Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Militia Act of 1792

In the context of Obama Health Care, there has been discussion of "The Militia Act of 1792" as to the provision:

That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of power and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.

The Militia Act was in direct response to US losses at the Battle of the Wabash, a battle not frequently discussed in US history textbooks. From an earlier IPBiz post:

Readers of IPBiz may recall the discussion of St. Clair in another context: St. Clair commanded US forces in 1791 in "the Battle of the Wabash," the greatest defeat of the American army by Native Americans in history with some 623 American soldiers killed in action as opposed to about 50 enemy dead. That loss is roughly three times more dead than suffered by Custer at Little Big Horn in 1876.

See http://ipbiz.blogspot.com/2010/05/plagiarism-and-worse.html

The Militia Act related to a perceived military threat, and was not an assertion of powers under the Commerce Clause.


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