James Madison warned that “the means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.” Now, more than two hundred years later, Americans have seen Madison’s warning come fully to life.
The second in our newest animated video series, America: From Republic to Empire, goes straight to the reason of how this could happen: the use of standing armies.
Although a professional military is an institution Americans take for granted today, at the time of our country’s founding, it was an issue that fiercely divided Hamiltonian Federalists and their Jeffersonian opponents.
This video looks at the history of this debate, considers alternative outcomes, and shows how Shays’s Rebellion created the justification Hamilton needed to get the military he desired.
Be sure to watch “Standing Armies,” the second installment in our new foreign policy-themed animated series, America: From Republic to Empire.
This project was made possible by the generosity of Jim Kluttz.