Following the Revolutionary War, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton favored the creation of a standing army. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others did not. Historian William Hogeland joins us to talk about how Washington and Hamilton won out to create the Legion of the United States, the topic of his book, “Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He’s in town to speak tonight and Thursday to the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.
William Hogeland on …
… how leaders were split on whether the U.S. should have a standing army:
“There was this one point of view, which was the Revolution was won by citizen soldiers arming themselves and working to defend their own land … Washington believed the American militia had come close to losing the Revolution, and he wanted to see a peacetime establishment as he called it. He was pushing for that during and after the Revolution. As early as the 1780s he was pushing for it. You get this basic conflict in the founding generation over what kind of military force a free people and a republic should have.”