Brutus Arguments on Standing Armies


According to the American history, Brutus was one of the Anti- Federalists who had been forgotten (Ball 48).Most of the Anti- Federalists’ writings were forgotten for the reason that the Federalists had purely prevailed in the whole country. Their continued opposition to the existing constitution by then led to the establishment of the Bill of Rights. Brutus was used to name sixteen essays that had been written down with views opposing to the constitution that in reality replaced the Confederation Articles. It will be realized that Brutus bases his arguments on the evils of the standing armies. Throughout his essays he tries to explain how maintenance and establishment of a standing army destroys liberty and raises fear within the people and should actually be upheld as a plague to a country and not a benefit. This makes the Brutus argument to be stronger than that of Publius who on the hand claimed that the standing army should even prevail for more than two years.

Brutus in his first essay draws focus on the standing armies when he talks about the dangers that accrue from a fused central government to the outsized territorial republic. In this discussion it can be seen that the federal legislative has been vested the power to maintain and raise armies during times of war and in maintaining peace. It will be realized that the idea of the federal government to control the militia does not only lead to unification of the government but also results to destruction of liberty to the people. It is very clear that in Europe monarchies and in dictatorial type of governments, the standing armies are usually meant to execute the magistrates or as when the prince commands when necessary. But in turn they have automatically proved to be distasteful to the free republic’s spirit and further destroy their liberty. England relies on parliament more especially during the annual reports and the standing armies are claimed to be unconstitutional and oppressive and are rarely used in execution of laws unless the civil magistrate directs so and only on extraordinary occasions. 


Studies reveal that a free republic in all times will not keep a standing army for the purpose of executing laws it instead relies on the citizen’s support. In respect to this the government is thus designed to capture the affection, respect and confidence of the people. The civil magistrate instead calls men to execute the laws in fear of the standing army or being inclined to execute for affection towards the government. This is meant for the purpose of protecting the liberty of the people because the standing army is feared to ruthlessly punish the offenders.

In the eighth essay it is seen that Brutus clearly raises the issue of the standing army as he discusses how the new government has vested the authority to support and raise the militia. Through his discussion it results to the question of whether the standing armies during the time of maintaining peace they destroy liberty and act as a bane or they are beneficial to the country. Brutus in his speech that was conveyed to the British parliament says that was against the standing army. He argued that the standing army is actually a body of men who are very distinct from the body of the common people. They are people who are governed by various laws and are generally blind to obedience. They enslave the public because they are only geared at seeing that there is full submission to the set orders which in turn make the people lose their liberty (Hart, p.51).

Brutus in his speech clearly demonstrates his opinion on the gentlemen who are in the standing army. The army is provided with the best tools of power but he proceeds to show how men develop their passions due to these powers. He argues that it is dangerous to trust men who have a lot of power. He says that there is no army that can serve the country in a faithful way and in relation to this he gives an example of Julio Caesar’s army. He argues that this was an army that comprised of the best citizens in Rome were the men were considered to be of great figure and fortune but it was later realized that the army envisaged the country thereby destroying their liberty.

Brutus in his ninth essay identifies that the new constitution is faulty because it does not include the bill of rights (Frost and Jeffrey, 2003 p.225). He argues that those who framed the proposed constitution were geared at ensuring that the government was prohibited from excising powers that generally captured the bill of rights. This can be applied to the standing armies especially in times when maintaining peace and show how they destroy the liberty and happiness of the people. This arises because the power generally restricts the people from their rights to secure them from any dangers that may accrue in the process of execution.

Brutus reveals that the power that is vested on the constitution is much similar to that of the Congress in the current confederation. He argues that he does not embark on to enquire if the Congress is or not given power to maintain and support the standing army during time of peace. He further says that it should be admitted that the congress exercises the power in a way that is dissimilar to the proposed government. The congress if it is to raise the troops it must do so under the influence of the legislatures of the state. In general the fact that the new constitution ignores the bill of rights clearly depicts that the liberty of the people is not obeyed. The standing army is only aimed at administering power regardless of whether it causes harm to the people or not.

In the tenth essay Brutus in his discussion clearly shows the evils that are associated with the standing army. He shows how the standing army sabotages the government by administering an authority that automatically is dangerous to the liberty of the people.In this essay, Brutus supports his argument by using two historical examples of Britain and Rome. He says that the standing army through its leader Julio Caesar ended up overturning the constitution and destroyed the liberties of the commonwealth since it was altered from a free republic. This change was as a result of the standing army which at the end resulted to various evils. It led to carnage, unpleasant cruelties and bloodshed. These were devilish and perverted vices that in reality chastised the nature of the human beings. In Britain the same army through the authoritarianism and impingements of the tyrant king led the destruction of the liberty of the people. This clearly demonstrates the evils that arise from keeping a standing army which as a result Brutus fights to end its existence.


It is good to note that if people lack confidence in their legislature, suspects the government’s go-getting views and are envious on the actions that are adopted by the regime in power, usually they do not support their laws. This in turn makes the government be inefficient and considered to be nerveless and in any case it establishes a standing army to execute the laws it will render a lot of fear to be public as their liberty will begin to deteriorate. Thus keeping an army would by a large margin would be dangerous to the happiness and liberty of the society. The dreadful evils that accrue from a standing army more especially in times of maintain peace do not exclusively occur as a result of anxiety that is employed by many rulers in the view of endorsing their own go-getting views but also a result of upending the powers of the constitution. Standing armies are therefore more dangerous to the liberty of people in time of peace and in most cases they a causal root for upending the very best government constitutions. Therefore the legislature should keep no standing army. It is very true to say that Brutus statements are applicable in the interventionism foreign policies currently in the U.S.

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