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have condemned the useless ordnance before him, and would have declared that wisdom and economy demand that we should be ready for any war whenever and wherever it may occur.

He would not have stopped there; accepting the truth that the nation is governed best which is governed least, and that ours is a government of the people, he would nevertheless have told the Senator that the military policy of a republic should look more to the dangers of civil commotion than to the possibility of foreign invasion. He need not have referred to the forty years of anarchy and civil war which terminated in the establishment of the Roman Empire; he could have appealed to our own history and informed the Senator that in less than a century our peace had been disturbed by Shay's Rebellion, the Whisky Rebellion, the Great Rebellion, and more recently still the Railroad Riots of 1877. He could have informed the Senator that if our policy in foreign wars has been feeble and childish, at least half the expenditure and bloodshed has been borne by our enemies, while in civil commotion the loss of every dollar and the sacrifice of every life fall upon the citizens of the Republic.

He could have continued his lecture and told the Senator that as a nation we can afford to imitate the daily example of our citizens. The pioneer who seeks a home in the forest first builds a cabin, then a log house, and next a frame house. He does not accuse himself of extravagance. The cabin answered his purposes when he was poor and without family, but when his children multiplied he tore it down and put such material as was worth saving into the log house. This, too, satisfied his wants, but when he began to have neighbors, when roads were opened and friends and strangers began to visit him, he saw that he lacked room and, having become prosperous, he abandoned the log home and for comfort and appearance built a house and barn which excited the admiration of every passer-by.


Looking at the example of every pioneer, as well as the prosperous man of business, the statesman could have informed the Senator that the military policy of an agricultural nation of 3,000,000 people just emerging from the forest, was no policy for a nation extending from ocean to ocean and now numbering more than fifty millions. But bad as is our system it would be unpatriotic to attack it if at the same time no remedy could be suggested. In order that this work may not be misjudged we will first indicate to the reader the chief causes of weakness of our present system, and next will outline the system which ought to replace it.

The causes of the weakness are as follows:

First. The employment of militia and undisciplined troops commanded by generals and officers utterly ignorant of the military art. Second. Short enlistments from three months to three years, instead of for or during the war.

Third. Reliance upon voluntary enlistments, instead of voluntary enlistments coupled with conscription.

Fourth. The intrusion of the States in military affairs and the consequent waging of all our wars on the theory that we are a confederacy instead of a nation.

Fifth. Confusing volunteers with militia and surrendering to the States the right to commission officers of volunteers the same as officers of militia.

a By the last census (1900), the population of the United States, exclusive of colonial possessions, Alaska, and Indian Territory, was 75,568,686.-EDITOR.

Sixth. The bounty-a national consequence of voluntary enlistments. Seventh. The failure to appreciate military education, and to distribute trained officers as battalion, regimental, and higher commanders in our volunteer armies.

Eighth. The want of territorial recruitment and regimental depots. Ninth. The want of post-graduate schools to educate our officers in strategy and the higher principles of the art of war."

Tenth. The assumption of command by the Secretary of War.
The main features of the proposed system are as follows:

First. In time of peace and war the military forces of the country to consist of—

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The Regular Army in time of peace to be organized on the expan sive principle and in proportion to the population, not to exceed one thousand in one million.

The National Volunteers to be officered and supported by the Government, to be organized on the expansive principle and to consist in time of peace of one battalion of two hundred men to each Congressional district.

The Militia to be supported exclusively by the States and as a last resort to be used only as intended by the Constitution, namely, to execute the laws, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

The author is well aware that in suggesting this system he will be accused of favoring centralization and strong government. This is a charge which he would neither covet nor deny. No soldier in battle ever witnessed the flight of an undisciplined army without wishing for a strong government, but a government no stronger than was designed by the fathers of the Republic.

Founded in the affections of the people, the Constitution in time of danger gives Congress absolute power to raise and support armies and to lay its hands upon every man and every dollar within the territory of the nation.

Recognizing, moreover, that the individual life is to be sacrificed to the life of a state, the same Constitution permits the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, giving to Congress and to the President power not only over life and property, but over the liberty of every citizen of the Republic. It is a popular delusion that armies make wars; the fact is wars inevitably make armies. No matter what the form of government, war, at the discretion of the rulers, means absolute despotism, the danger from which increases as the war is prolonged. Armies in time of peace have seldom if ever overthrown their governments, but in time of anarchy and war the people have often sought to dictate, and purchase peace at the expense of their liberty. If we would escape this danger we should make war with a strong arm. Νο foreign invader should ever be allowed a foothold on our soil. Recognizing, too, that under popular institutions the majority of the people create the government and that the majority will never revolt, it should be our policy to suppress every riot and stamp out every insarrection before it swells to rebellion. This means a strong government, but shall we find greater safety in one that is weaker? Military resources are one thing and military strength another.

a These schools now exist.-EDITORS.

For military resistance, the strength of a government is the power it can wield on the field of battle. In the war of 1812 the strength of the Government at the battle of Bladensburg was measured by 6,000 militia; at Bull Run it was measured by 35,000 of the same kind of troops. In one case the capital fell into the hands of the enemy, while in the other our existence as a nation possibly depended upon the irresolution and supineness of a band of insurgents. At Gettysburg the wave of rebellion was resisted by 80,000 veteran troops; had we trusted to the same number of militia the capital would have been captured and the Government hopelessly destroyed. Unable to suppress in two years an insurrection which culminated in a great rebellion, the representatives of the people were forced to adopt conscription and to concentrate in the hands of the President all the war powers granted by the Constitution, whereupon weakness gave place to strength, but at the expense of a needless sacrifice of life and property.

If in time of rebellion our own Government grew more despotic as it grew stronger, it is not to be inferred that there is any necessary connection between despotism and military strength.

Twenty thousand regular troops at Bull Run would have routed the insurgents, settled the question of military resistance, and relieved us from the pain and suspense of four years of war.

China, the most despotic of Governments, has no military strength; numbering 400,000,000 people, she has been twice conquered by a few despised Tartars, and only a few years ago 20,000 English and French dictated peace at the walls of the capital. In Persia the Shah can lop off the heads of his subjects or wall them up alive at his pleasure, and yet it has been said that a single foreign battalion could overthrow his throne, while a brigade would starve in his dominions.

In seeking to avoid the dangers of weakness and despotism the author would not have it imagined that his work will produce immediate effect, or that his system will be adopted in five, ten, or even twenty years. Such a revolution in our military policy must be preceded by a change in popular sentiment.

Foreign governments for more than a hundred years have recognized us as a nation, but, strange to say, a fact patent to all the world, is as yet recognized by scarcely a majority of our people.

Our forefathers hated Great Britain because she repeatedly subverted the government of the colonies. A large portion of their descendants, confusing states rights with state sovereignty, look upon the General Government as equally hostile to the States. When this feeling is abandoned; when it is understood that the life of the State is bound up in the life of the nation; when it is appreciated that republicanism, State and national, guaranteed by the Constitution, is the natural bulwark against the two forms of despotism-absolute monarchy on the one side and absolute democracy on the other-then, and not till then, will the views of the author be accepted. Should his work be received unkindly he will at least have the satisfaction that he has sought to be true to the Republic, and that in view of its increasing grandeur he has endeavored to present a military system which, recognizing the opposition to large standing armies, will still be compatible with the safety, honor, and the liberty of our people.


E. U.

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