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Effects of Congress’ Fearful of a Standing Army on Washington and the Army


The Congress feared the established of a standing army since it felt that it was a common act by the military officers to use the same forces and the power they used to defeat external enemies on enslaving the people they purported to protect. It was a normal practice that after the army won on the battlefield, tyrants would use the same powers to impose their will to the citizens (Patterson, 1998). Therefore, the Congress could not allow the liberty they were seeking for Americans to be usurped. The move against a standing army made General Washington and his soldiers callously experience cruel hardships.

General Washington constantly appealed to the Congress for more equipment and money but in vain. Washington was forced to strategically think about how they would win the war. He was forced to use the available militia from the various colonies and the Continental army, leading to a case of a dual army (Millett, Maslowski, & Feis, 2012). Before the establishment of the Continental Army, Washington encountered several challenges managing the militia since they were barely trained, lazy, showed scanty respect for their commanders, and were woefully equipped. The presence of the Continental Army, however, assisted in the fight since they received special training, which enabled them to take fields on short notice. By establishing a national army, the effects were the democratization and the nationalization of the military services (Millett, Maslowski, & Feis, 2012). The military sovereign shifted from a few sovereign to the citizens and their chosen representatives. As a wise man and a trained and experienced leader, Washington’s were able to deal with the Congress effectively by asking for their assistance in supporting his army. The move bore fruit when the Congress finally realized that a national army that would reside in the field and sent to the battlefields beyond the boundaries of the colonies was necessary.

Defeat of the British by the American Colonies and the Contribution of George Washington

One thing that was in the hearts and minds of colonists was the need for liberation from slavery, not just for them but also for the generations to come. Despite the lack of adequate financial resources, well-trained soldiers, and naval ships, the colonists remained determined and confident that they would defeat the British and sought for God’s intervention (Millett, Maslowski, & Feis, 2012). Compared to the British, who had the best army in the world, the colonies used militias that England underestimated.

George Washington was very instrumental in ensuring that the American colonies won the war. He could constantly remind them that if they failed to remain determined to win, then, they and their posterity were doomed to remain in slavery forever (Millett, Maslowski, & Feis, 2012). The colonies provided the militias, which later were formed into the Continental Army by the Congress, which Washington marshaled into several divisions (Kladky, 2015). Washington knew that he needed a trained army to fight the British and, therefore, ensured that they were specially trained. Washington used the guerilla tactics in fighting the British Army. He advised his militias to strike quickly while hiding and later disappear into the forests. Kladky (2015) notes that Washington had a close coordination with state militias and governors. He also had a cooperative association with the Congress and well informed in the supplies and logistics, which led to the victory of his team.

Besides the presence of well-organized militias and army, the sheer geographical size of all colonies inhibited the capacity of the British army to occupy the countryside. Their absence in the countryside made it Difficult for the British to protect their loyalists from the uprising patriots. The England had cumbersome administrative machinery that lacked coordination among departments. Also, it experienced difficulties in communications over the North America and across the Atlantic routes hindering every military operation. Also, Millett, Maslowski and Feis (2012), the British also lost their war against the American colonies since they lacked support back at home since people had doubt on its wisdom and justices.