The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 62
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
eighteen to forty-five in the militia-taxing them to furnish their
own muskets, bayonets, belts, spare flints, knapsacks, and car-
tridges,2 but which did not affect the right of the states to decide
what kinds of forces they would create and what tables of organ-
ization they would follow. If the colonists had never been ordered
into federal service, they had been close enough to the frontier
settlements to know the basic principle of the militia, the obli-
gation of the men in this instance to protect their communities
against the Indians. Impatient of governments, they were quick
to gather, with or without official call, when they felt that they
were needed, but they were just as quick to return to their own
tasks when they felt that they were either not needed or not well
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of Mexican
laws and military traditions on the militia created by the colonists
as they settled in their new homes and as the years passed until
open revolt became inevitable.
Under the Spanish monarchy the militia, like all things, was
controlled in every detail by, or at least in the name of, the king.
When militia units were formed, their function was almost solely
that of maintaining local order; consequently there was no need
for them to be either large or well organized. In the early nine-
teenth century, however, a new element was introduced into the
Spanish militia system as a consequence of the spread of demo-
cratic reforms and the concurrent trend toward citizen armies.
The community which all men were obligated to protect grew
from the individual's home area to include that abstract entity,
the constitutional system." Associated with the expanded respon-
sibility was a new term which soon made its way to Mexico. Title
8 of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 ordered the creation of a
national militia for the preservation of internal order. It limited
the militia to use in its home province and added that even the
king himself could not employ it beyond the province unless
granted permission by the Congress.4
2William H. Riker, Soldiers of the States: the Role of the National Guard in
American Democracy (Washington, 1957), 19.
sDiccionario de la Lengua Espanol (Madrid, 1956), 877.
4Enciclopedia Universal Europeno-Americana (Barcelona, n.d.), XXXV, 250.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/82/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.