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Word Count: 843
Who are the militia Are they not ourselves Is it feared then that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia Their swords and every other terrible implement of the soldier are the birth-right of an Americanthe unlimited power of the sword is not in the hand of either the federal or the state governments but where I trust in God it will ever remain in the hands of the People -Tench Coxe Pennsylvania Gazette Feb 20 1788 Throughout history the citizen making up militias and anti-government rebellions have all possessed similar characteristics Though separated by many decades and wars Shays Rebellion and the Whisky Rebellion of the late 18th century hold similar ties with the unarmed militias of the 1990s The background fears and influence of the rebellious anti-government citizens of the Whiskey and Shays Rebellion parallel with the recent politically far-right extremist militias All three assembled the poor yet supporting back-bone of the United States fearful of the governments potential and dramatically influenced the general public The individuals making up these militias have mostly been poor males who believe they are regarded by the majority of persons as being economically unimportant In both the Shays Rebellion and Whisky Rebellion the men compromising the opposing force were unwealthy adult male farmers from small villages In the Shays Rebellion fifty-four percent of the combatants made their living as Yeomen and less then five percent considered themselves gentlemen farmers Saztmary 127 Comparably the modern militia movement though providing for a pool of potential recruits for the militias draws most of its members from a large and growing number of US citizens alienated by a government that seems hostile to their interests This group of affected individuals are predominately politically far-right Caucasian males of the lower-middle and working class sector Stern 14 These are men that have been affected
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