19th-Century Americans Didn’t “Support the Troops”

Were an American from the mid-nineteenth century to time-travel to modern America, he’d be truly amazed to find that Americans are often expected to thank soldiers “for your service” and to act as if the military was doing the taxpayer a favor.

The lionizing of government employees in uniform has become standard fare in the post-9-11 world, with special discounts for members of the military, early boarding on airplanes, and free meals at restaurants.

It’s quite a contrast from the attitude of Americans during the first century of the republic, however.

Of this, the examples are numerous.

For example, in his memoirs, Ulysses S. Grant recounts how he trotted out into the streets of Cincinnati after first receiving his uniform as an officer. According to Grant:

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Why the Founding Fathers Feared a Standing Army – As long as the army stands, peace is unlikely to be achieved or long-lasting.

MFP Commentary:
And the dumbed down government school educated idiots that we call Americans, now are demanding & worshipping, a standing army, while eschewing the only legitimate military in this country.  We the people: the milita.
If people do not wake up soon, I fear the end of this country….

What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. …Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.

–Elbridge Gerry,  Fifth Vice President of the United States

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