Standing Armies

In order to move on from a controversial post, inspired by a political frustration – allow me to post on a new topic – one that is also controversial (I am who I am, okay?).

Last night, I found myself up until about 2:00am reading some of the Federalist Papers. I was struck by a comment made by Hamilton in one of the essays:

“Standing armies, it is said, are not provided against in the new Constitution; and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it. Their existence, however, from the very terms of the proposition is, at most, problematical and uncertain. But standing armies, it may be replied, must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy” (Federalist No. 8). 

I was reminded of past discussions and readings that I have had regarding the existence of standing armies – and how, according to some, standing armies are unconstitutional. However, I find it amusing now to think of such a statement being made, in view of Hamilton’s testimony here — here he advocates for the ADOPTION of the new Constitution, already acknowledging the Constitutionality of standing armies.

However, I can’t help but wonder what you, the reader, might have to say about the necessity of standing armies. I am aware that some libertarian leaning individuals believe standing armies to be a potential threat, as some of the Founding Fathers  felt.  What do you think about the current size of the United States military? Post in the comments below, if you are so inclined.

I tend to personally favor the existence of standing armies in today’s world, though I do see the threatening nature of them, if one has little trust in the Federal government. I think it is rather irresponsible to ignore the potential threats from the other world superpowers – China and Russian, not the mention many Middle Eastern nations. In light of current technology and global trade and interaction, I feel that it would be rather foolish NOT to have standing armies.

I would love to hear your opinion on the matter, though.

~A Renegade for Christ


About Renegade4Christ

I am a strong supporter of limited government and the voice of the people in government. I am also a believer in Christ Jesus as the way, truth, and life, and I know that you can experience his love as well, if you are willing to place your trust in Him!
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4 Responses to Standing Armies

  1. Samuel Friedrich says:

    Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Congress is not allowed to appropriate funds for military spending for anymore than two years at a time.

    • Renegade4Christ says:

      Excellent response. I was expecting this response. Let’s just use the exact wording, though yours is almost identical, I just like to use direct quotes so that we’re all on the same page:

      “The Congress shall have Power…To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;”

      Now, while this is definitely an interesting section, I don’t really see anything that argues against standing armies — just poorly handled standing armies. the wording implies only that the funding be justified every two years, if I am correct. Otherwise, why would Alexander Hamilton — the primary author of the Federalist Papers and an avid supporter of the Constitution on its ratification — state, “Standing armies, it is said, are not provided against in the new Constitution; and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it.” ?

  2. Samuel Friedrich says:

    Though clause 15 and 16 tend to make me think that the intention of the Constitution was otherwise.

    However, even if this were not the case, I would still hold to the anti-federalist view that standing armies are a constant threat to the freedom of the people. (

    • Renegade4Christ says:

      I can definitely see the potential for a them being a threat, and I agree that the founders viewed them in this manner as well. But I think they understood that they would most likely exist, nonetheless, based on Hamilton’s statement. I think that in today’s world, it is inevitable for their to be standing armies, whether ideal or not. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need them, to be sure. 🙂

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