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There is yet another distinction between standing armies and militias, which deserves a more attentive consideration than any that has been mentioned. When the state relies for its defence upon a militia, it is necessary that arms be put into the hands of the people at large. The militia itself must be numerous, in proportion to the want or inferiority of its discipline, and the imbecilities or defects of its conftitution. Moreover, as such a militia must be supplied by rotation, allotment, or some mode of fucceffion whereby they who have served a certain time are replaced by fresh draughts from the country, a much greater number will be instructed in the use of arms, and will have been occafionally embodied together, than are actually employed, or than are fupposed to be wanted, at the fame time. Now what effects upon the civil condition of the country may be looked for from this general diffusion of the military character, becomes an inquiry of great importance and delicacy. To me it appears doubtful whether any government can be long secure, where the people are acquainted with the use of arms, and accustomed to refort to them. Every faction will find itself at the head of an army; every disgust will excite commotion, and every commotion become a civil war. Nothing perhaps can govern a nation of armed citizens but that which governs an armydespotism. I do not mean that a regular government would become despotic by training up its fubjects to the knowicdge and exercise of arms, but that it would ere long be forced to give way to despotism in some other shape; and that the country would be liable to what is even worse than a fettled and conftitutional despotism--to perpetual rebellions, and to perpetual revolutions; to thort and violent usurpations ; to the fucceflive tyranny of governors, rendered cruel and jealous by the danger and instability of their situation.
The fame purposes of ftrength and efficacy which make a standing army necessary at all, make it neceffary, in mixed goycrnments, that this army be sub
mitted to the management and direction of the prince : for however well a popular council may be qualified for the offices of legislation, it is altogether unfit for the conduct of war: in which, success usually depends upon vigour and enterprize ; upon fecrecy, dispatch, and unanimity; upon a quick perception of opportunities, and the power of seizing every opportunity immediately. It is likewise necefsary that the obedience of an army be as prompt and active as possible ; for which reason it ought to be made an obedience of will and emulation. Upon this consideration is founded the expediency of leaving to the prince not only the government and destination of the army, but the appointinent and pro. motion of its officers : because a design is then alone likely to be executed with zeal and fidelity, when the person who issues the order, chooses the instruments, and rewards the service. To which we may subjoin, that, in governments like ours, if the direction and officering of the army were placed in the hands of the democratic part of the constitution, this power, added to what they already pofless, would fo overbalance all that would be left of regal prerogative, that little would remain of monarchy in the constitution, but the name and expense ; nor would these probably remain long.
Whilst we describe, however, the advantages of standing arınies, we must not conceal the danger. These properties of their constitution--the soldiery being separated in a great degree from the rest of the community, their being closely linked amongst themselves by habits of focicty and subordination, and the dependency of the whole chain upon the will and favour of the prince-however essential they may be to the purposes for which armies are kept up, give them an aspect in no wise favourable to public liberty. The danger however is diminished by maintaining, upon all occasions, as much alliance of interest, and as much intercourse of fentiment, between the military part of the nation and the other orders of the people, as are consistent with the union and discipline of an army. For which purpose officers of the army, upon whose disposition towards the commonwealth a great deal may depend, should be taken from the principal families of the country, and at the same time also be encouraged to establish in it fam. ilies of their own, as well as be admitted to seats in the senate, to hereditary distinctions, and to all the civil honours and privileges that are compatible with their profession : which circumstances of connexion and situation will give them such a share in the general rights of the people, and fo engage their inclinations on the side of public liberty, as to afford a rea. sonable security that they cannot be brought, by any promises of personal aggrandizement, to aslist in the execution of measures which might enslave their porterity, their kindred, and their country.