Civil Supremacy Over The Military

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Civil supremacy over the military has been uniquely Anglo-American premise since the Revolutionary War. Prior to 1776, a “rage militare” or “passion of arms” swept the American colony; colonists found a new vogue for all things military and it created an environment that could have supported a military dictatorship. George Washington, as congressionally appointed head of the Continental Army could have accepted or sought after dictatorial powers, but he did not due to his beliefs. George Washington did not become a military dictator because of his strongly held belief in the supremacy of civil control over the military, which was formulated through mistakes made as young military officer, his experiences as a legislator in the Virginia House of Bourgeois and Continental Congress, and was reinforced as he served as the Commander and Chief of the Continental Army. A major influence on George Washington’s beliefs was when he was a young military officer serving as the Commander of the Virginia Regiment. Not necessarily a positive life experience initially, this experience taught him the role of the military as it interacts with its civil authority. His most important learning experience during this period was through his mistakes of trying to maneuver through the political environment of civilian government and involving himself in a political scene that, although the ends where sound, the means where not for a military officer. Washington was charged, after the
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