Militia

Militia

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The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with multiple distinct but related meanings. Legal and historical meanings of militia include:
  • Defense activity or service, to protect a community, its territory, property, and laws.
  • The entire able-bodied population of a community, town, county, or state
    State (polity)
    A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

    , available to be called to arms.
    • A subset of these who may be legally penalized for failing to respond to a call-up.
    • A subset of these who actually respond to a call-up, regardless of legal obligation.
  • A private, non-government force, not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government
    Government
    Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

    .
  • An official reserve army, composed of citizen soldier
    Soldier
    A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

    s. Called by various names in different countries such as; the Army Reserve
    Army Reserve
    Army Reserve may refer to:*Military Reserve Force*Army Reserve *United States Army Reserve...

    , National Guard
    National Guard
    The term National Guard originally referred to a French citizen militia . The term is now used in many countries. Depending on the country in question, "national guard" may refer to an organized militia, a military force, a paramilitary force, a gendarmerie, or a police force:- Americas :* National...

    , or State Defense Forces
    State Defense Forces
    State defense forces in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government; they are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau but they are not a part of the Army National Guard of the United States...

    .
  • The national police
    Police
    The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

     forces in several former communist states such as the Soviet Union
    Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

     and the Warsaw Pact
    Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

     countries, but also in the non-aligned
    Non-Aligned Movement
    The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

     SFR Yugoslavia. The term was inherited in Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    , and other former CIS
    Commonwealth of Independent States
    The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

     countries. See: Militia (Police).
  • In France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     the equivalent term "Milice
    Milice
    The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

    " has become tainted due to its use by notorious collaborator
    Collaborationism
    Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

    s with Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

    .
  • A select militia is composed of a small, non-representative portion of the population, often politicized.

Etymology


Militia derives from Latin roots:
  • miles /miːles/ : soldier
  • -itia /iːtia/ : a state, activity, quality or condition of being
  • militia /mil:iːtia/: Military service


The word militia dates back to at least 1590 when it was recorded in a book by Sir John Smythe, Certain Discourses Military with the meanings: a military force; a body of soldiers and military affairs; a body of military discipline

Argentina



Buenos Aires, which was by then the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, , was the last and most short-lived Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire in America.The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 out of several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that mainly extended over the Río de la Plata basin, roughly the present day...

, was attacked during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata
British invasions of the Río de la Plata
The British invasions of the Río de la Plata were a series of unsuccessful British attempts to seize control of the Spanish colonies located around the La Plata Basin in South America . The invasions took place between 1806 and 1807, as part of the Napoleonic Wars, when Spain was an ally of...

. As the regular military forces were not enough against the British armies, Santiago de Liniers
Santiago de Liniers
Jacques de Liniers was a French officer in the Spanish military service, and a viceroy of the Spanish colonies of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. He is more widely known by the Spanish form of his name, Santiago de Liniers...

 drafted all the male population capable to bear arms into the military. This included the criollo peoples, who were down in the social hierarchy, and even slaves. With these reinforcements, the British armies were defeated twice.

The militias became a strong factor in the politics of the city afterwards, as a venue where the criollos could manifest their political ambitions. They were a key element in the success of the May Revolution
May Revolution
The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish colony that included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

, which deposed the Spanish viceroy and began the Argentine War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence
The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown...

. A decree by Mariano Moreno
Mariano Moreno
Mariano Moreno was an Argentine lawyer, journalist, and politician. He played a decisive role in the Primera Junta, the first national government of Argentina, created after the May Revolution....

 derogated the system of promotions by castas, allowing instead the promotions by military merits.

The Argentine Civil War
Argentine Civil War
The Argentine Civil Wars were a series of internecine wars that took place in Argentina from 1814 to 1876. These conflicts were separate from the Argentine War of Independence , though they first arose during this period....

 was waged by militias again, as both Federals and Unitarians drafted common people into their ranks for the ongoing conflicts. This type of warfare began to decline by the 1870s. It was definitely outlawed by Julio Argentino Roca
Julio Argentino Roca
Alejo Julio Argentino Roca Paz was an army general who served as President of Argentina from 12 October 1880 to 12 October 1886 and again from 12 October 1898 to 12 October 1904.-Upbringing and early career:...

, who established the conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

.

Armenia



Armenian militia, or "fedayee" played a major role in the independence of various Armenian states, including the now inexistent Western Armenia
Administration for Western Armenia
The Administration for Western Armenia was an temporary Armenian provisional government between 1915 and 1918, with the autonomous region initially set up around Lake Van after the Siege of Van of the Caucasus Campaign, with the leadership of Aram Manukian of Armenian Revolutionary Federation. It...

, the Democratic Republic of Armenia
Democratic Republic of Armenia
The Democratic Republic of Armenia was the first modern establishment of an Armenian state...

, and the currently de-facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic , or Artsakh Republic is a de facto independent republic located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia...

. Armenian militia also played a role in the Georgia-Abkhazia War
War in Abkhazia (1992–1993)
The War in Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993 was waged chiefly between Georgian government forces on one side and Abkhaz separatist forces supporting independence of Abkhazia from Georgia on the other side. Ethnic Georgians, who lived in Abkhazia fought largely on the side of Georgian government forces...

 of 1992-1993.

Australia



Militia was an alternative name for the Citizens' Military Forces (CMF), the reserve units of the Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 between 1901 and 1980. After Australian federation, the six former colonial militias
Colonial forces of Australia
Until Australia became a Federation in 1901, each of the six colonial governments was responsible for the defence of their own colony. From 1788 until 1870 this was done with British regular forces. In all, 25 British regiments served in the Australian colonies...

 were merged to form the CMF. Initially the CMF infantry forces formed the vast bulk of the Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

, along with standing artillery and engineer units.

The Defence Act of 1903 granted the Australian federal government the powers to conscript
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 men of military age for home defense. However, these powers were unpopular and were used only for short periods at a time. The government was also forbidden by law to deploy the CMF outside Australian territories, or using it in strike
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

s and other industrial disputes.

As a result of the ban on foreign service, during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, all-volunteer Australian Imperial Force
Australian Imperial Force
The Australian Imperial Force was the name given to all-volunteer Australian Army forces dispatched to fight overseas during World War I and World War II.* First Australian Imperial Force * Second Australian Imperial Force...

s were formed for overseas deployment. CMF units were sometimes scorned by AIF soldiers as "chocolate soldiers" or "chockos", because "they would melt under the pressure" of military operations; or in an alternative version of the story of the origin of this term, as a result of the 1930s' uniforms of Militia soldiers, these soldiers were considered by AIF volunteers and some civilians as soldiers only for show like the soldiers in garish 19th century dress uniforms shown on tins of chocolates that were commonly sold in Australia in the 1930s, hence the name "chocolate-tin soldiers" for Militia members.

Nevertheless, some Militia units distinguished themselves in action against the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 during the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

, and suffered extremely high casualties. In mid-1942 Militia units fought in two significant battles, both in New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

, which was then an Australian territory. The exploits of the young and poorly trained soldiers of the 39th (Militia) Battalion during the rearguard action on the Kokoda Track
Kokoda Track campaign
The Kokoda Track campaign or Kokoda Trail campaign was part of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign consisted of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 between Japanese and Allied—primarily Australian—forces in what was then the Australian territory of Papua...

 remain celebrated to this day, as is the contribution of the 7th Brigade
Australian 7th Brigade
7th Brigade is a combined arms formation or brigade of the Australian Army. The Brigade was first raised in 1915 as part of the First Australian Imperial Force and saw action at Gallipoli and on the Western Front during World War I. Following the end of the war the brigade was disbanded before...

 at the Battle of Milne Bay
Battle of Milne Bay
The Battle of Milne Bay, also known as Operation RE by the Japanese, was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II. Japanese marines attacked the Australian base at Milne Bay on the eastern tip of New Guinea on 25 August 1942, and fighting continued until the Japanese retreated on 5...

.

Later in the war, the law was changed to allow the transfer of Militia units to the 2nd AIF; of these Militia units, 65% of their personnel had volunteered for overseas service. Another change allowed Militia units to serve anywhere south of the Equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 in South-East Asia. Consequently they also saw action against Japanese forces in the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

.

In addition to the CMF, the Volunteer Defence Corps
Volunteer Defence Corps (Australia)
The Volunteer Defence Corps was an Australian part time volunteer military force of World War II modelled on the British Home Guard. The VDC was established in July 1940 by the Returned and Services League of Australia and was initially composed of ex-servicemen who had served in World War I...

, a volunteer force modeled on the British Home Guard, was formed in 1940 and had a strength of almost 100,000 men across Australia at its peak.

After the war, CMF units continued to form the bulk of the peacetime army, although the creation of standing infantry units — such as the Royal Australian Regiment
Royal Australian Regiment
The Royal Australian Regiment is the parent regiment for regular infantry battalions of the Australian Army and is the senior infantry regiment of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps...

 — from 1947, meant that the regular army grew in importance. By 1980, when the name of the CMF was changed to the Army Reserve, the regular army was the more significant force. Australian Reservists have a comparatively high level of commitment, with an expected obligation of up to 4 nights and 2 full days per month, alongside a two week annual course. Since September 2006, Reservist Salaries have been streamlined with those of regular forces as a reflection of overall higher standard of training. This initiative shows that since 1975, there are now many positions for which there is little training gap at all between Reservists and Permanent Force members http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/Billsontpl.cfm?CurrentId=5975

Austria



After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, multiple militias formed as soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s returned home to their village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

s, only to find many of them occupied by Slovene
State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs
The State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was a short-lived state formed from the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy after its dissolution at the end of the World War I by the resident population of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs...

 and Yugoslav
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 forces, especially in the southern province of Carinthia
Carinthia (province)
Slovenian Carinthia or Slovene Carinthia, most commonly simply Carinthia is a traditional region in the north of Slovenia. It has no official status as an administrative unit within Slovenia, although the association with an informal province is still quite common.The region is referred to as...

. During the First Republic
First Austrian Republic
The Republic of Austria encompasses the period of Austrian history following the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of September 1919, the settlement after the end of World War I which put an end to the Republic of German Austria, continuing up to World War II...

, increasing radicalization
Radicalization
Radicalization is the process in which an individual changes from passiveness or activism to become more revolutionary, militant or extremist. Radicalization is often associated with youth, adversity, alienation, social exclusion, poverty, or the perception of injustice to self or others.-...

 of politics led to certain militias associating with certain political parties
Political Parties
Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy is a book by sociologist Robert Michels, published in 1911 , and first introducing the concept of iron law of oligarchy...

. The Heimwehr
Heimwehr
The Heimwehr or sometimes Heimatschutz were a Nationalist, initially paramilitary group operating within Austria during the 1920s and 1930s; they were similar in methods, organisation, and ideology to Germany's Freikorps...

 (German: Home Defense) became affiliated with the Christian Social Party and the Republikanischer Schutzbund
Republikanischer Schutzbund
The Republikanischer Schutzbund was a paramilitary organization established in 1923 by the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Österreichs to secure power in the face of rising political radicalization after World War I....

 (German: Republican Defense League) became affiliated with the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria
Social Democratic Party of Austria
The Social Democratic Party of Austria is one of the oldest political parties in Austria. The SPÖ is one of the two major parties in Austria, and has ties to trade unions and the Austrian Chamber of Labour. The SPÖ is among the few mainstream European social-democratic parties that have preserved...

. Violence increasingly escalated, breaking out during the July Revolt of 1927
July Revolt of 1927
During the Austrian July Revolt of 1927 Austrian police forces killed 84 protesters, while four policemen died. More than 600 people were injured....

 and finally the Austrian Civil War
Austrian Civil War
The Austrian Civil War , also known as the February Uprising , is a term sometimes used for a few days of skirmishes between socialist and conservative-fascist forces between 12 February and 16 February 1934, in Austria...

, when the Schutzbund was defeated by the Heimwehr, police, and federal army.

See also: Republikanischer Schutzbund
Republikanischer Schutzbund
The Republikanischer Schutzbund was a paramilitary organization established in 1923 by the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Österreichs to secure power in the face of rising political radicalization after World War I....

, Heimwehr
Heimwehr
The Heimwehr or sometimes Heimatschutz were a Nationalist, initially paramilitary group operating within Austria during the 1920s and 1930s; they were similar in methods, organisation, and ideology to Germany's Freikorps...


Canada


In Canada the title "Militia" historically referred to the land component of the armed forces, both regular (full time) and reserve. From 1760s to the 1860s, local militia units were used to support British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 units stationed in Canada. From 1867 to 1880s, the departure of British forces in Canada meant militia units were the only army available on Canadian soil. In 1940 the Permanent Active Militia and Non-Permanent Active Militia were renamed to become the Canadian Army
Canadian Forces Land Force Command
The Canadian Army , previously called Land Force Command, is responsible for army operations within the Canadian Forces. The current size of the Army is 19,500 regular soldiers and 16,000 reserve soldiers, for a total of around 35,500 soldiers...

. The term Militia continued from then to the present day to refer to the part-time army reserve component of the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

. Currently, Militia troops usually train one night a week and every other weekend of the month, except in the summer. Summertime training may consist of courses, individual call-outs, or concentrations (unit and formation training of one to two weeks' duration). In addition, Primary Reserve members are increasingly used for voluntary service as augmentation to the regular force overseas—usually NATO or United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 missions. Most Canadian cities have one or more militia units. Since the mid 1990s, the term Militia has all but vanished in favour of the term Primary Reserve.

China



China's current militia is a mass force engaged in daily production under the leadership of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CCP), forms part of the Chinese armed forces. Under the command of the military organs, it undertakes such jobs as war preparation services, security and defense operation tasks and assistance in maintaining social order
Social order
Social order is a concept used in sociology, history and other social sciences. It refers to a set of linked social structures, social institutions and social practices which conserve, maintain and enforce "normal" ways of relating and behaving....

 and public security.

Historically militias of varying levels of ability have existed in China, organised on the village and clan
Chinese clan
A Chinese clan is a patrilineal and patrilocal group of related Chinese people with a common surname sharing a common ancestor and, in many cases, an ancestral home.-Description:...

 level, especially during periods of instability and in areas subject to pirate and bandit attack. When the British attempted to take control of the New Territories
New Territories
New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It makes up 86.2% of Hong Kong's territory. Historically, it is the region described in The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory...

 in 1898 they were resisted by the local militias which had been formed for mutual defence against pirate
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 raids. Although ultimately defeated the strength of resistance convinced the British to make concessions to the indigenous inhabitant
Indigenous inhabitant
Indigenous inhabitants refers to the residents in the New Territories of Hong Kong, whose ancestors were inhabitants there before the commencement of British rule in 1898 and have special rights to preserve their customs...

s allowing them to preserve inheritance, property and marriage rights and customs throughout most of the period of the British rule.

Cuba



Cuba has three militia organizations: The Territorial Militia Troops Milicias de Tropas Territoriales of about one million people (half women)http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.cubagob.cu/otras_info/minfar/far/mtt.htm&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DMilicias%2Bde%2BTropas%2BTerritoriales%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DkEM, the Youth Labor Army Ejército Juvenil del Trabajo devoted to agricultural production, and a naval militia.http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/cuba/militia.htm Formerly, there existed the National Revolutionary Militias
National Revolutionary Militias
The National Revolutionary Militias of Cuba is an organization constituted on 30 October 1960, to enable citizens to defend the country from the threat of military aggression, particularly from the United States, and for the protection of civilian targets against actions of terrorist groups that...

 Milicias Nacionales Revolucionarias.

Denmark


The Danish Militia played a major role in repelling the Swedish attackers during The assault on Copenhagen
The assault on Copenhagen
The assault on Copenhagen 11 February 1659 was a major battle during the Second Northern War, taking place during the siege of Copenhagen by the Swedish army.- Background :...

 in 1659.

Estonia



The Omakaitse
Omakaitse
The Omakaitse was a militia organisation in Estonia. It was founded in 1917 following the Russian Revolution. On the eve of the Occupation of Estonia by the German Empire the Omakaitse units took over major towns in the country allowing the Salvation Committee of the Estonian Provincial Assembly...

 (Home Guard) was an organisation formed by the local population of Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 on the basis of Estonian Defence League
Estonian Defence League
The Estonian Defence League is the name of the unified paramilitary armed forces of the Republic of Estonia. The Defence League is a paramilitary defence organization which aim is to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state, the integrity of its land area and its...

 and forest brothers
Forest Brothers
The Forest Brothers were Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian partisans who waged a guerrilla war against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the three Baltic states during, and after, World War II...

 resistance movement at the Eastern Front (World War II)
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

 active in 3 July 1941 – 17 September 1944. It was unique in the context of the Eastern Front as in Latvia
Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany
The occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany was completed on July 10, 1941 by Germany's armed forces. Latvia became a part of Nazi Germany's Reichskommissariat Ostland — the Province General of Latvia...

, which otherwise shared a common fate with Estonia, there was no organisation of this kind.

France


The first notable militia in French history was the resistance of the Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

s to invasion by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 until they were defeated by Julius Caesar.

The next notable militia was organized and led by Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" , is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the...

 until her capture and execution in 1431. It settled the succession to the French crown and laid the basis for the formation of the modern nation of France.

During the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 the term levée en masse
Levée en masse
Levée en masse is a French term for mass conscription during the French Revolutionary Wars, particularly for the one from 16 August 1793.- Terminology :...

 came into use.

During the Franco-Prussian War the Parisian National Guard, which was founded during the time of the American Revolution, engaged the Prussian Army and later rebelled against the Versailles Army under Marshal McMahon.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 under German occupation, militia usually called the French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 emerged to conduct a guerrilla war of attrition against German forces and prepare the way for the D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

 Allied Invasion of France.
The Resistance militia were opposed by the collaborationist French Militia - the paramilitary police force of the German puppet state of Vichy
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

.

Germany


The earliest reports of Germanic militia was the system of hundred
Hundred (division)
A hundred is a geographic division formerly used in England, Wales, Denmark, South Australia, some parts of the United States, Germany , Sweden, Finland and Norway, which historically was used to divide a larger region into smaller administrative divisions...

s which was described in 98 A.D. by Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 as the centeni. It was similar to the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 fyrd.

The name Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

 (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 for "Free Corps") was originally applied to voluntary armies. The first freikorps were recruited by Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 during the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. The freikorps were regarded as unreliable by regular armies, so that they were mainly used as sentries and for minor duties.

However, after 1918, the term was used for nationalist paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 organizations that sprang up around Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 as soldiers returned in defeat from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. They were one of the many Weimar paramilitary groups
Weimar paramilitary groups
Paramilitary groups were formed throughout the Weimar Republic in the wake of Germany's defeat in World War I and the ensuing German Revolution. Some were created by political parties to help in recruiting, discipline and in preparation for seizing power. Some were created before World War I....

 active during that time. They received considerable support from Gustav Noske
Gustav Noske
Gustav Noske was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany . He served as the first Minister of Defence of Germany between 1919 and 1920.-Biography:...

, the German Defence Minister who used them to crush the Spartakist League with enormous violence, including the murders of Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
was a German socialist and a co-founder with Rosa Luxemburg of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. He is best known for his opposition to World War I in the Reichstag and his role in the Spartacist uprising of 1919...

 and Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and activist of Polish Jewish descent who became a naturalized German citizen...

 on January 15, 1919. They were also used to put down the Bavarian Soviet Republic
Bavarian Soviet Republic
The Bavarian Soviet Republic, also known as the Munich Soviet Republic was, as part of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the short-lived attempt to establish a socialist state in form of a council republic in the Free State of Bavaria. It sought independence from the also recently proclaimed...

 in 1919. They were officially "disbanded" in 1920, resulting in the ill-fated Kapp Putsch
Kapp Putsch
The Kapp Putsch — or more accurately the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch — was a 1920 coup attempt during the German Revolution of 1918–1919 aimed at overthrowing the Weimar Republic...

 in March 1920.

The Einwohnerwehr, active in Germany from 1919 to 1921 as a paramilitary citizens' militia consisting of hundreds of thousands of mostly former servicemen. Formed by the Prussian Ministry of the Interior on April 15, 1919, for the purpose to allow citizens to protect themselves from looters, armed gangs, and revolutionaries. The Einwohnerwehr was under the command of the local Reichswehr regiments and which supplied its guns. In 1921, the Berlin government dissolved the Einwohnerwehr. Many of its members went on to join the Nazi Party.http://www.radix.net/~bbrown/police_unit_marks.html

In 1944-45, as World War II was coming to a close in Europe the German high command deployed increasing numbers of Volkssturm
Volkssturm
The Volkssturm was a German national militia of the last months of World War II. It was founded on Adolf Hitler's orders on October 18, 1944 and conscripted males between the ages of 16 to 60 years who were not already serving in some military unit as part of a German Home Guard.-Origins and...

 units to combat duties. These regiments were composed of men and women too old or otherwise unfit for service in the Wehrmacht (German Regular Army). Their primary role was assisting the army with fortification duties and digging anti-tank ditches, but would as the shortage of manpower became severe be used as front line infantry, most often in urban settings. Due to the physical state of members, almost non-existent training and shortage of weapons, there was not much the Volkssturm could do except act like shields for regular army units. However, armed with Panzerfaust
Panzerfaust
The Panzerfaust was an inexpensive, recoilless German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consisted of a small, disposable preloaded launch tube firing a high explosive anti-tank warhead, operated by a single soldier...

s and deeply entrenched a unit of Volkssturm could cause serious trouble for Soviet armor.

India


Salwa Judum
Salwa Judum
Salwa Judum refers to a militia in Chhattisgarh, India, which is aimed at countering the naxalite violence in the region...

 (meaning "Peace March" or "Purification Hunt" in Gondi language
Gondi language
Gondi is spoken by the Gondi people. It is a Central-Dravidian language, spoken by about two million people chiefly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattishgarh and in various adjoining areas of neighbouring states...

) is a militia active in the Chattisgarh state of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

Iran



The Basij
Basij
The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The force consists of young Iranians who have volunteered, often in exchange for official benefits...

 militia and the IRGC founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in November 1979 is composed of 90,000 regular soldiers, and 300,000 reservists and ultimately draws from about 11 million members, and is subordinate to their Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

Venezuela Bolivarian Militia


Within the armed forces, establishing the Bolivarian Militia, as a special, organized by the Venezuelan State to realize the principle of shared responsibility and has as main objective, to interact with society as a whole, for the implementation of the overall defense of the Nation. In the Decree-Law establishes its mission, lists the functions and powers, leaving the executive in exercising its regulatory power to determine their administrative and operational.

Being a modern, dynamic, flexible and highly skilled, composed of the national popular resource to maximize the operational aspect of the Bolivarian National Armed Force, through the integration of people organized under the constitutional principle of responsibility between the State and Society Aimed at ensuring the overall defense of the nation.

Recalling that in 1999, is undergoing a re-foundation of the nation, indicating that national security is the responsibility of the State and its defense is the responsibility of all Venezuelans, including natural and legal persons.

In this regard, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces as an institution organized by the State to ensure the independence and sovereignty of the Nation, gave way to a process of reviewing its structure and operation to adapt to this new principle of national responsibility, defense and development integral.

Thus in 2008, enabling the National Executive Way, published by Law Rank, Value and Force of Organic Law of the Bolivarian Armed Forces, leading to a new organization, adapted to new requirements, with a geopolitical vision oriented to a social state, peace-loving defender of human rights and solidarity with our sister nations of the American continent, within the ideology of the Liberator Simón Bolívar.

Iraq



Several armed militia groups are presently active in Iraq. The Mehdi Army is a sectarian armed force created by the Iraqi Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
Muqtada al-Sadr
Sayyid Muqtadā al-Ṣadr is an Iraqi Islamic political leader.Along with Ali al-Sistani and Ammar al-Hakim of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Sadr is one of the most influential religious and political figures in the country not holding any official title in the Iraqi government.-Titles:He is...

 in June 2003. The Badr Organization
Badr Organization
The Badr Organization previously known as the Badr Brigades or Badr Corps is an Iraqi political party headed by Hadi al-Amiri...

 is based in and around Karbala
Karbala
Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 572,300 people ....

. The Anbar Salvation Council is a Sunni armed group in Iraq formed by members of baathist and nationalist elements to fight Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Kurdish militia, the peshmerga
Peshmerga
Peshmerga or Peshmerge is the term used by Kurds to refer to armed Kurdish fighters. Literally meaning "those who face death" the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan have been in existence since the advent of the Kurdish independence movement in the early 1920s, following the collapse of the Ottoman...

, is estimated to number upwards of 50,000.

The Awakening Councils
Awakening movements in Iraq
The National Council for the Awakening of Iraq , also known as the Sunni Awakening movement Anbar Awakening or the Sons of Iraq program, are coalitions between tribal Sheikhs in a particular province in Iraq that unite to maintain security in their communities.-About:The movement started among...

 or "concerned citizens" are emerging to defend their neighborhoods against insurgents of every kind, functioning as a form of vigilante "militia" similar to the model of militia in the U.S.
Militia (United States)
The role of militia, also known as military service and duty, in the United States is complex and has transformed over time.Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. " The term militia can be used to describe any number of groups within the...

.

Israel


The earliest historical record of militia is found in the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 and particularly the Book of Judges
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...

. In modern times there is a universal military service requirement for Israeli citizens that leaves most of them in the reserves of the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

, authorized to carry and keep in their possession weapons during the periods when they are called back to the army.

Mexico



The Free-Colored Militia, interracial militias of New Spain, Colonial Mexico.

New Zealand



From the Treaty of Waitangi
Treaty of Waitangi
The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand....

 in 1840 until 1844 small detachments of British Imperial troops
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 based in New Zealand were the only military. This changed as a result of the Flagstaff War
Flagstaff War
The Flagstaff War – also known as Hone Heke's Rebellion, the Northern War and erroneously as the First Māori War – was fought between 11 March 1845 and 11 January 1846 in and around the Bay of Islands, New Zealand...

, with the colonial government passing a Militia Act on 25 March 1845. Militia units were formed in Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

, Wellington, New Plymouth
New Plymouth
New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after Plymouth, Devon, England, from where the first English settlers migrated....

, and Nelson
Nelson, New Zealand
Nelson is a city on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay, and is the economic and cultural centre of the Nelson-Tasman region. Established in 1841, it is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand and the oldest in the South Island....

. Service in the militia’s was compulsory.

Many localized militia saw service, together with British Imperial troops, during the New Zealand land wars
New Zealand land wars
The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872...

. The militia were disbanded and reformed as the Territorial Army in 1911.

Pakistan


Militias have played an important role supporting Pakistan's Military
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 since Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
The India-Pakistan War of 1947-48, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu from 1947 to 1948. It was the first of four wars fought between the two newly independent nations...

 when Pakistan, with the support of militias, was able to gain control of the region which is now known as Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

. Pakistan found the militias volunteering to participate in Indo-Pakistani war of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

 and Indo-Pakistani war of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

 quite useful as well.

Currently Pakistani citizens forming militias from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are participating in the 'war on terror'
War in North-West Pakistan
The War in North-West Pakistan is an armed conflict between the Pakistan Armed Forces and armed religious groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , Lashkar-e-Islam, TSNM, Arab and Central Asian militants including Al-Qaeda, regional armed movements and elements of organized crime.The armed...

.

Russia and the Soviet Union



Neither the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, nor the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 ever had an organised force that could be equated to a militia. Instead a form of organisation that pre-dated the Russian state was used during national emergencies called Narodnoe Opolcheniye
Narodnoe Opolcheniye
Narodnoe Opolcheniye or Opolchenie was the name of irregular troops formed from the population in Russia and Soviet Union to fight alongside the regular army during several wars throughout its history....

 (People's Regimentation). More comparable to the English Fyrd
Leidang
The institution known as leiðangr , leidang , leding, , ledung , expeditio or sometimes lething , was a public levy of free farmers typical for medieval Scandinavians. It was a form of conscription to organise coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm...

, it was a popular voluntary joining of the local полк polk, or a regiment, though it had no regular established strength or officers, these usually elected from prominent local citizens. Although these spontaneously created popular forces had participated in several major wars of the Russian Empire, including in combat, they were not obligated to serve for more than one year, and notably departed for home during the 1813 campaign in Germany
War of the Sixth Coalition
In the War of the Sixth Coalition , a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States finally defeated France and drove Napoleon Bonaparte into exile on Elba. After Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia, the continental powers...

. On only one occasion, during the military history of the Soviet Union
Military history of the Soviet Union
The military history of the Soviet Union began in the days following the 1917 October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power. The new government formed the Red Army to fight various enemies in the Russian Civil War. The years 1918-1921 saw Red Army's defeats in Polish-Soviet war and...

, the Narodnoe Opolcheniye was incorporated into the regular forces of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

, notably in Leningrad and Moscow. The term Militsiya
Militsiya
Militsiya or militia is used as an official name of the civilian police in several former communist states, despite its original military connotation...

 in Russia and former Communist Block nations was specifically used to refer to the civilian police force, and should not be confused with the conventional western definition of militia. In some of these states militia was renamed back to police (Poland, Georgia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) while in the other states it remains (Ukraine, Belarus). In Russia it was renamed to Police (in Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

: Полиция, Politsiya) in March 2011.

Sri Lanka


The first militias formed in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 were by Lankan Kings, who raised militia armies for their military campaigns both within and out side the island. This was due to the reason that the Kings never maintained a standing army instead had a Royal Guard
Royal Guard
A Royal Guard describes any group of military bodyguards, soldiers or armed retainers responsible for the protection of a royal person, such as Emperor/Empress, King/Queen, or Prince/Princess...

 during peace time and formed a militia in wartime. When the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 who were the first colonial power to dominate the island raised local militias under the command of local leaders known as Mudaliyars. These militias took part in the many Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 campaigns against the Lankan Kings. The Dutch continued to employ these militias but due to their unreliability tended to favor employing Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Malay mercenaries in their campaigns in the island. The British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 then ousted the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 from the coastal areas of the country, and sought to conquer the independent Kandyan Kingdom
Kingdom of Kandy
Kingdom of Kandy was an important independent monarchy of Sri Lanka, located in the central and eastern portion of the island. It was founded in late 15th century and endured until the early 19th century...

. In 1802, the British became the first foreign power to raise a regular unit of Sinhalese
Sinhalese people
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group,forming the majority of Sri Lanka,constituting 74% of the Sri Lankan population.They number approximately 15 million worldwide.The Sinhalese identity is based on language, heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language and the...

 with British officers, which was named the 2nd Ceylon Regiment, also known as the Sepoy Corps
Sepoy
A sepoy was formerly the designation given to an Indian soldier in the service of a European power. In the modern Indian Army, Pakistan Army and Bangladesh Army it remains in use for the rank of private soldier.-Etymology and Historical usage:...

.It fought alongside British troops in the Kandyan wars. After the Matale Rebellion
Matale Rebellion
The Matale Rebellion, also known as the Rebellion of 1848 took place in Ceylon against the British colonial government under Governor Lord Torrington, 7th Viscount Torrington. It marked a transition from the classic feudal form of anti-colonial revolt to modern independence struggles...

 led by Puran Appu
Puran Appu
Weerahennadige Francisco Fernando alias Puran Appu is one of the notable personalities in Sri Lanka's history. He was born on November 1812 in the coastal town of Moratuwa. He left Moratuwa at the age of 13 and stayed in Ratnapura with his uncle, who was the first Sinhalese proctor, and moved to...

 in 1848, in which a number of Sinhalese recruits defected to the side of the rebels, the recruitment of Sinhalese to the British forces was temporarily halted and the Ceylon Regiments disbanded.

In 1861 the Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers were raised as a militia, but soon became a military reserve force
Military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion...

. This became the Ceylon Defence Force in 1910 and consisted of militia units. These were the Colombo Town Guard
Colombo Town Guard
Colombo Town Guard was regiment attached to the Ceylon Defence Force which was the predecessor to the Sri Lanka Army prior to 1949 when the Ceylon Army was formed. It was a volunteer regiment was based in Colombo.-History:...

 and the Town Guard Artillery formed during the two world wars.

With the escalation of the Sri Lankan Civil War
Sri Lankan civil war
The Sri Lankan Civil War was a conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on July 23, 1983, there was an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil...

, local villagers under threat of attack were formed into localized militia to protect their families and homes. According to the Sri Lankan Military these militias were formed after "massacres done by the LTTE" and in the early 1990s they were reformed as the Sri Lankan Home Guard. In 2007 the Home Guard became the Sri Lanka Civil Security Force
Department of Civil Defence (Sri Lanka)
The Sri Lanka Civil Security Force, officially the Department of Civil Security is a paramilitary force which is tasked as an auxiliary to the Sri Lanka Police....

. In 2008, the government called for the formation of nearly 15,000 civil defence committees at the village level for additional protection.

In 2004, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was a separatist militant organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka. Founded in May 1976 by Vellupillai Prabhakaran, it waged a violent secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil...

 claimed have establish a voluntary "Tamil Eelam auxiliary force". According to the LTTE's then head of police, the force was to be assigned to tasks such as rehabilitation, construction, forest conservation and agriculture, but would also be used to battle the Sri Lankan military if the need arose. In early 2009 it ceased to exist with the military defeat of the LTTE at the hands of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces
Sri Lanka Armed Forces
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces is the overall unified military of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka encompassing the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Air Force which comes under preview of the Ministry of Defence...

.

Sudan



The Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

 militia consists of armed Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims are adherents of the religion of Islam who identify linguistically, culturally, or genealogically as Arabs. They greatly outnumber other ethnic groups in the Middle East. Muslims who are not Arabs are called mawali by Arab Muslims....

 fighting for the government in Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

 against non-Arab Muslim "rebels". They are active in the Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 region of western Sudan and also in eastern Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

. According to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 these partisans are responsible for abuses including war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2004/08/27/darfur9268.htm

Switzerland



One of the most famous and ancient militias is the Swiss Armed Forces
Military of Switzerland
The Swiss Armed Forces perform the roles of Switzerland's militia and regular army. Under the country's militia system, professional soldiers constitute about 5 percent of military personnel; the rest are male citizen conscripts 19 to 34 years old...

. Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 long maintained, proportionally, the second largest military force in the world, with about half the proportional amount of reserve forces of the Israeli Defense Forces, a militia of some 33% of the total population. Article 58.1 of the 1999 Swiss constitution provides that the armed forces (armee) is "in principle" organized as a militia, implicitly allowing a small number of professional soldiers. In 1995, the number of soldiers was reduced to 400,000 (including reservists, amounting to some 5.6% of the population) and again in 2004, to 200,000 (including 80,000 reservists, or 2.7% of the population). However, the Swiss Militia continues to consist of most of the adult male population (with voluntary participation by women) required to keep an automatic rifle at home and to periodically engage in combat and marksmanship training. The militia clauses of the Swiss Federal Constitution are contained in Art. 59, where it is referred to as "military service" .

Texas


The most important previous activity of the Texas Militia was the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

 in 1836. Texans declared independence from Mexico while they were defeated during the battle of the Battle of the Alamo
Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar . All but two of the Texian defenders were killed...

 in March 1836. On April 21, 1836, led by Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

, the Militia attacked the Mexican Army in the early morning as they camped at the Battle of San Jacinto
Battle of San Jacinto
The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just eighteen...

, near the present city of Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

.

Following the war, some militia units reorganized into what was later to be known as the Texas Rangers
Texas Ranger Division
The Texas Ranger Division, commonly called the Texas Rangers, is a law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction in Texas, and is based in Austin, Texas...

, which was a private, volunteer effort for several years before becoming an official organization.

After Texas joined the Union of the United States in 1845, Texas militia units participated in the Mexican-American War.

In 1861 Texas joined the other Confederate States in seceding from the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

, and Texas militias played a role in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, until it ended in 1865.

Texas militiamen joined Theodore Roosevelt's
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 Rough Riders
Rough Riders
The Rough Riders is the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and the only one of the three to see action. The United States Army was weakened and left with little manpower after the American Civil War...

, a volunteer militia, and fought with him during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 in 1898. Some of the training of the Rough Riders took place in San Pedro Park, in the north central part of San Antonio, near the present site of San Antonio College
San Antonio College
San Antonio College is a community college that is a part of the Alamo Community College District. It is located on San Pedro Avenue, across from San Pedro Park, near downtown San Antonio. SAC is the oldest public two-year college in Texas...

. When a muster of the Militia proposed to train there on April 19, 1994, they were threatened with arrest, even though the charter of San Pedro Park forbids exclusion of activities of that kind. This threat led to a change of the meeting site to Highway 151.

Note that like many other American States, Texas maintains a recognized State Militia. See the Wikipedia entry for the Texas State Guard
Texas State Guard
The Texas State Guard is one of three branches of the military forces of Texas, reporting to the Adjutant General, and under the command of the Governor. The other branches of the State Military Forces of Texas are the Texas Army National Guard, and the Texas Air National Guard.-History:The Texas...

.
Purposes

...to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; — U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 16.

United Kingdom


Origins


The obligation to serve in the militia in England derives from a common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 tradition, and dates back to Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 times. The tradition was that all able-bodied males were liable to be called out to serve in one of two organisations. These were the posse comitatus
Posse comitatus (common law)
Posse comitatus or sheriff's posse is the common-law or statute law authority of a county sheriff or other law officer to conscript any able-bodied males to assist him in keeping the peace or to pursue and arrest a felon, similar to the concept of the "hue and cry"...

, an ad hoc assembly called together by a law officer to apprehend lawbreakers, and the fyrd, a military body intended to preserve internal order or defend the locality against an invader. The latter developed into the militia, and was usually embodied by a royal warrant
Royal Warrant
Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier...

. Service in each organisation involved different levels of preparedness.

Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries


With the decay of the feudal system and the military revolution of the sixteenth century, the militia began to become an important institution in English life. It was organized on the basis of the shire county
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

, and was one of the responsibilities of the Lord Lieutenant
Lord Lieutenant
The title Lord Lieutenant is given to the British monarch's personal representatives in the United Kingdom, usually in a county or similar circumscription, with varying tasks throughout history. Usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person is given the post...

, a royal official (usually a trusted nobleman). Each of the county hundreds
Hundred (division)
A hundred is a geographic division formerly used in England, Wales, Denmark, South Australia, some parts of the United States, Germany , Sweden, Finland and Norway, which historically was used to divide a larger region into smaller administrative divisions...

 was likewise the responsibility of a Deputy Lieutenant
Deputy Lieutenant
In the United Kingdom, a Deputy Lieutenant is one of several deputies to the Lord Lieutenant of a lieutenancy area; an English ceremonial county, Welsh preserved county, Scottish lieutenancy area, or Northern Irish county borough or county....

, who relayed orders to the justices of the peace or magistrates. Every parish furnished a quota of eligible men, whose names were recorded on muster rolls
Muster (military)
The term muster designates the process or event for the of accounting for members in a military unit. Within the United States Army Reserve, it is an annual event used for screening purposes.-Historical:...

. Likewise, each household was assessed for the purpose of finding weapons, armour, horses, or their financial equivalent, according to their status. The militia was supposed to be mustered
Muster (military)
The term muster designates the process or event for the of accounting for members in a military unit. Within the United States Army Reserve, it is an annual event used for screening purposes.-Historical:...

 for training purposes from time to time, but this was rarely done. The militia regiments were consequently ill-prepared for an emergency, and could not be relied upon to serve outside their own counties.

This state of affairs concerned many people. Consequently, an elite force was created, composed of members of the militia who were prepared to meet regularly for military training and exercise. These were formed into trained band regiments, particularly in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, where the Artillery Garden was used as a training ground. The trained bands performed an important role in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 on the side of parliament, in marching to raise the siege of Gloucester
Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately north-east of Bristol, and south-southwest of Birmingham....

 (5 September 1643).

Except for the London trained bands, both sides in the Civil War made little use of the militia, preferring to recruit their armies by other means.

Militia in the British Empire



As successful English settlement of North America began to take place in 1607 in the face of the hostile intentions of the powerful Spanish, and of the native populations, it became immediately necessary to raise militia amongst the settlers. The militia in Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

 saw constant action against the Powhatan Federation
Powhatan
The Powhatan is the name of a Virginia Indian confederation of tribes. It is estimated that there were about 14,000–21,000 of these native Powhatan people in eastern Virginia when the English settled Jamestown in 1607...

 and other native polities. In the Virginia Company
London Company
The London Company was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I of England on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.The territory granted to the London Company included the coast of North America from the 34th parallel ...

's other outpost, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, fortification began immediately in 1612. A Spanish attack in 1614 was repulsed by two shots fired from the incomplete Castle Islands Fortifications
Castle Islands Fortifications, Bermuda
Several of the islands strung across the South entrance of Castle Harbour, Bermuda were fortified in the early days of the territory, hence the harbour's name. When official settlement of the archipelago by England began in 1612 the first permanent town, St...

 manned by Bermudian Militiamen
Bermuda Militias 1612-1815
Bermuda Militias 1612-1815Bermuda was settled inadvertently, in 1609, by the Virginia Company. Its first deliberate settlers arrived in 1612, aboard the Plough. The very first concern of the first Governor, Richard Moore, was the Colony's defences against an expected Spanish attack. He oversaw the...

. In the Nineteenth century, Fortress Bermuda would become Britain's Gibraltar of the West, heavily fortified by a Regular Army garrison to protect the Royal Navy's headquarters and dockyard in the Western Atlantic. In the 17th Century, however, Bermuda's defence was left entirely in the hands of the Militia. In addition to requiring all male civilians to train and serve in the militia of their Parish, the Bermudian Militia included a standing body of trained artillerymen to garrison the numerous fortifications which ringed New London (St. George's
St. George's, Bermuda
St. George's , located on the island and within the parish of the same names, was the first permanent settlement on the islands of Bermuda, and is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia. However, St...

). This standing body was created by recruiting volunteers, and by sentencing criminals to serve as punishment. The Bermudian militiamen were called out on numerous occasions of war, and, on one notable occasion, to quell rioting privateers. The 1707 Acts of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

 made Bermudian and other English militiamen British.

Political issues


Up until the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 in 1688, the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 and Parliament were in strong disagreement. The English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 left a rather unusual military legacy. Both Whigs
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 and Tories distrusted the creation of a large standing army
Standing army
A standing army is a professional permanent army. It is composed of full-time career soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are activated only during wars or natural disasters...

 not under civilian control. The former feared that it would be used as an instrument of royal tyranny. The latter had memories of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 and the anti-monarchical social and political revolution that it brought about. Consequently, both preferred a small standing army under civilian control for defensive deterrence and to prosecute foreign wars, a large navy as the first line of national defence, and a militia composed of their neighbours as additional defence and to preserve domestic order.

Consequently, the English Bill of Rights (1689) declared, amongst other things: "that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law..." and "that the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law." This implies that they are fitted to serve in the militia, which was intended to serve as a counterweight to the standing army and preserve civil liberties against the use of the army by a tyrannical monarch or government.

The Crown still (in the British constitution) controls the use of the army. This ensures that officers and enlisted men swear an oath to a politically neutral head of state, and not to a politician. While the funding of the standing army subsists on annual financial votes by parliament, the Mutiny Act is also renewed on an annual basis by parliament. If it lapses, the legal basis for enforcing discipline disappears, and soldiers lose their legal indemnity for acts committed under orders.

With the creation of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, militias were also raised in the colonies, where little support could be provided by regular forces. Overseas militias were first raised in Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, and in Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, where the Bermuda Militia
Bermuda Militias 1612-1815
Bermuda Militias 1612-1815Bermuda was settled inadvertently, in 1609, by the Virginia Company. Its first deliberate settlers arrived in 1612, aboard the Plough. The very first concern of the first Governor, Richard Moore, was the Colony's defences against an expected Spanish attack. He oversaw the...

 followed a similar trajectory over the next two centuries to that in Britain.

Eighteenth century and the Acts of Union


In 1707, the Acts of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

 united the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 with the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

. The Scottish navy was incorporated into the Royal Navy. The Scottish military (as opposed to naval) forces merged with the English, with pre-existing regular Scottish regiments maintaining their identities, though command of the new British Army was from England. How this affected militias either side of the border is unclear.

British Militia



The Militia Act of 1757 created a more professional force. Better records were kept, and the men were selected by ballot to serve for longer periods. Proper uniforms and better weapons were provided, and the force was 'embodied' from time to time for training sessions.

The militia was widely embodied at various times during the French and Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. It served at several vulnerable locations, and was particularly stationed on the South Coast and in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. A number of camps were held at Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, where the militia regiments were reviewed by the Prince Regent
Prince Regent
A prince regent is a prince who rules a monarchy as regent instead of a monarch, e.g., due to the Sovereign's incapacity or absence ....

. (This is the origin of the song "Brighton Camp".) The militia could not be compelled to serve overseas, but it was seen as a training reserve for the army, as bounties
Bounty (reward)
A bounty is a payment or reward often offered by a group as an incentive for the accomplishment of a task by someone usually not associated with the group. Bounties are most commonly issued for the capture or retrieval of a person or object. They are typically in the form of money...

 were offered to men who opted to 'exchange' from the militia to the regular army
Regular army
A regular army consists of the permanent force of a country's army that is maintained under arms during peacetime.Countries that use the term include:*Australian Army*British Army*Canadian Forces, specifically "Regular Force"*Egyptian army*Indian Army...

.

Irish militia


The Parliament of Ireland
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of Ireland was a legislature that existed in Dublin from 1297 until 1800. In its early mediaeval period during the Lordship of Ireland it consisted of either two or three chambers: the House of Commons, elected by a very restricted suffrage, the House of Lords in which the lords...

 passed an act
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 in 1715 raising regiments of militia in each county and county corporate
County corporate
A county corporate or corporate county was a type of subnational division used for local government in England, Ireland and Wales.Counties corporate were created during the Middle Ages, and were effectively small self-governing counties...

. Membership was restricted to Protestants between the ages of 16 and 60. In 1793, during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, the Irish militia were reorganized to form thirty-seven county and city regiments. While officers of the reorganized force were Protestant, membership of the other ranks was now made available to members of all denominations.

Scottish militia


In the late Seventeenth century came calls for the resurrection of militia in Scotland that had the understated aim of protecting the rights of Scots from English oppression.

The 1757 Militia Act did not apply in Scotland. The old traditional system continued, so that militia regiments only existed in some places. This was resented by some and the Militia Club, soon to become the Poker Club
The Poker Club
The Poker Club was one of several clubs at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment where many associated with that movement met and exchanged views in a convivial atmosphere. The Poker Club was created out of the ashes of The Select Society....

, was formed to promote the raising of a Scottish militia. This and several other Edinburgh clubs became the crucible of the Scottish Enlightenment
Scottish Enlightenment
The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By 1750, Scots were among the most literate citizens of Europe, with an estimated 75% level of literacy...

.
The Militia Act of 1797 empowered Scottish Lord Lieutenants to raise and command militia regiments in each of the "Counties, Stewartries, Cities, and Places" under their jurisdiction.

Nineteenth century


Although muster rolls were prepared as late as 1820, the element of compulsion was abandoned, and the militia was transformed into a volunteer force. It was intended to be seen as an alternative to the army. Men would volunteer and undertake basic training for several months at an army depot. Thereafter, they would return to civilian life, but report for regular periods of military training (usually on the weapons ranges) and an annual two week training camp. In return, they would receive military pay and a financial retainer, a useful addition to their civilian wage. Of course, many saw the annual camp as the equivalent of a paid holiday. The militia thus appealed to agricultural labourers, colliers and the like, men in casual occupations, who could leave their civilian job and pick it up again.

Until 1861 the militia were an entirely infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 force, but in that year a number of county regiments were converted to artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

. In 1877 the militia of Anglesey
Anglesey
Anglesey , also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn , is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales...

 and Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire (historic)
Monmouthshire , also known as the County of Monmouth , is one of thirteen ancient counties of Wales and a former administrative county....

 were converted to engineers.

Under the reforms
Childers Reforms
The Childers Reforms restructured the infantry regiments of the British army. The reforms were undertaken by Secretary of State for War Hugh Childers in 1881, and were a continuation of the earlier Cardwell reforms....

 introduced by Secretary of State for War
Secretary of State for War
The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British cabinet-level position, first held by Henry Dundas . In 1801 the post became that of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position was re-instated in 1854...

 Hugh Childers
Hugh Childers
Hugh Culling Eardley Childers was a British and Australian Liberal statesman of the nineteenth century. He is perhaps best known for his reform efforts at the Admiralty and the War Office...

 in 1881, the remaining militia infantry regiments were redesignated as numbered battalions of regiments of the line, ranking after the two regular battalions. Typically, an English, Welsh or Scottish regiment would have two militia battalions (the 3rd and 4th) and Irish regiments three (numbered 3rd - 5th).

The militia must not be confused with the volunteer units created in a wave of enthusiasm in the second half of the nineteenth century. In contrast with the Volunteer Force
Volunteer Force (Great Britain)
The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement in 1859. Originally highly autonomous, the units of volunteers became increasingly integrated with the British Army after the Childers Reforms in 1881, before forming part of the...

, and the similar Yeomanry
Yeomanry
Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Territorial Army, descended from volunteer cavalry regiments. Today, Yeomanry units may serve in a variety of different military roles.-History:...

 Cavalry, they were considered rather plebeian.

The Special Reserve


The militia was transformed into the Special Reserve by the military reforms
Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907
The Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the auxiliary forces of the British Army by transferring existing Volunteer and Yeomanry units into a new Territorial Force ; and disbanding the Militia to form a new Special Reserve of the...

 of Haldane
Haldane Reforms
The Haldane Reforms were a series of far-ranging reforms of the British Army made from 1906 to 1912, and named after the Secretary of State for War, Richard Burdon Haldane...

 in the reforming post 1906 Liberal government. In 1908 the militia infantry battalions were redesignated as "reserve" and a number were amalgamated or disbanded. Numbered Territorial Force
Territorial Force
The Territorial Force was the volunteer reserve component of the British Army from 1908 to 1920, when it became the Territorial Army.-Origins:...

 battalions, ranking after the Special Reserve, were formed from the volunteer units at the same time. Altogether, 101 infantry battalions, 33 artillery regiments and two engineer regiments of special reservists were formed.

Upon mobilisation, the special reserve units would be formed at the depot and continue training while guarding vulnerable points in Britain. The special reserve units remained in Britain throughout the First World War, but their rank and file did not, since the object of the special reserve was to supply drafts of replacements for the overseas units of the regiment. The original militiamen soon disappeared, and the battalions became training units pure and simple.

The Special Reserve reverted to its militia designation in 1921, then to Supplementary Reserve in 1924, though the units were effectively placed in "suspended animation" until disbanded in 1953.

The Militiamen


The name was briefly revived in 1939, in the aftermath of the Munich Crisis. Leslie Hore-Belisha, the then Minister of War, wished to introduce a limited form of conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

, an unheard of thing in peacetime. It was thought that calling the conscripts 'militiamen' would make this more acceptable, as it would render them distinct from the rest of the army. Only single men of a certain age group were conscripted (they were given a free suit of civilian clothes as well as a uniform), and after serving for about a year, would be discharged into the reserve. Although the first intake were called up, the war broke out soon after, and the militiamen lost their identity in the rapidly expanding army.

Modern survivals


Three units still maintain their militia designation in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, two in the Territorial Army and one in the Army Cadet Force
Army Cadet Force
The Army Cadet Force is a British youth organisation that offers progressive training in a multitude of the subjects from military training to adventurous training and first aid, at the same time as promoting achievement, discipline, and good citizenship, to boys and girls aged 12 to 18 and 9...

. These are the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers is the most senior regiment in the British Territorial Army, having given continuous loyal service to the crown since 1539. It is part of the reserve forces, and is the only remaining Militia unit in the British Army...

 (formed in 1539), the Jersey Field Squadron (The Royal Militia Island of Jersey) (formed in 1337), and the Royal Alderney Militia (created in the 13th century and reformed in 1984). Additionally, the Atholl Highlanders
Atholl Highlanders
The Atholl Highlanders is a Scottish infantry regiment. Based in Blair Atholl, the regiment is not part of the British Army. Instead, the regiment is in the private employ of the Duke of Atholl, making it the United Kingdom's, and indeed Europe's, only legal private army.-77th Foot:The name Atholl...

 are a (ceremonial) private army maintained by the Duke of Atholl
Duke of Atholl
Duke of Atholl, alternatively Duke of Athole, named after Atholl in Scotland, is a title in the Peerage of Scotland held by the head of Clan Murray...

 — they are the only legal private "army" in the United Kingdom.

The Troubles and Irish War of Independence



The various non-state paramilitary groups involved in the 20th century conflicts in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 and the island of Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, such as the various Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

 groups and loyalist
Ulster loyalism
Ulster loyalism is an ideology that is opposed to a united Ireland. It can mean either support for upholding Northern Ireland's status as a constituent part of the United Kingdom , support for Northern Ireland independence, or support for loyalist paramilitaries...

 paramilitaries, could also be described as militias and are occasionally referred to as such.

United States




The history of militia in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 dates from the colonial era, such as in the American Revolutionary War. Based on the British system, colonial militias were drawn from the body of adult male citizens of a community, town, or local region. Because there were usually few British regulars garrisoned in North America, colonial militia served a vital role in local conflicts, particularly in the French and Indian Wars
French and Indian Wars
The French and Indian Wars is a name used in the United States for a series of conflicts lasting 74 years in North America that represented colonial events related to the European dynastic wars...

. Before shooting began in the American War of Independence
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, American revolutionaries took control of the militia system, reinvigorating training and excluding men with Loyalist
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

 inclinations. Regulation of the militia was codified by the Second Continental Congress
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting on May 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met briefly during 1774,...

 with the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

. The revolutionaries also created a full-time regular army—the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

—but because of manpower shortages the militia provided short-term support to the regulars in the field throughout the war.

In colonial era Anglo-American usage, militia service was distinguished from military service in that the latter was normally a commitment for a fixed period of time of at least a year, for a salary
Salary
A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis....

, whereas militia was only to meet a threat, or prepare to meet a threat, for periods of time expected to be short. Militia persons were normally expected to provide their own weapons, equipment, or supplies, although they may later be compensated for losses or expenditures.

A related concept is the jury
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

, which can be regarded as a specialized form of militia convened to render a verdict in a court proceeding (known as a petit jury or trial jury
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

) or to investigate a public matter and render a presentment or indictment (grand jury
Grand jury
A grand jury is a type of jury that determines whether a criminal indictment will issue. Currently, only the United States retains grand juries, although some other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most other jurisdictions employ some other type of preliminary hearing...

).

With the Constitutional Convention
Philadelphia Convention
The Constitutional Convention took place from May 14 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from...

 of 1787 and Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, control of the army and the power to direct the militia of the states was concurrently delegated to the federal Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

. The Militia Clauses gave Congress authority for "organizing, arming, and disciplining" the militia, and "governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States", with the States retaining authority to appoint officers and to impose the training specified by Congress.

Proponents describe a key element in the concept of "militia" was that to be "genuine" it not be a "select militia", composed of an unrepresentative subset of the population. This was an argument presented in the ratification debates.

The first legislation on the subject was The Militia Act of 1792
Militia Act of 1792
The Militia Act of 1792 was a series of statutes enacted by the second United States Congress in 1792. The act provided for the President of the United States to take command of the state militias in times of imminent invasion or insurrection.-History:...

 which provided, in part:
That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, ... every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock....


During the nineteenth century, each of the states maintained its militia differently, some more than others. Prior to the Civil War, militia units were sometimes used by southern states for slave control. In free states, Republican militias - called "Wide Awakes
Wide Awakes
The Wide Awakes was a paramilitary campaign organization affiliated with the Republican Party during the United States presidential election of 1860. Similar organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party were called the "Douglas Invincibles", "Young Hickories" or "Earthquakes"...

" - sided with abolitionists in sometimes violent confrontations with Federal authorities. In California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, the militia carried out campaigns against bandits and against the Indians at the direction of its Governor between 1850 and 1866.

During Reconstruction after the Civil War, Republican state governments had militias composed almost entirely of freed slaves and populist whites. Their deployment to maintain order in the former Confederate states, caused increased resentment among many Southern whites.

Nineteenth Century


During the nineteenth century, American militia saw action in the various Indian Wars
Indian Wars
American Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between American settlers or the federal government and the native peoples of North America before and after the American Revolutionary War. The wars resulted from the arrival of European colonizers who...

 and the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 and the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

.

Sometimes militia units were found to be unprepared, ill supplied and unwilling.

Twentieth Century


The Militia Act of 1903
Militia Act of 1903
The National Guard Bureau is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the National Guard of the United States established by the United States Congress as a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force. It was created by the Militia Act of 1903...

 divided what had been the militia into what it termed the "organized" militia, created from portions of the former state guards to become state National Guard
United States National Guard
The National Guard of the United States is a reserve military force composed of state National Guard militia members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States. Militia members are citizen soldiers, meaning they work part time for the National...

 units, and the "unorganized" militia consisting of all males from ages 17 to 45, with the exception of certain officials and others, which is codified in . Some states, such as Texas and California, created separate State Defense Forces
State Defense Forces
State defense forces in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government; they are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau but they are not a part of the Army National Guard of the United States...

 for assistance in local emergencies. Congress later established a system of "dual enlistment" for the National Guard, so that anyone who enlisted in the National Guard also enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Privately organized citizen militia-related groups blossomed in the mid 1990s, which collectively became known as the constitutional militia movement
Constitutional militia movement
The modern constitutional militia movement, the constitutionalist wing of the "militia movement" in the United States, became active in the mid 1990s in response to outrage about the violent confrontation at Ruby Ridge, the Waco Siege and gun control legislation...

. The supporters have not been affiliated with any government organization, although many have been military and law enforcement veteran
Veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...

s.

In its original sense, militia meant "the state, quality, condition, or activity of being a fighter or warrior." It can be thought of as "combatant activity", "the fighter frame of mind", "the militant mode", "the soldierly status", or "the warrior way".

In this latter usage, a militia is a body of private persons who respond to an emergency threat to public safety, usually one that requires an armed response, but which can also include ordinary law enforcement or disaster responses. The act of bringing to bear arms contextually changes the status of the person, from peaceful citizen, to warrior citizen. The militia is the sum total of persons undergoing this change of state.

Persons have been said to engage in militia in response to a "call up" by any person aware of the emergent threat requiring the response, and thence to be in "called up" status until the emergency is past. There is no minimum size to militia, and a solitary act of defense, including self-defense, can be thought of as one person calling up himself to defend the community, represented by himself or others, and to enforce the law. See citizen's arrest
Citizen's arrest
A citizen's arrest is an arrest made by a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official. In common law jurisdictions, the practice dates back to medieval Britain and the English common law, in which sheriffs encouraged ordinary citizens to help apprehend law breakers.Despite the...

 and hue and cry
Hue and cry
In common law, a hue and cry is a process by which bystanders are summoned to assist in the apprehension of a criminal who has been witnessed in the act of committing a crime.By the Statute of Winchester of 1285, 13 Edw. I cc...

.

Democratic paramilitary groups


Secret groups like the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 and Knights of the White Camellia arose quickly in states across the South, reaching a peak in the late 1860s. Even more significant in terms of effect were private militias, paramilitary organizations
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 that formed starting in 1874, including the White League
White League
The White League was a white paramilitary group started in 1874 that operated to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate freedmen from voting and political organizing. Its first chapter in Grant Parish, Louisiana was made up of many of the Confederate veterans who had participated in the...

 in Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, which quickly formed chapters in other states; the Red Shirts in Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 in 1875, and with force in South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 and North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

; as well as other "White Line" militias and rifle clubs. In contrast to the KKK, they were open, members were often well known in the communities, and they directed their efforts at political aims: using force, intimidation and violence, including murder, to push out Republican officeholders, break up organizing, and suppress freedmen's voting and civil rights. The paramilitary groups were described as "the military arm of the Democratic Party" and were instrumental in helping secure Democratic victories in the South in the elections of 1876.

21st Century: Federally-organized or not


In the 2008 decision of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 in District of Columbia v. Heller
District of Columbia v. Heller
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 , was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes in federal enclaves, such as...

, the de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

 definition of "militia" as used in United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

 was discussed. The court's opinion made explicit, in its obiter dicta
Obiter dictum
Obiter dictum is Latin for a statement "said in passing". An obiter dictum is a remark or observation made by a judge that, although included in the body of the court's opinion, does not form a necessary part of the court's decision...

, that the term "militia", as used in colonial times in this originalist decision, included both the federally-organized militia and the citizen-organized militias of the several States
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

: "... the 'militia' in colonial America consisted of a subset of 'the people'—those who were male, able-bodied, and within a certain age range" (7) ... Although the militia consists of all able-bodied men, the federally organized militia may consist of a subset of them"(23).

Vietnam


Vietnam Civil Defense Force (Dân quân Tự vệ Việt Nam) is a part of Vietnam People's Armed Forces.Vietnam People's Militia is under direct command of Local Military Administration. Vietnam Militia has 2 branches: Cored Militia (Dân quân Tực vệ nòng cốt) and General Militia (Dân quân Tự vệ rộng rãi).

SFR Yugoslavia



Beside the federal Yugoslav People's Army
Yugoslav People's Army
The Yugoslav People's Army , also referred to as the Yugoslav National Army , was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-Origins:The origins of the JNA can...

, each constituent republic
Constituent country
Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger entity. The term constituent country does not have any defined legal meaning, and is used simply to refer to a country which is a part Constituent country is a phrase sometimes used in contexts...

 of the former SFR Yugoslavia had its own Territorial Defense Forces
Territorial Defense Forces (Yugoslavia)
The Territorial Defense Forces were a separate part of the armed forces of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The forces acted as a Home Guard which roughly corresponded to a military reserve force or an official governmental paramilitary...

. The Non-Aligned
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 Yugoslavia was concerned about an eventual aggression from any of the superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

s, especially by the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 after the Prague Spring
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

, so the Territorial Defense Forces were formed as an integral part of the total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

 called Total National Defense. Those forces corresponded to military reserve force
Military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion...

s, paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 or militia, the latter, in the military meaning of the term (like military formation). It should not be confused with the Yugoslav Militia- Milicija which was a term for a police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

.

Militia service as a civic duty


The Militia Information Service (MIS) contends that militia membership is a civic duty much like voting, neither of which they believe should be restricted to government officials in a true democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

.
MIS also states that the people need to maintain the power of the sword so they can fulfil their duty, implicit in the social contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

,
to protect the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, much as individual citizens have a legal and ethical duty to protect dependents under their care, such as a child, elderly parent, or disabled spouse.

See also


General
  • Armed forces
    Armed forces
    The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

  • Guerrilla warfare
    Guerrilla warfare
    Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

  • Historical reenactment
    Historical reenactment
    Historical reenactment is an educational activity in which participants attempt torecreate some aspects of a historical event or period. This may be as narrow as a specific moment from a battle, such as the reenactment of Pickett's Charge at the Great Reunion of 1913, or as broad as an entire...

  • Irregular military
    Irregular military
    Irregular military refers to any non-standard military. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organization, or to the type of tactics used....

  • Paramilitary
    Paramilitary
    A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

  • Scouting
    Scouting
    Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

  • Gendarmerie
    Gendarmerie
    A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...



Public militias in Europe
  • Blackshirts
    Blackshirts
    The Blackshirts were Fascist paramilitary groups in Italy during the period immediately following World War I and until the end of World War II...

  • Home Guard
    Home Guard
    -Military:*British Home Guard*Combat Groups of the Working Class *Confederate Home Guard, during the American Civil War*Croatian Home Guard and Imperial Croatian Home Guard*Danish Home Guard...

  • Milice
    Milice
    The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

  • Swiss Army
    Military of Switzerland
    The Swiss Armed Forces perform the roles of Switzerland's militia and regular army. Under the country's militia system, professional soldiers constitute about 5 percent of military personnel; the rest are male citizen conscripts 19 to 34 years old...

  • Militsiya
    Militsiya
    Militsiya or militia is used as an official name of the civilian police in several former communist states, despite its original military connotation...

  • Portuguese Legion
    Portuguese Legion (Estado Novo)
    The Portuguese Legion was a Portuguese paramilitary state organization founded in 1936 during dictator António de Oliveira Salazar's right-wing regime, the Estado Novo. It was dissolved in 1974....

  • Volkssturm
    Volkssturm
    The Volkssturm was a German national militia of the last months of World War II. It was founded on Adolf Hitler's orders on October 18, 1944 and conscripted males between the ages of 16 to 60 years who were not already serving in some military unit as part of a German Home Guard.-Origins and...



Public militias in the United States
  • National Guard
  • State Defense Forces
    State Defense Forces
    State defense forces in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government; they are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau but they are not a part of the Army National Guard of the United States...

  • California State Military Reserve
    California State Military Reserve
    The California State Military Reserve is the state defense force of California. The military reserve was formed to provide California a trained and organized military force in the event of a state security emergency when the National Guard is deployed...

  • New Hampshire Militia
    New Hampshire Militia
    The New Hampshire Militia was first organized in March 1680, by New Hampshire Colonial President John Cutt. The King of England authorized the Provincial President to give commissions to persons who shall be best qualified for regulating and discipline of the militia. President Cutt placed Major...

  • Ohio Military Reserve
    Ohio Military Reserve
    The Ohio Military Reserve is a military force which supports the State of Ohio along with the Ohio Army National Guard and Ohio Air National Guard in times of natural disaster and state and national emergencies....

  • Ohio Naval Militia
    Ohio Naval Militia
    The Ohio Naval Militia is an organized, unarmed unit that has been serving the State of Ohio and the United States since 1896. It is the naval arm of the State of Ohio's Adjutant General's Department, and is therefore part of Ohio's State Defense Forces....

  • Rogers' Rangers
    Rogers' Rangers
    Rogers' Rangers was an independent company of colonial militia, attached to the British Army during the Seven Years War . The unit was informally trained by Major Robert Rogers as a rapidly deployable light infantry force tasked with reconnaissance and conducting special operations against distant...

  • Texas State Guard
    Texas State Guard
    The Texas State Guard is one of three branches of the military forces of Texas, reporting to the Adjutant General, and under the command of the Governor. The other branches of the State Military Forces of Texas are the Texas Army National Guard, and the Texas Air National Guard.-History:The Texas...

  • Virginia Militia
    Virginia Militia
    The Virginia militia is an armed force composed of all citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia capable of bearing arms. The Virginia militia was established in 1607 as part of the British militia system. Militia service in Virginia was compulsory for all free males...

  • Arkansas Militia in the Civil War
    Arkansas Militia in the Civil War
    The units of the Arkansas Militia in the Civil War included militia organizations to which the current Arkansas National Guard has a connection: the militia, Home Guard, and State Troop regiments raised by the State of Arkansas. Like most of the United States, Arkansas had an organized militia...



Private militias in the United States
  • Militias
    Militia (United States)
    The role of militia, also known as military service and duty, in the United States is complex and has transformed over time.Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. " The term militia can be used to describe any number of groups within the...

    • Michigan Militia
      Michigan Militia
      The Michigan Militia was an organized paramilitary organization founded by Norman Olson, a former U.S. Air Force Non-Commissioned Officer, of Alanson, Michigan, USA. The organization formed around 1994 in response to perceived encroachments by the Federal Government on the rights of citizens during...

    • Minuteman Project
    • Militia Movement


Further reading

  • The Rise and Decline of the American Militia System, by James B. Whisker, Susquehanna University Press (1999) ISBN 094563692X
  • Cooper, Jerry M. 1998. The rise of the National Guard: the evolution of the American militia, 1865-1920. Studies in war, society, and the military, v. 1. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803214863
  • The Minute Men - The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution, by John R. Galvin, Brasseys (1996) ISBN 1574880497
  • Smith, Joshua M. ""The Yankee Soldier's Might: The District of Maine and the Reputation of the Massachusetts Militia, 1800-1812," New England Quarterly LXXXIV no. 2 (June, 2011), 234-264.
  • To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face, by Robert H. Churchill, University of Michigan Press (March 3, 2009) ISBN 978-0472116829.
  • The Constitutional Force, by Colonel George Jackson Hay 1908, reprint Ray Westlake Military Books (1987) ISBN 0 950 8530 7 0.