A Militant new world, 1607-1640 : America's first generation: its martial spirit, its tradition of arms, its militia organization, its wars

Rutman, Darrett Bruce, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Abernethy, Thomas Perkins, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

The story which follows is in reality two stories. The first is simply the emergence of militia in the area of the future United States from the initial establishment of the first permanent English colonies to the years when it assumed the durability and stability of a full-blown “institution.” From that point on, the historian is directed to the able work of such chroniclers of colonial institutions as Herbert L. Osgood, Newton D. Mereness, Philip Alexander Bruce, et al. If this part of the work is dotted with “perhaps,” it is because it has had to be pieced together from the fragmentary survivals of the first few chaotic years of each of the early colonies.

But if the emergence of militia is the skeleton of this book, the second story is the meat. This second embodies the answer to a question. Militia is merely the institutionalization of the armed civilian—the militiaman—and effective militiamen must have what I have sometimes termed a “militia spirit,” a “will” capable of carrying the citizen-in-arms through adversity and the strangeness of military discipline to success. The question: Did the colonial militiamen of the foundation years have such a spirit, and if so, what engendered it, and what were its results? The answer seems to have a contemporary application.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-04-22 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:36:39.

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