that the Kings never maintained a standing army instead had a Royal Guard during peace time and formed a militia in wartime.

When the Portuguese who were the first colonial power to dominate the island raised local militias under the command of local leaders known as Mudaliyars. These militias took part in the many Portuguese campaigns against the Lankan Kings. The Dutch continued to employ these militias but due to their unreliability tended to favor employing Swiss and Malay mercenaries in their campaigns in the island.

The Sri Lanka Civil Security Force is a paramilitary militia tasked to serve as an auxiliary to the Sri Lanka Police.
The Sri Lanka Civil Security Force is a paramilitary militia tasked to serve as an auxiliary to the Sri Lanka Police.

The British Empire then ousted the Dutch from the coastal areas of the country, and sought to conquer the independent Kandyan Kingdom. In 1802, the British became the first foreign power to raise a regular unit of Sinhalese with British officers, which was named the 2nd Ceylon Regiment, also known as the Sepoy Corps. It fought alongside British troops in the Kandyan wars. After the Matale Rebellion led by Puran Appu in 1848, in which a number of Sinhalese recruits defected to the side of the rebels, the recruitment of Sinhalese to the British forces was temporarily halted and the Ceylon Regiments disbanded.

In 1861, the Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers were raised as a militia, but soon became a military reserve force. This became the Ceylon Defence Force in 1910 and consisted of militia units. These were the Colombo Town Guard and the Town Guard Artillery formed during the two world wars.

With the escalation of the Sri Lankan Civil War, local villagers under threat of attack were formed into localized militia to protect their families and homes.[61] According to the Sri Lankan Military these militias were formed after "massacres done by the LTTE" and in the early 1990s they were reformed as the Sri Lankan Home Guard. In 2007 the Home Guard became the Sri Lanka Civil Security Force.[62] In 2008, the government called for the formation of nearly 15,000 civil defence committees at the village level for additional protection.[63]

In 2004, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam claimed have establish a voluntary "Tamil Eelam auxiliary force". According to the LTTE's then head of police, the force was to be assigned to tasks such as rehabilitation, construction, forest conservation and agriculture, but would also be used to battle the Sri Lankan military if the need arose.[64][65][66] In early 2009 it ceased to exist with the military defeat of the LTTE at the hands of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.


A mounted Janjaweed militiaman. The Janjaweed are a militia operating in western Sudan and eastern Chad.
A mounted Janjaweed militiaman. The Janjaweed are a militia operating in western Sudan and eastern Chad.

The Janjaweed militia consists of armed Arab Muslims fighting for the government in Khartoum against non-Arab Muslim "rebels". They are active in the Darfur region of western Sudan and also in eastern Chad. According to Human Rights Watch these partisans are responsible for abuses including war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.[67]


As of 2012, the Swedish Home Guard consists of 22,000 organized into 40 light infantry battalions of 300–700 Guardsmen. These battalions are then organised into companies, usually one for every municipality. The main task of the battalions is to guard vital military and civilian installations throughout the country.

In 2001, the Rapid Response units numbered around 5,000 soldiers of the total of 42,000. As of 2014, the majority of the force, 17,000 out of 22,000 soldiers will be in Rapid Response units. The decrease in number of troops comes with an equal increase in quality and modern equipment. These units are motorized and are ready to be mobilized more often, than other Home Guard units. Rapid response units have more combat tasks compared to the rest of the Home Guard, including escort duties. Some battalions located near the coast also have marine companies equipped with Combat Boat 90. A few battalions have recently set up 'specialized' companies to evaluate the possibility to add new abilities to the Home Guard. These are at the time of writing eight reconnaissance/intelligence companies, four CBRN-platoons, a movcon platoon, an engineer platoon, and a military police unit.


One of the best known and ancient militias is the Swiss Armed Forces. Switzerland has long maintained, proportionally, the second largest military force in the world, with about half the proportional amount of reserve forces of the Israeli Defense Forces, a militia of some 33% of the total population. The "militia principle" of public duties is central to Swiss political culture and not limited to military issues. For example in most municipalities it is common to serve as a conscript fire fighter in the Compulsory Fire Department.

Article 58.1 of the April 18, 1999, Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation (official, French version) provides that "Switzerland has an army. It is primarily organised according to the principle of a militia." However, under the country's militia system, professional soldiers constitute about 5 percent of military personnel. In 1995, the number of soldiers was reduced to 400,000 (including reservists, amounting to some 5.6% of the population) and again in 2004, to 200,000 (including 80,000 reservists, or 2.5% of the population). However, the Swiss Militia continues to consist of most of the adult male population (with voluntary participation by women) who are required to keep an assault rifle at home and to periodically engage in combat and marksmanship training.[68] The militia clauses of the Swiss Federal Constitution are contained in Art. 59, where it is referred to as "military service" (German: Militärdienst; French: service militaire; Italian: servizio militare; Romansh: servetsch militar).


The Syrian National Defense Force was formed out of pro-government militias. They receive their salaries and their military equipment from the government[69][70] and as of 2013 numbers around 100,000.[71][72] The force acts in an infantry role, directly fighting against rebels on the ground and running counter-insurgency operations in coordination with the army which provides them with logistical and artillery support. Unlike the Syrian Army, NDF soldiers are allowed to take loot from battlefields, which can then be sold on for extra money.[69]

United Kingdom


The obligation to serve in the militia in England derives from a common law tradition, and dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. The tradition was that all able-bodied males were liable to be called out to serve in one of two organisations. These were the posse comitatus, an ad hoc assembly called together by a law officer to apprehend lawbreakers, and the fyrd,[73] a military body intended to preserve internal order or defend the locality against an invader. The latter developed into the militia, and was usually embodied by a royal warrant.[74] Service in each organisation involved different levels of preparedness.[75]

16th and 17th centuries

With the decay of the feudal system and the military revolution of the 16th century, the militia began to become an important institution in English life. It was organised on the basis of the shire county, and was one of the responsibilities of the Lord Lieutenant, a royal official (usually a trusted nobleman). Each of the county hundreds was likewise the responsibility of a Deputy Lieutenant, who relayed orders to the justices of the peace or magistrates. Every parish furnished a quota of eligible men, whose names were recorded on muster rolls. Likewise, each household was assessed for the purpose of finding weapons, armour, horses, or their financial equivalent, according to their status. The militia was supposed to be mustered for training purposes from time to time, but this was rarely done. The militia regiments were consequently ill-prepared for an emergency, and could not be relied upon to serve outside their own counties. This state of affairs concerned many people. Consequently, an elite force was created, composed of members of the militia who were prepared to meet regularly for military training and exercise. These were formed into trained band regiments, particularly in the City of London, where the Artillery Ground was used for training. The trained bands performed an important role in the English Civil War on the side of parliament, in marching to raise the siege of Gloucester (5 September 1643). Except for the London trained bands, both sides in the Civil War made little use of the militia, preferring to recruit their armies by other means.[citation needed]

Militia in the British Empire

Captain John Smith's 1624 map of the Somers Isles (Bermuda), showing St. George's Town and related fortifications, including the Castle Islands Fortifications with their garrisons of militiamen
Captain John Smith's 1624 map of the Somers Isles (Bermuda), showing St. George's Town and related fortifications, including the Castle Islands Fortifications with their garrisons of militiamen

As successful English settlement of North America began to take place in 1607 in the face of the hostile intentions of the powerful Spanish, and of the native populations, it became immediately necessary to raise militia amongst the settlers. The militia in Jamestown saw constant action against the Powhatan Federation and other native polities. In the Virginia Company's other outpost, Bermuda, fortification began immediately in 1612. A Spanish attack in 1614 was repulsed by two shots fired from the incomplete Castle Islands Fortifications manned by Bermudian Militiamen. In the Nineteenth century, Fortress Bermuda would become Britain's Gibraltar of the West, heavily fortified by a Regular Army garrison to protect the Royal Navy's headquarters and dockyard in the Western Atlantic.

In the 17th Century, however, Bermuda's defence was left entirely in the hands of the Militia. In addition to requiring all male civilians to train and serve in the militia of their Parish, the Bermudian Militia included a standing body of trained artillerymen to garrison the numerous fortifications which ringed New London (St. George's). This standing body was created by recruiting volunteers, and by sentencing criminals to serve as punishment. The Bermudian militiamen were called out on numerous occasions of war, and, on one notable occasion, to quell rioting privateers. The 1707 Acts of Union made Bermudian and other English militiamen British. The Militia in Bermuda came to include a Troop of Horse (mounted infantry) and served alongside volunteers and (from 1701) a small body of regulars. The Militia faded away after the American War of 1812 when the Parliament of Bermuda declined to renew the Militia Act. This resulted from the build-up of the regular army Bermuda Garrison along with Bermuda's development as the headquarters and dockyard of the North America and West Indies Station of the Royal Navy, which made the militia seem excess to need. Vast sums of the Imperial defence expenditure were lavished on fortifying Bermuda during the Nineteenth Century and the British Government cajoled, implored, begged, and threatened the colonial legislature for 80 years before it raised a militia and volunteer units (in 1894 and 1894 respectively). Although the militia had historically been an infantry force, many units in Britain had been re-tasked as militia artillery from the 1850s onward due to the increased importance of the coastal artillery defences and the new militia unit in Bermuda followed suit. Titled the Bermuda Militia Artillery, it was badged and uniformed as part of the Royal Artillery, and tasked with the garrison artillery role, manning coastal batteries. As in Britain, recruitment was of volunteers who engaged for terms of service, whereas the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps was organised on the same lines as volunteer rifle corps in Britain. Recruitment to the BVRC was restricted to whites, but the BMA recruited primarily coloured (those who were not entirely of European heritage) other ranks, though its officers were all white until 1953. Neither unit was reorganised in 1908 when the Militia, Volunteer Force and Yeomanry in Britain merged into the Territorial Force, but the BVRC was re-organised as a territorial in 1921 and the BMA in 1926. The BVRC name was not modified to Bermuda Rifles until 1951, however, and the Bermuda Militia Artillery (and from 1939 the Bermuda Militia Infantry) continued to be titled as militia until amalgamated with the Bermuda Rifles in 1965 to form the Bermuda Regiment.

In British India, a special class of militia was established in 1907. This took the form of the Frontier Corps, which consisted of locally recruited full-time auxiliaries under British officers. Their role combined the functions of tribal police and border guards deployed along the North-West Frontier. Regional units included the Zhob Militia, the Kurram Militia, and the Chagai Militia. After 1946 the Frontier Corps became part of the modern Pakistan Army.

Political issues

Until the Glorious Revolution in 1688 the Crown and Parliament were in strong disagreement. The English Civil War left a rather unusual military legacy. Both Whigs and Tories distrusted the creation of a large standing army not under civilian control. The former feared that it would be used as an instrument of royal tyranny. The latter had memories of the New Model Army and the anti-monarchical social and political revolution that it brought about. Both preferred a small standing army under civilian control for defensive deterrence and to prosecute foreign wars, a large navy as the first line of national defence, and a militia composed of their neighbours as additional defence and to preserve domestic order.[citation needed]

Consequently, the English Bill of Rights (1689) declared, amongst other things: "that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law..." and "that the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law." This implies that they are fitted to serve in the militia, which was intended to serve as a counterweight to the standing army and preserve civil liberties against the use of the army by a tyrannical monarch or government.

The Crown still (in the British constitution) controls the use of the army. This ensures that officers and enlisted men swear an oath to a politically neutral head of state, and not to a politician. While the funding of the standing army subsists on annual financial votes by parliament, the Mutiny Act, superseded by the Army Act, and now the Armed Forces Act is also renewed on an annual basis by Parliament.[citation needed] If it lapses, the legal basis for enforcing discipline disappears, and soldiers lose their legal indemnity for acts committed under orders.[citation needed]

With the creation of the British Empire, militias were also raised in the colonies, where little support could be provided by regular forces. Overseas militias were first raised in Jamestown, Virginia, and in Bermuda, where the Bermuda Militia followed over the next two centuriesa similar trajectory to that in Britain.

18th century and the Acts of Union

In 1707 the Acts of Union united the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland. The Scottish navy was incorporated into the Royal Navy. The Scottish military (as opposed to naval) forces merged with the English, with pre-existing regular Scottish regiments maintaining their identities, though command of the new British Army was from England. How this affected militias either side of the border is unclear.

British Militia

A review of the Northampton Militia. Formed in 1763, it men were selected by ballot to serve for a period of time.
A review of the Northampton Militia. Formed in 1763, it men were selected by ballot to serve for a period of time.

The Militia Act of 1757 created a more professional force. Better records were kept, and the men were selected by ballot to serve for longer periods; specific provision was made for members of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers, to be exempted, as conscientious objectors, from compulsory enlistment in the militia. Proper uniforms and better weapons were provided, and the force was 'embodied' from time to time for training sessions.

The militia was widely embodied at various times during the French and Napoleonic Wars. It served at several vulnerable locations, and was particularly stationed on the South Coast and in Ireland. A number of camps were held at Brighton, where the militia regiments were reviewed by the Prince Regent. (This is the origin of the song "Brighton Camp".) The militia could not be compelled to serve overseas, but it was seen as a training reserve for the army, as bounties were offered to men who opted to 'exchange' from the militia to the regular army.

Irish militia

The Parliament of Ireland passed an act in 1715 raising regiments of militia in each county and county corporate. Membership was restricted to Protestants between the ages of 16 and 60. In 1793, during the Napoleonic Wars, the Irish militia were reorganised to form thirty-seven county and city regiments. While officers of the reorganised force were Protestant, membership of the other ranks was now made available to members of all denominations.

Scottish militia

In the late 17th century came calls for the resurrection of militia in Scotland that had the understated aim of protecting the rights of Scots from English oppression.[76] The 1757 Militia Act did not apply in Scotland. The old traditional system continued, so that militia regiments only existed in some places. This was resented by some and the Militia Club, soon to become the Poker Club, was formed to promote the raising of a Scottish militia. This and several other Edinburgh clubs became the crucible of the Scottish Enlightenment. The Militia Act 1797 empowered Scottish Lord Lieutenants to raise and command militia regiments in each of the "Counties, Stewartries, Cities, and Places" under their jurisdiction.

19th century

The Prince of Wales reviewing the Norfolk Militia, 1872. By the mid-19th century, the militia had become a volunteer force.
The Prince of Wales reviewing the Norfolk Militia, 1872. By the mid-19th century, the militia had become a volunteer force.

Although muster rolls were prepared as late as 1820, the element of compulsion was abandoned, and the militia transformed into a volunteer force, revived by the Militia Act of 1852. It was intended to be seen as an alternative to the army. Men would volunteer and undertake basic training for several months at an army depot. Thereafter, they would return to civilian life, but report for regular periods of military training (usually on the weapons ranges) and an annual two-week training camp. In return, they would receive military pay and a financial retainer, a useful addition to their civilian wage. Of course, many saw the annual camp as the equivalent of a paid holiday. The militia thus appealed to agricultural labourers, colliers and the like, men in casual occupations, who could leave their civilian job and pick it up again. Until 1852 the militia were an entirely infantry force, but from that year a number of county infantry regiments were converted to artillery and new ones raised. In 1877 the militia of Anglesey and Monmouthshire were converted to engineers. Under the reforms, introduced by Secretary of State for War Hugh Childers in 1881, the remaining militia infantry regiments were redesignated as numbered battalions of regiments of the line, ranking after the two regular battalions. Typically, an English, Welsh or Scottish regiment would have two militia battalions (the 3rd and 4th) and Irish regiments three (numbered 3rd–5th).

The militia must not be confused with the volunteer units created in a wave of enthusiasm in the second half of the nineteenth century. In contrast with the Volunteer Force, and the similar Yeomanry Cavalry, they were considered rather plebeian.

The Special Reserve

Recruitment poster for the British Territorial Army during World War II. The reserve force was formed after the militias were reorganized in 1907.
Recruitment poster for the British Territorial Army during World War II. The reserve force was formed after the militias were reorganized in 1907.

The militia was transformed into the Special Reserve by the military reforms of Haldane in the reforming post 1906 Liberal government. In 1908 the militia infantry battalions were redesignated as "reserve" and a number were amalgamated or disbanded. Numbered Territorial Force battalions, ranking after the Special Reserve, were formed from the volunteer units at the same time. Altogether, 101 infantry battalions, 33 artillery regiments and two engineer regiments of special reservists were formed.[77] Upon mobilisation, the special reserve units would be formed at the depot and continue training while guarding vulnerable points in Britain. The special reserve units remained in Britain throughout the First World War, but their rank and file did not, since the object of the special reserve was to supply drafts of replacements for the overseas units of the regiment. The original militiamen soon disappeared, and the battalions simply became training units. The Special Reserve reverted to its militia designation in 1921, then to Supplementary Reserve in 1924, though the units were effectively placed in "suspended animation" until disbanded in 1953.

The militiamen

The name was briefly revived in the Military Training Act 1939, in the aftermath of the Munich Crisis. Leslie Hore-Belisha, Secretary of State for War, wished to introduce a limited form of conscription, not known in peacetime Britain since the militia of the early 19th century and previously. It was thought that calling the conscripts 'militiamen' would make this more acceptable, as it would render them distinct from the rest of the army. Only single men aged 20 up to the day before their 22nd birthday were to be conscripted, for six months full-time training before discharge into the reserve (with a free suit of civilian clothing). Although the first intake was called up in late July 1939, the declaration of war on 3 September entailed implementation of full-time conscription for all men aged 18–41, superseding the militia, never to be revived.

Modern survivals

A non-commissioned officer of the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey. The unit is one of two regiments in the Territorial Army that maintain their militia designation.
A non-commissioned officer of the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey. The unit is one of two regiments in the Territorial Army that maintain their militia designation.

Three units still maintain their militia designation in the British Army.These are the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (formed in 1539), the Jersey Field Squadron (The Royal Militia Island of Jersey) (formed in 1337), and the Royal Alderney Militia (created in the 13th century and reformed in 1984). Additionally, the Atholl Highlanders are a ceremonial infantry militia maintained by the Duke of Atholl—they are the only legal private army in Europe.

Other British militias

Various other part-time, home defence organisations have been raised during times of crisis or perceived threat, although without the word "militia" in their title. These have included:

The Troubles and Irish War of Independence

The various non-state paramilitary groups involved in the 20th-century conflicts in Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, such as the various Irish Republican Army groups and loyalist paramilitaries, could also be described as militias and are occasionally referred to as such.

The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was a locally raised professional militia instituted by an Act of Parliament in December 1969, becoming operational on 1 April 1970. Created as a non-partisan force to defend Northern Ireland "against armed attack or sabotage", it eventually peaked at 11 battalions with 7,559 men and women. 197 soldiers of the UDR, including four women, were killed as active servicemen, with a further 61 killed after leaving the regiment, mostly by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. As a result of defence cuts it was eventually reduced to 7 battalions before being amalgamated with the Royal Irish Rangers in 1992 to form the "Home Service Battalions" of the Royal Irish Regiment.

United States

The history of militia in the United States dates from the colonial era, such as in the American Revolutionary War.[78] Based on the English system, colonial militias were drawn from the body of adult male citizens of a community, town, or local region. Because there was no standing English Army before the English Civil War, and subsequently the English Army and later the British Army had few regulars garrisoning North America, colonial militia served a vital role in local conflicts, particularly in the French and Indian Wars. Before shooting began in the American War of Independence, American revolutionaries took control of the militia system, reinvigorating training and excluding men with Loyalist inclinations.[79] Regulation of the militia was codified by the Second Continental Congress with the Articles of Confederation. The revolutionaries also created a full-time regular army—the Continental Army—but because of manpower shortages the militia provided short-term support to the regulars in the field throughout the war.

In colonial era Anglo-American usage, militia service was distinguished from military service in that the latter was normally a commitment for a fixed period of time of at least a year, for a salary, whereas militia was only to meet a threat, or prepare to meet a threat, for periods of time expected to be short. Militia persons were normally expected to provide their own weapons, equipment, or supplies, although they may later be compensated for losses or expenditures.[80] A related concept is the jury, which can be regarded as a specialized form of militia convened to render a verdict in a court proceeding (known as a petit jury or trial jury) or to investigate a public matter and render a presentment or indictment (grand jury).[81]

With the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, control of the army and the power to direct the militia of the states was concurrently delegated to the federal Congress.[82] The Militia Clauses gave Congress authority for "organizing, arming, and disciplining" the militia, and "governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States", with the States retaining authority to appoint officers and to impose the training specified by Congress. Proponents describe a key element in the concept of "militia" was that to be "genuine" it not be a "select militia", composed of an unrepresentative subset of the population. This was an argument presented in the ratification debates.[83]

The first legislation on the subject was the Militia Act of 1792 which provided, in part:

That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, ... every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock.

19th century

Uniformed American militiamen during the American Civil War.
Uniformed American militiamen during the American Civil War.

During the nineteenth century, each of the states maintained its militia differently, some more than others. American militia saw action in the various Indian Wars, the War of 1812, the American Civil War, and the Spanish–American War. Sometimes militia units were found to be unprepared, ill-supplied, and unwilling.[82][84][85] Prior to the Civil War, militia units were sometimes used by southern states for slave control. Formed in 1860, Republican Party-affiliated Wide Awakes clubs were quick to take action to defend persons against southern slave-hunters.[86] In California, the militia carried out campaigns against bandits and against the Indians at the direction of its Governor between 1850 and 1866. During Reconstruction after the Civil War, Republican state governments had militias composed almost entirely of freed slaves and populist whites. Their deployment to maintain order in the former Confederate states caused increased resentment among many Southern whites.[87]

After the American Civil War, secret groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Knights of the White Camellia arose quickly across the South, reaching a peak in the late 1860s. Even more significant in terms of effect were private militias: paramilitary organizations that formed starting in 1874, including the White League in Louisiana, which quickly formed chapters in other states; the Red Shirts in Mississippi in 1875, and with force in[clarification needed] South Carolina and North Carolina; and other "white line" militias and rifle clubs.

In contrast to the KKK, these paramilitary organizations were open; members were often well known in their communities. Nevertheless, they used force, intimidation, and violence, including murder, to push out Republican officeholders, break up organizing, and suppress freedmen's voting and civil rights.[88] The paramilitary groups were described as "the military arm of the Democratic Party" and were instrumental in helping secure Democratic victories in the South in the elections of 1876.[89]

20th century

Members of the National Guard of the United States undergoing self-defense training. The force was created in 1903 as an organized militia.
Members of the National Guard of the United States undergoing self-defense training. The force was created in 1903 as an organized militia.

The Militia Act of 1903 divided what had been the militia into what it termed the "organized" militia, created from portions of the former state guards to become state National Guard units, and the "unorganized" militia consisting of all males from ages 17 to 45, with the exception of certain officials and others, which is codified in 10 U.S.C. § 311. Some states, such as Texas, California, and Ohio, created separate state defense forces for assistance in local emergencies. Congress later established[90] a system of "dual enlistment" for the National Guard, so that anyone who enlisted in the National Guard also enlisted in the U.S. Army.[91] When the U.S. Air Force was established as an independent service in 1947, the National Guard was further divided into the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Under this construct, the 1933 defense act's "dual enlistment" facet was further amended so that enlisted soldiers and commissioned officers in the Army National Guard were also enlisted or commissioned in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Army. Enlisted airmen and commissioned officers in the Air National Guard were also enlisted or commissioned in the Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force.[citation needed]

Privately organized citizen militia-related groups blossomed in the mid-1990s, which collectively became known as the constitutional militia movement. The supporters have not been affiliated with any government organization, although many have been military and law enforcement veterans.[need quotation to verify]

In its original sense, militia meant "the state, quality, condition, or activity of being a fighter or warrior." It can be thought of as "combatant activity", "the fighter frame of mind", "the militant mode", "the soldierly status", or "the warrior way".[92] In this latter usage, a militia is a body of private persons who respond to an emergency threat to public safety, usually one that requires an armed response, but which can also include ordinary law enforcement or disaster responses. The act of bringing to bear arms contextually changes the status of the person, from peaceful citizen, to warrior citizen. The militia is the sum total of persons undergoing this change of state.[93] Persons have been said to engage in militia in response to a "call up" by any person aware of the emergent threat requiring the response, and thence to be in "called up" status until the emergency is past.[94] There is no minimum size to militia, and a solitary act of defense, including self-defense, can be thought of as one person calling up himself to defend the community, represented by himself or others, and to enforce the law.[need quotation to verify][95] See citizen's arrest and hue and cry.

21st century

In the 2008 decision of the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the de jure definition of "militia" as used in United States jurisprudence was discussed. The Court's opinion made explicit, in its obiter dicta, that the term "militia," as used in colonial times in this originalist decision, included both the federally organized militia and the citizen-organized militias of the several States: "... the 'militia' in colonial America consisted of a subset of 'the people'—those who were male, able-bodied, and within a certain age range" (7) ... Although the militia consists of all able-bodied men, the federally-organized militia may consist of a subset of them"(23).[96]

Active militias


Basic orientation for the Texas State Guard. The Guard is a state defense force, military units under the sole authority of the state government.
Basic orientation for the Texas State Guard. The Guard is a state defense force, military units under the sole authority of the state government.

The most important previous activity of the Texas Militia was the Texas Revolution in 1836. Texans declared independence from Mexico while they were defeated during the Battle of the Alamo, in March 1836. On April 21, 1836, led by Sam Houston, the Militia attacked the Mexican Army at their camp, in the Battle of San Jacinto near the present city of Houston. Following the war, some militia units reorganized into what was later to be known as the Texas Rangers, which was a private, volunteer effort for several years before becoming an official organization. After Texas joined the Union of the United States in 1845, Texas militia units participated in the Mexican–American War.

In 1861 Texas joined the other Confederate States in seceding from the Union, and Texas militias played a role in the American Civil War, until it ended in 1865. Texas militiamen joined Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, a volunteer militia, and fought with him during the Spanish–American War in 1898. Some of the training of the Rough Riders took place in San Pedro Park, in the north central part of San Antonio near the present site of San Antonio College. When a muster of the Militia proposed to train there on April 19, 1994, they were threatened with arrest, even though the charter of San Pedro Park forbids exclusion of activities of that kind. This threat led to a change of the meeting site. Like many other American states, Texas maintains a recognized State Militia, the Texas State Guard.


The Vietnam Militia (Dân quân Tự vệ) is a part of Vietnam People's Armed Forces. The militia organized in communes, wards and townships and are put under commune-level military commands.

Vietnam Militia has two branches: Special Militia (nòng cốt) and General Militia (rộng rãi). The term of service in the core militia is 4 years.[97]

SFR Yugoslavia

Beside the federal Yugoslav People's Army, each constituent republic of the former SFR Yugoslavia had its own Territorial Defense Forces. The Non-Aligned Yugoslavia was concerned about an eventual aggression from any of the superpowers, especially by the Warsaw Pact after the Prague Spring, so the Territorial Defense Forces were formed as an integral part of the total war military doctrine called Total National Defense. Those forces corresponded to military reserve forces, paramilitary or militia, the latter, in the military meaning of the term (like military formation). It should not be confused with the Yugoslav Militia- Milicija which was a term for a police.

Civic duty

The Militia Information Service (MIS), an Australian not-for-profit organization, asserts that membership in the militia is a civic duty that helps to deter crime, tyranny, and crimes against humanity like genocide. The MIS urges all competent, law-abiding adults to "obtain a military type rifle and pistol like those commonly used by soldiers in their nation's armed forces and use them regularly (target shooting, hunting, etc.) in order to become proficient with them."[98]

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  • ACLED (2015), 'Real-Time Analysis of African Political Violence, January 2015', Conflict Trends (NO-33),
  • Ahrem, Ariel (2011), Proxy Warriors: The Rise and Fall of State Sponsored Militias, (Stanford, Stanford University Press).
  • Jones, Rebecca (2008), 'State Failure and Extra-legal Justice; Vigilant groups, civil militias, and the rule of law in West Africa', UNHCR, New Issues in Refugee Research.
  • Raleigh, Clionadh (2014), "Pragmatic and Promiscuous: Explaining the Rise of Competitive Political Militias across Africa", Journal of Conflict Resolution, pp. 1–28.
  • Sumner, William Hyslop, An Inquiry Into the Importance of the Militia to a Free Commonwealth: In a Letter from William H. Sumner... to John Adams, Late President of the United States; with His Answer, Cummings and Hilliard, Boston, 1823

Further reading

  • The Rise and Decline of the American Militia System, by James B. Whisker, Susquehanna University Press (1999) ISBN 0-945636-92-X
  • Bledsoe, Andrew S. Citizen-Officers: The Union and Confederate Volunteer Junior Officer Corps in the American Civil War. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 2015. ISBN 978-0-8071-6070-1.
  • Cooper, Jerry M. 1998. The rise of the National Guard: the evolution of the American militia, 1865–1920. Studies in war, society, and the military, v. 1. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1486-3
  • The Minute Men – The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution, by John R. Galvin, Brasseys (1996) ISBN 1-57488-049-7
  • Smith, Joshua M. ""The Yankee Soldier's Might: The District of Maine and the Reputation of the Massachusetts Militia, 1800–1812," New England Quarterly LXXXIV no. 2 (June, 2011), 234–264.
  • To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face, by Robert H. Churchill, University of Michigan Press (March 3, 2009) ISBN 978-0-472-11682-9.
  • The Constitutional Force, by Colonel George Jackson Hay 1908, reprint Ray Westlake Military Books (1987) ISBN 0-9508530-7-0.
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