Arms of the republic: Republicanism and militia reforms during the US constitutional convention and the first federal congress 1787-91

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Paying particular attention to the American Constitutional Convention and First Congress, we investigate the role of republicanism in the discussions of the role of state militias in the new republic. Noting the role of militias within the broader political tradition of republicanism over the centuries, we explicate how this tradition was complicated by the conditions of state-national relations within America, and the means used by major figures at the American founding to resolve the tensions between a strong and efficient national military while also respecting the demands of states for militias within the new federal system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-330
Number of pages21
JournalHistory of Political Thought
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Alexander hamilton
  • American founding
  • American revolution
  • Constitutional convention
  • First congress
  • George washington
  • James madison
  • Militia
  • Militia reform
  • Republicanism
  • Standing army

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science

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