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Definition: militia from Collins English Dictionary

n

1 a body of citizen (as opposed to professional) soldiers

2 an organization containing men enlisted for service in emergency only

[C16: from Latin: soldiery, from mīles soldier]


Summary Article: militia
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Body of civilian soldiers, usually with some military training, who are on call in emergencies, distinct from professional soldiers. In Switzerland, the militia is the national defence force, and every able-bodied man is liable for service in it. In the UK the Territorial Army and in the USA the National Guard have supplanted earlier voluntary militias.

.BTXT:

In England in the 9th century King Alfred established the first militia, or fyrd, in which every freeman was liable to serve. After the Norman Conquest a feudal levy was established in which landowners were responsible for raising the men required. This in turn led to the increasing use of the general levy by English kings to combat the growing power of the barons. In the 16th century, under such threats as the Spanish Armada, plans for internal defence relied increasingly on the militia, or what came to be called ‘trained bands’, of the general levy.

After the Restoration, the British militia fell into neglect, but it was reorganized in 1757, and was relied upon for home defence during the French wars. In the 19th century it extended its activities, serving in the Peninsular, Crimean, and South African wars. In 1852 it adopted a volunteer status, and in 1908 it was merged with the Territorial Army and the Special Reserve forces, to supplement the regular army, and ceased to exist as a separate force.

The US National Guard are trained and armed for deployment abroad as well as for disaster relief at home. In addition, many states also have paramilitary unpaid volunteer forces, generally known as state defence forces.

.UTXT:

After the Restoration, the British militia fell into neglect, but it was reorganized in 1757, and was relied upon for home defence during the French wars. In the 19th century it extended its activities, serving in the Peninsular, Crimean, and South African wars. In 1852 it adopted a volunteer status, and in 1908 it was merged with the Territorial Army and the Special Reserve forces, to supplement the regular army, and ceased to exist as a separate force.

The US National Guard is trained and armed for deployment abroad as well as for disaster relief at home. In addition, many states also have paramilitary unpaid volunteer forces, generally known as state defence forces.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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