without subjecting his discretion, in any shape, to the control of the Legislature.
If he came afterwards to peruse the plan itself, he would be surprised to discover, that neither the one nor the other was the case; that the whole power of raising armies was lodged in the Legislature, not in the Executive; that this Legislature was to be a popular body, consisting of the representatives of the People periodically elected; and that instead of the provision he had supposed in favor of standing armies, there was to be found, in respect to this object, an important qualification even of the legislative discretion, in that clause which forbids the appropriation of money for the support of an army for any longer period than two years: a precaution which, upon a nearer view of it, will appear to be a great and real security against the keeping up of troops without evident necessity.
Disappointed in his first surmise, the person I have supposed would be apt to pursue his conjectures a little further. He would naturally say to himself, it is impossible that all this vehement and pathetic declamation can be without some colorable pretext. It must needs be that this people, so jealous of their liberties, have, in all the preceding models of the Constitutions which they have established, inserted the most precise and rigid precautions on this point, the omission of which, in the new plan, has given birth to all this apprehension and clamor.
If, under this impression, he proceeded to pass in review the several State Constitutions, how great would be his disappointment to find that two only of them
- This statement of the matter is taken from the printed collections of State Constitutions. Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the two which contain the interdiction in these words: "As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up." This is, in truth, rather a caution than a prohibition. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Maryland have, in each of their Bills of Rights, a clause to this effect: "Standing ar-