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It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency,

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Source Notes: Source: GEORGE WASHINGTON, Sentiments on a Peace Establishment, enclosed in a letter to Alexander Hamilton, chairman of the Committee of Congress on the Peace Establishment, May 2, 1783.The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 26, p. 389 .

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George Washington was commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States (1789-97).

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