The Government Class Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 386 pages of information about The Government Class Book.

Sec.8.  There is also in some states a commissary-general, who has the care of the arsenals and magazines, and the articles deposited in them.  An arsenal is a building in which are kept cannon, muskets, powder, balls, and other warlike stores; all of which are to be kept in repair and ready for use.

Sec.9.  There are persons who, believing all wars to be wrong, can not conscientiously do military service.  As it is the object of our government to secure to every person the liberty of conscience as well as other rights, the constitutions of many of the states provide, that those who are averse to bearing arms, may be excused by paying annually a sum of money instead of rendering the service.  But it may well be doubted whether compelling a man to pay the money is not itself a violation of the right of conscience.  Many persons conceive it to be no less morally wrong to commute for the service than to perform it.  In some states, all persons belonging to the society of Friends, usually called Quakers, are exempt without the payment of an equivalent in money.

Sec.10.  In the states of New York and Ohio, the rank and file of the militia are not required to train in time of peace.  Persons liable to perform military service, except those connected with the uniformed companies, are enrolled in the militia; but instead of doing duty, they pay annually a small tax, which is in New York fifty cents, and in Ohio fifty cents, or a day’s highway labor.

Sec.11.  Laws abolishing trainings and musters of the great body of the militia, are, it is believed, growing into favor, and for these among other reasons:  First, the militia system produces no material improvement in discipline; secondly, the expenditure of time and money in these useless exercises, and for arms and equipments, are burdensome to many citizens; and thirdly, there is no probability of an occasion requiring a large portion of the militia to be so suddenly called into service as to allow no time for preparation.  Volunteer companies like those kept up and disciplined in the states above named, and the standing army of the nation, are deemed sufficient for any supposable emergency.

Sec.12.  Happily the practice of settling disputes between nations by war, is becoming less popular in civilized and Christian communities.  War is a dreadful evil, and ought to be discouraged, and, if possible, avoided.  Were governments so disposed, they might in most cases settle their differences as individuals do, by submitting them to the judgment of a third party.  If the love of military honor were less encouraged, and the principles of peace duly inculcated, the time would be hastened when “nations shall learn war no more.”

Government of the United States.

Chapter XXVI.

Causes of the Revolution.

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The Government Class Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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