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The Myth of the Citizen Soldier: Rhode Island Provincial Soldiers in the French and Indian War

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Technical Report,10 Aug 2015,10 Jun 2016

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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This thesis explores the colonial origins of the citizen-soldier through the study of the colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations during the French and Indian War. The common picture of the American citizen-soldier is that of the militiaman during the American Revolution however, the most over looked aspect to the citizen-soldier heritage is that of the provincial soldier during the French and Indian War. The Rhode Island militia served as the pool to draw provincial recruits for the campaigns from 1755 to 1760. There were three categories of militia involvement, the part-time militia focused on home front defense and civil disturbances, the full-time frontier militia raised for frontier defensive positions following the hostilities of King Phillips War, and the full-time provincial militia recruited or impressed for military campaigns creating provincial regiments. The latter category comprising of volunteers and draftees was an integral element to the volunteer tradition. The men who served in the provincial armies would receive an education in arms not only in European warfare but irregular warfare as well. Their combined experiences would develop a strong sense of what contractual obligation meant and would cement their ideals of discipline and commitment.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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