X hits on this document

1119 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

75 / 367

  • -

    47 -

cern with the thrust of violence in American life. Here again the roots surely lie in the colonial framework, perhaps less with organized violence called military history, and more with the rugged individualism, Pennsylvania rifle/Paxton boys, vigilantism, etc. As early as the 1630s and 1670s, Virginia governors John Harvey and William Berkeley fretted about the reliability of the militia (after all, simply mobilized citizenry) formed of unhappy peasantry. 11 An armed peasantry - organized or disorganized - was always a dangerous element in a society lack- ing a regular army, a police force, or even a palace guard. The ability to combine piety with a righteous attitude toward genocide continues to defy comprehension when it comes to the New England Puritan. So there is much for historians to think about concerning military institutions and the social pathology of the colo- nial period. 12

Martial Impact upon Economics, Localities, and Ideologies

The relationship between defense costs and imperial decline has been known to historians for sometime. But surely there are better ways to view the impact upon economics, localities, and ideologies. The pump priming of military fiscal infusion must be translated into impact upon specific communities. Were these cause for windfall profiteering which in turn spawned a commercial gen- try? Aside from the wartime escalation of normal colonial trade there were peri- odic military expeditions which required provisioning, clothing, etc. Was ord- nance and other manufactured war materiel always imported from the mother country? 13

The towns of Savannah, Darien, and Augusta stand as monuments to the military era of Georgia history. Spanish and French military communities like St. Augustine in Florida and St. Frederic on Lake Champlain, as well as English colonial towns of Winchester, Carlisle, and Albany trace their origins and early existence to the needs of colonial conflict. My suspicion is that this domain needs to be extracted from the hands of local and state antiquarians. So-called military historians of the colonial era need to investigate the local records, court ledgers, and tax lists -- not just for conventional militia-related institutional as- pects of the colonial military, but rather to capture the military dimensions of the whole colonial milieu. We must rethink roads and towns, manufactories, forges, mills, warehouses and isolated fortress-houses for military as well as civil rai- sons d'être. We must use the results of archaeologists and preservationists - even those maligned scavengers with electronic metal locators - for the three dimen- sional artifact may really tell us more than the spotty remarks of written record. Only then will we see more clearly how reputations and fortunes, and man in general developed within the matrix of civil-military relations of any colonial era or system. 14

Ideological aspects of any new synthesis are surely evident throughout this essay. It no longer suffices to merely repeat the old shibboleths about "fears of

Document info
Document views1119
Page views1119
Page last viewedSat Dec 10 02:40:44 UTC 2016
Pages367
Paragraphs3833
Words145620

Comments