United States Bill of Rights
The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed following the bitter 1787–88 debate over ratification of Constitution, written to address the objections raised by Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights amendments add to the Constitution specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, explicit declarations that all powers not granted to the U. S. Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the people; the concepts codified in these amendments are built upon those found in earlier documents the Virginia Declaration of Rights, as well as the English Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta. Due to the efforts of Representative James Madison, who studied the deficiencies of the constitution pointed out by anti-federalists and crafted a series of corrective proposals, Congress approved twelve articles of amendment on September 25, 1789, submitted them to the states for ratification.
Contrary to Madison's proposal that the proposed amendments be incorporated into the main body of the Constitution, they were proposed as supplemental additions to it. Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, became Amendments One through Ten of the Constitution. Article Two became part of the Constitution on May 1992, as the Twenty-seventh Amendment. Article One is still pending before the states. Although Madison's proposed amendments included a provision to extend the protection of some of the Bill of Rights to the states, the amendments that were submitted for ratification applied only to the federal government; the door for their application upon state governments was opened in the 1860s, following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Since the early 20th century both federal and state courts have used the Fourteenth Amendment to apply portions of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments; the process is known as incorporation.
There are several original engrossed copies of the Bill of Rights still in existence. One of these is on permanent public display at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. Prior to the ratification and implementation of the United States Constitution, the thirteen sovereign states followed the Articles of Confederation, created by the Second Continental Congress and ratified in 1781. However, the national government that operated under the Articles of Confederation was too weak to adequately regulate the various conflicts that arose between the states; the Philadelphia Convention set out to correct weaknesses of the Articles, apparent before the American Revolutionary War had been concluded. The convention took place from May 14 to September 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles, the intention of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one.
The convention convened in the Pennsylvania State House, George Washington of Virginia was unanimously elected as president of the convention. The 55 delegates who drafted the Constitution are among the men known as the Founding Fathers of the new nation. Thomas Jefferson, Minister to France during the convention, characterized the delegates as an assembly of "demi-gods." Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the convention. On September 12, George Mason of Virginia suggested the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution modeled on previous state declarations, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts made it a formal motion. However, after only a brief discussion where Roger Sherman pointed out that State Bills of Rights were not repealed by the new Constitution, the motion was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations. Madison an opponent of a Bill of Rights explained the vote by calling the state bills of rights "parchment barriers" that offered only an illusion of protection against tyranny.
Another delegate, James Wilson of Pennsylvania argued that the act of enumerating the rights of the people would have been dangerous, because it would imply that rights not explicitly mentioned did not exist. 84. Because Mason and Gerry had emerged as opponents of the proposed new Constitution, their motion—introduced five days before the end of the convention—may have been seen by other delegates as a delaying tactic; the quick rejection of this motion, however endangered the entire ratification process. Author David O. Stewart characterizes the omission of a Bill of Rights in the original Constitution as "a political blunder of the first magnitude" while historian Jack N. Rakove calls it "the one serious miscalculation the framers made as they looked ahead to the struggle over ratification". Thirty-nine delegates signed the finalized Constitution. Thirteen delegates left before it was completed, three who remained at the convention until the end refused to sign it: Mason and Edmund Randolph of Virginia.
Afterward, the Constitution was presented to the Articles of Confederation Congress with the request that it afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people, for their assent and ratification. Following the Philadelphia Convention, some leading revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee publicly opposed the new frame of government, a position known as "Anti-Federalism". Elbridge Gerry wrote the most popular Anti-Federalist tract, "Hon. Mr. Gerry's Objections"
In economics, hyperinflation is high and accelerating inflation. It erodes the real value of the local currency, as the prices of all goods increase; this causes people to minimize their holdings in that currency as they switch to more stable foreign currencies the US Dollar. Prices remain stable in terms of other stable currencies. Unlike low inflation, where the process of rising prices is protracted and not noticeable except by studying past market prices, hyperinflation sees a rapid and continuing increase in nominal prices, the nominal cost of goods, in the supply of money. However, the general price level rises more than the money supply as people try ridding themselves of the devaluing currency as as possible; as this happens, the real stock of money decreases considerably. Hyperinflation is associated with some stress to the government budget, such as wars or their aftermath, sociopolitical upheavals, a collapse in aggregate supply or one in export prices, or other crises that make it difficult for the government to collect tax revenue.
A sharp decrease in real tax revenue coupled with a strong need to maintain government spending, together with an inability or unwillingness to borrow, can lead a country into hyperinflation. In 1956, Phillip Cagan wrote The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation, the book regarded as the first serious study of hyperinflation and its effects. In his book, Cagan defined a hyperinflationary episode as starting in the month that the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%, as ending when the monthly inflation rate drops below 50% and stays that way for at least a year. Economists follow Cagan’s description that hyperinflation occurs when the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%; the International Accounting Standards Board has issued guidance on accounting rules in a hyperinflationary environment. It does not establish an absolute rule on. Instead, it lists factors that indicate the existence of hyperinflation: The general population prefers to keep its wealth in non-monetary assets or in a stable foreign currency.
Amounts of local currency held are invested to maintain purchasing power The general population regards monetary amounts not in terms of the local currency but in terms of a stable foreign currency. Prices may be quoted in that currency. While there can be a number of causes of high inflation, most hyperinflations have been caused by government budget deficits financed by money creation. Peter Bernholz analysed 29 hyperinflations and concludes that at least 25 of them have been caused in this way. A necessary condition for hyperinflation is the use instead of gold or silver coins. Most hyperinflations in history, with some exceptions, such as the French hyperinflation of 1789-1796, occurred after the use of fiat currency became widespread in the late 19th century; the French hyperinflation took place after the introduction of a non-convertible paper currency, the assignats. Hyperinflation occurs when there is a continuing rapid increase in the amount of money, not supported by a corresponding growth in the output of goods and services.
The increases in price that result from the rapid money creation creates a vicious circle, requiring growing amounts of new money creation to fund government deficits. Hence both monetary inflation and price inflation proceed at a rapid pace; such increasing prices cause widespread unwillingness of the local population to hold the local currency as it loses its buying power. Instead they spend any money they receive, which increases the velocity of money flow; this means. The real stock of money, M/P, decreases. Here M refers to P to the price level; this results in an imbalance between the demand for the money, causing rapid inflation. High inflation rates can result in a loss of confidence in the currency, similar to a bank run; the excessive money supply growth results from the government being either unable or unwilling to finance the government budget through taxation or borrowing, instead it finances the government budget deficit through the printing of money. Governments have sometimes resorted to excessively loose monetary policy, as it allows a government to devalue its debts and reduce a tax increase.
Inflation is a regressive tax on the users of money, but less overt than levied taxes and is therefore harder to understand by ordinary citizens. Inflation can obscure quantitative assessments of the true cost of living, as published price indices only look at data in retrospect, so may increase only months later. Monetary inflation can become hyperinflation if monetary authorities fail to fund increasing government expenses from taxes, government debt, cost cutting, or by other means, because either during the time between recording or levying taxable transactions and collecting the taxes due, the value of the taxes collected falls in real value to a small fraction of the original taxes rece
Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. American Patriots opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, they threw the chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution; the Tea Party became an iconic event of American history, since other political protests such as the Tea Party movement have referred to themselves as historical successors to the Boston protest of 1773. The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1773.
Colonists objected to the Tea Act because they believed that it violated their rights as Englishmen to "no taxation without representation", that is, to be taxed only by their own elected representatives and not by a British parliament in which they were not represented. In addition, the well-connected East India Company had been granted competitive advantages over colonial tea importers, who resented the move and feared additional infringement on their business. Protesters had prevented the unloading of tea in three other colonies, but in Boston, embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain; the Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Intolerable Acts, or Coercive Acts, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston's commerce. Colonists up and down the Thirteen Colonies in turn responded to the Intolerable Acts with additional acts of protest, by convening the First Continental Congress, which petitioned the British monarch for repeal of the acts and coordinated colonial resistance to them.
The crisis escalated, the American Revolutionary War began near Boston in 1775. The Boston Tea Party arose from two issues confronting the British Empire in 1765: the financial problems of the British East India Company; the North Ministry's attempt to resolve these issues produced a showdown that would result in revolution. As Europeans developed a taste for tea in the 17th century, rival companies were formed to import the product from China. In England, Parliament gave the East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea in 1698; when tea became popular in the British colonies, Parliament sought to eliminate foreign competition by passing an act in 1721 that required colonists to import their tea only from Great Britain. The East India Company did not export tea to the colonies. British firms bought this tea and exported it to the colonies, where they resold it to merchants in Boston, New York and Charleston; until 1767, the East India Company paid an ad valorem tax of about 25% on tea that it imported into Great Britain.
Parliament laid additional taxes on tea sold for consumption in Britain. These high taxes, combined with the fact that tea imported into the Dutch Republic was not taxed by the Dutch government, meant that Britons and British Americans could buy smuggled Dutch tea at much cheaper prices; the biggest market for illicit tea was England—by the 1760s the East India Company was losing £400,000 per year to smugglers in Great Britain—but Dutch tea was smuggled into British America in significant quantities. In 1767, to help the East India Company compete with smuggled Dutch tea, Parliament passed the Indemnity Act, which lowered the tax on tea consumed in Great Britain, gave the East India Company a refund of the 25% duty on tea, re-exported to the colonies. To help offset this loss of government revenue, Parliament passed the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, which levied new taxes, including one on tea, in the colonies. Instead of solving the smuggling problem, the Townshend duties renewed a controversy about Parliament's right to tax the colonies.
Controversy between Great Britain and the colonies arose in the 1760s when Parliament sought, for the first time, to impose a direct tax on the colonies for the purpose of raising revenue. Some colonists, known in the colonies as Whigs, objected to the new tax program, arguing that it was a violation of the British Constitution. Britons and British Americans agreed that, according to the constitution, British subjects could not be taxed without the consent of their elected representatives. In Great Britain, this meant. Colonists, did not elect members of Parliament, so American Whigs argued that the colonies could not be taxed by that body. According to Whigs, colonists could only be taxed by their own colonial assemblies. Colonial protests resulted in the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766, but in the 1766 Declaratory Act, Parliament continued to insist that it had the right to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever"; when new taxes were levied in the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, Whig colonists again responded with protests and boycotts.
Merchants organized a non-importation agreement, many colonists pledged to abstain from drinking British tea, with activists in New England promoting alternatives, su
The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. The flag has official status in Canada, by parliamentary resolution, where it is known as the Royal Union Flag. Additionally, it is used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas territories; the Union Flag appears in the canton of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or dominions, as well as the state flag of Hawaii. The claim that the term Union Jack properly refers only to naval usage has been disputed, following historical investigations by the Flag Institute in 2013; the origins of the earlier flag of Great Britain date back to 1606. James VI of Scotland had inherited the English and Irish thrones in 1603 as James I, thereby uniting the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union, although the three kingdoms remained separate states. On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England, the flag of Scotland, would be joined together, forming the flag of England and Scotland for maritime purposes.
King James began to refer to a "Kingdom of Great Britaine", although the union remained a personal one. The present design of the Union Flag dates from a Royal proclamation following the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801; the flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland, the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland. Notably, the home country of Wales is not represented separately in the Union Flag, as the flag was designed after the invasion of Wales in 1282. Hence Wales as a home country today has no representation on the flag; the terms Union Jack and Union Flag are both used for describing the national flag of the United Kingdom. Whether the term Union Jack applies only when used as a jack flag on a ship is a matter of debate. According to the Parliament of the United Kingdom: "Until the early 17th century England and Scotland were two independent kingdoms; this changed in 1603 on the death of Elizabeth I of England.
Because the Queen died unmarried and childless, the English crown passed to the next available heir, her cousin James VI, King of Scotland. England and Scotland now shared the same monarch under what was known as a union of the crowns." In 1606, James VI gave orders for a British flag to be created which bore the combined crosses of St George and of St Andrew. The result was the Union Jack. According to the Flag Institute, a membership-run vexillological charity, "the national flag of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories is the Union Flag, which may be called the Union Jack." The institute notes: it is stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a recent idea. From early in its life the Admiralty itself referred to the flag as the Union Jack, whatever its use, in 1902 an Admiralty circular announced that Their Lordships had decided that either name could be used officially. In 1908, a government minister stated, in response to a parliamentary question, that "the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag".
Notwithstanding Their Lordships' circular of 1902, by 1913 the Admiralty described the "Union Flag" and added in a foot note that'A Jack is a Flag to be flown only on the "Jack" Staff'. However, the authoritative A Complete Guide to Heraldry published in 1909 by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies uses the term "Union Jack"; the term "Union Flag" is used in King Charles I's 1634 proclamation:... none of Our Subjects, of any of Our Nations and Kingdoms shall from henceforth presume to carry the Union Flag in the Main top, or other part of any of their Ships St Georges cross and St Andrew's Cross joined together upon pain of Our high displeasure, but that the same Union Flag be still reserved as an ornament proper for Our own Ships and Ships in our immediate Service and Pay, none other." And in King George III's proclamation of 1 January 1801 concerning the arms and flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: And that the Union Flag shall be Azure, the Crosses Saltires of St. Andrew and St. Patrick Quarterly per Saltire, counterchanged Argent and Gules.
When the first flag representing Britain was introduced on the proclamation of King James I in 1606, it became known as the "British flag" or the "flag of Britain". The royal proclamation gave no distinctive name to the new flag; the word "jack" was in use before 1600 to describe the maritime bow flag. By 1627 a small Union Jack was flown in this position. One theory goes that for some years it would have been called just the "Jack", or "Jack flag", or the "King's Jack", but by 1674, while formally referred to as "His Majesty's Jack", it was called the "Union Jack", this was acknowledged. Amongst the proclamations issued by King George III at the time of the Union of 1801 was a proclamation concerning flags at sea, which referred to "Ensigns, Flags and Pendants" and forbade merchant vessels from wearing "Our Jack called the Union Jack" nor any pendants or colours used by the King's ships. Reinforcing the d
Great Seal of the United States
The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the federal government of the United States. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself, kept by the United States Secretary of State, more for the design impressed upon it; the Great Seal was first used publicly in 1782. The obverse of the Great Seal is used as the national coat of arms of the United States, it is used on documents such as United States passports, military insignia, embassy placards, various flags. As a coat of arms, the design has official colors. Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal have appeared on the reverse of the one-dollar bill; the Seal of the President of the United States is directly based on the Great Seal, its elements are used in numerous government agency and state seals. The design on the obverse of the seal is the coat of arms of the United States; the shield, though sometimes drawn incorrectly, has two main differences from the American flag. First, it has no stars on the blue chief.
Second, unlike the American flag, the outermost stripes are white, not red. The supporter of the shield is a bald eagle with its wings outstretched. From the eagle's perspective, it holds a bundle of 13 arrows in its left talon, an olive branch in its right talon, together symbolizing that the United States has "a strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war.". Although not specified by law, the olive branch is depicted with 13 leaves and 13 olives, again representing the 13 original states; the eagle has its head turned towards the olive branch, on its right side, said to symbolize a preference for peace. In its beak, the eagle clutches a scroll with the motto E pluribus unum. Over its head there appears a "glory" with 13 mullets on a blue field. In the current dies of the great seal, the 13 stars above the eagle are arranged in rows of 1-4-3-4-1, forming a six-pointed star; the 1782 resolution of Congress adopting the arms, still in force blazoned the shield as "Paleways of 13 pieces and gules.
As the designers recognized, this is a technically incorrect blazon under traditional English heraldic rules, since in English practice a vertically striped shield would be described as "paly", not "paleways", it would not have had an odd number of stripes. A more technically proper blazon would have been argent, six pallets gules... but the phrase used was chosen to preserve the reference to the 13 original states. The 1782 resolution adopting the seal blazons the image on the reverse as "A pyramid unfinished. In the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded by a glory, proper." The pyramid is conventionally shown as consisting of 13 layers to refer to the 13 original states. The adopting resolution provides that it is inscribed on its base with the date MDCCLXXVI in Roman numerals. Where the top of the pyramid should be, the Eye of Providence watches over it. Two mottos appear: Annuit cœptis signifies that Providence has "approved of undertakings." Novus ordo seclorum taken from Virgil, is Latin for "a new order of the ages."
The reverse appears, for example, on the back of the one-dollar bill. The primary official explanation of the symbolism of the great seal was given by Charles Thomson upon presenting the final design for adoption by Congress, he wrote: The Escutcheon is composed of the chief & pale, the two most honorable ordinaries. The Pieces, represent the several states all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which unites the whole & represents Congress; the Motto alludes to this union. The pales in the arms are kept united by the chief and the Chief depends upon that union & the strength resulting from it for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States of America & the preservation of their union through Congress; the colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace & war, vested in Congress; the Constellation denotes a new State taking its rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own Virtue.
Reverse. The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause; the date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Æra, which commences from that date. Thomson took the symbolism for the colors from Elements of Heraldry, by Antoine Pyron du Martre, which William Barton had lent him; that book claimed that argent "signifies Purity, Innocence and Genteelness", gules "denotes martial Prowess and Hardiness", azure "signifies Justice and Vigilance". A brief and official explanation of the symbolism was prepared in the form of a historical sketch of the seal of the United Sta
King William's War
King William's War was the North American theater of the Nine Years' War known as the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg. It was the first of six colonial wars fought between New France and New England along with their respective Native allies before France ceded its remaining mainland territories in North America east of the Mississippi River in 1763. For King William's War, neither England nor France thought of weakening their position in Europe to support the war effort in North America. New France and the Wabanaki Confederacy were able to thwart New England expansion into Acadia, whose border New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. According to the terms of the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick that ended the Nine Years' War, the boundaries and outposts of New France, New England, New York remained unchanged; the war was caused by the fact that the treaties and agreements that were reached at the end of King Philip's War were not adhered to. In addition, the English were alarmed.
The Indians preyed on the English and their fears, by making it look as though they were with the French. The French were played as well; these occurrences, in addition to the fact that the English perceived the Indians as their subjects, despite the Indians' unwillingness to submit led to two conflicts, one of, King William's War. The English settlers were more than 154,000 at the beginning of the war, outnumbering the French 12 to 1. However, they were divided in multiple colonies along the Atlantic coast, which were unable to cooperate efficiently, they were engulfed in the Glorious Revolution, creating tension among the colonists. In addition, the English lacked military leadership and had a difficult relationship with their Iroquois allies. New France was divided into three entities: Acadia on the Atlantic coast; the French population amounted to 14,000 in 1689. Although the French were vastly outnumbered, they were more politically unified and contained a disproportionate number of adult males with military backgrounds.
Realizing their numerical inferiority, they developed good relationships with the indigenous peoples in order to multiply their forces and made effective use of hit-and-run tactics. England's Catholic King James II was deposed at the end of 1688 in the Glorious Revolution, after which Protestants William III and Mary II took the throne. William joined the League of Augsburg in its war against France. In North America, there was significant tension between New France and the northern English colonies, which had in 1686 been united in the Dominion of New England. New England and the Iroquois Confederacy fought the Wabanaki Confederacy; the Iroquois dominated the economically important Great Lakes fur trade and had been in conflict with New France since 1680. At the urging of New England, the Iroquois interrupted the trade between New France and the western tribes. In retaliation, New France raided Seneca lands of western New York. In turn, New England supported the Iroquois in attacking New France, which they did by raiding Lachine.
There were similar tensions on the border between New England and Acadia, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. English settlers from Massachusetts had expanded their settlements into Acadia. To secure New France's claim to present-day Maine, New France established Catholic missions among the three largest native villages in the region: one on the Kennebec River. For their part, in response to King Philip's War, the five Indian tribes in the region of Acadia created the Wabanaki Confederacy to form a political and military alliance with New France to stop the New England expansion; the New England and Newfoundland Theatre of the war is known as Castin's War and Father Jean Baudoin's War. In April 1688, Governor Andros plundered Castine's village on Penobscot Bay. In August, the English raided the French village of Chedabouctou. In response and the Wabanaki Confederacy engaged in the Northeast Coast Campaign of 1688 along the New England/Acadia border, they began August 1688, at New Dartmouth, killing a few settlers.
A few days they killed two people at Yarmouth in the first battle. At Kennebunk, in the fall of 1688, members of the Confederacy killed two families; the following spring, in June 1689, several hundred Abenaki and Pennacook Indians under the command of Kancamagus and Mesandowit raided Dover, New Hampshire, killing more than 20 and taking 29 captives, who were sold into captivity in New France. In June, they killed four men at Saco. In response to these raids, a company of 24 men was raised to search for the bodies and pursue the natives, they were forced to return. In August 1689, Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin and Father Louis-Pierre Thury led an Abenaki war party that captured and destroyed the fort at Pemaquid; the fall of Pemaquid was a significant setback to the English. It pushed the frontier back to Maine. New England retaliat
Minutemen were civilian colonists who independently organized to form well-prepared militia companies self-trained in weaponry and military strategies from the American colonial partisan militia during the American Revolutionary War. They were known for being ready at a minute's notice, hence the name, they provided a mobile deployed force that allowed the colonies to respond to war threats. The minutemen were among the first to fight in the American Revolution, their teams constituted about a quarter of the entire militia. They were younger and more mobile, served as part of a network for early response; the term has been applied to various United States civilian-based paramilitary forces to recall the success and patriotism of the originals. In the British colony of Massachusetts Bay, all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to participate in their local militia; as early as 1645 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, some men were selected from the general ranks of town-based "training bands" to be ready for rapid deployment.
Men so selected were designated as minutemen. They were drawn from settlers of each town, so it was common for them to be fighting alongside relatives and friends; some towns in Massachusetts had a long history of designating a portion of their militia as minutemen, with "minute companies" constituting special units within the militia system whose members underwent additional training and held themselves ready to turn out for emergencies, "at a minute's notice" and hence their name. Other towns, such as Lexington, preferred to keep their entire militia in a single unit. Members of the minutemen, by contrast, were no more than 30 years old, were chosen for their enthusiasm, political reliability, strength, they were the first armed militia to await a battle. Officers were elected by popular vote, as in the rest of the militia, each unit drafted a formal written covenant to be signed upon enlistment; the militia assembled as an entire unit in each town two to four times a year for training during peacetime but, as the inevitability of war became apparent, the militia trained three to four times a week.
In this organization, it was common for officers to make decisions through consultation and consensus with their men, as opposed to giving orders to be followed without question. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress found that the colony's militia resources were short just before the American Revolutionary War, on October 26, 1774, after observing the British military buildup, they found that, "including the sick and absent, it amounted to about 17,000 men, far short of the number wanted, that the council recommended an immediate application to the New England governments to make up the deficiency,", resolving to organize the militia better:The Massachusetts Provincial Congress recommended to the militia to form themselves into companies of minute-men, who should be equipped and prepared to march at the shortest notice. These minute-men were to comprise one-quarter of the whole militia, to be enlisted under the direction of the field-officers, divide into companies, consisting of at least 50 men each.
The privates were to choose their captains and subalterns, these officers were to form the companies into battalions, chose the field-officers to command the same. Hence the minute-men became a body distinct from the rest of the militia, and, by being more devoted to military exercises, they acquired skill in the use of arms. More attention than was bestowed on the training and drilling of militia; the need for efficient minuteman companies was illustrated by the Powder Alarm of 1774. Militia companies were called out to resist British troops, who were sent to capture ammunition stores. By the time the militia was ready, the British regulars had captured the arms at Cambridge and Charlestown and had returned to Boston. In August 1636, the first offensive military attack by militias failed when Massachusetts dispatched John Endecott with four companies on an unsuccessful campaign against the Pequot Indians. According to one man's account, the expedition succeeded only in killing one Indian and burning some wigwams.
Weeks elapsed between the incidents that caused the march and the arrival of Endecott's men in the area. Once they got there, they did not know why; this feeble response served to encourage the Indians, attacks increased on the settlers in the Connecticut Valley. In the following year, Massachusetts again put a force on the field in collaboration with Plymouth and Connecticut. By the time that Plymouth had gotten their force packed and ready to march, the campaign had ended. Massachusetts Bay sent 150 militiamen, Plymouth sent 50, Connecticut sent 90. In May 1643, a joint council was formed, they published the articles of the New England confederation. The real power of the confederation was that all four of the colonies promised to contribute soldiers to an alert force that would fight anywhere in the colonies. On September 7, 1643 the towns were given more tactical control. A new rule allowed any general to call up his militia at any time. On August 12, 1645, 30% of all militia were made into short-notice groups.
Command and control were decentralized to the extent that individual company commanders could put their troops into a defensive battle if necessary. A portion of the militia was well trained and well equipped, set aside as a ready force. In May 1653, the Council of Massachusetts said that an eighth of the militia should be ready to march within one day to anywhere in the colony. Eighty militiamen marched on the Narragansett tribe in Massachusetts. Since the colonies were expanding, t