American History

The concept of a militia is no stranger to the American canon. Traces of civilian-military forces go back as far as the 1600s during the Colonial Period, over a century before the 13 colonies declared independence from British rule on the 4th of July 1776. The Declaration of Independence was a pivotal act in the historical drama known as the American Revolution. With the infancy of a new nation came the drafting of a document that has stood the test of time — the Constitution of the United States.

The U.S. was far from the first country in history to establish and apply a constitution as the basis for its political system. A constitution at its core is a set of agreed-upon tenets, to provide a governmental skeletal frame on which some sort of society or organization is constructed. Nonetheless, there is an element of the U.S. Constitution that stands out among the rest — a single concept that upholds its structural integrity.

For the uninitiated, the United States can be considered more of an “experiment” than a country. The experiment, also known as the “Great American Experiment,” is one of individual freedom. The Founding Fathers, most of whom were of some sort of theistic/deistic inclination, determined that the rights and liberties of humankind were granted not by man but by a creator. Such an idea cements those rights as natural and transcendent above the edicts and statutes of man (in this case, the tyranny of the British Empire). Those rights could not be infringed. This is why the constitution is held in such high regard with the patriotic demographic of the U.S. public sphere.

The Founding Fathers designed the federal government to function as a limited entity in service to the people. The Constitution itself is what the entire executive, judicial, and legislative branches are held accountable to. If that document is upheld, there could never be a monarch or king that abused their power, and the government would always be under a checks and balances system that preserves the natural law of the constitution. This is noted in the section titled “The Preamble to The Bill of Rights.”