|Prayer at Valley Forge|
When the Revolutionary War ended and the Americans were making their new Constitution, they were very aware of the need for self-defense.
They still needed protection from Indians and they wanted to be able to defend themselves from any external enemies that might arise.
They were also very aware that the new government they were creating could turn corrupt and they wanted to defend themselves from it if necessary.
After all, Thomas Jefferson had written in the Declaration of Independence that if a government failed to protect its citizens and instead became the enemy, the citizens had the right to overthrow it!
So one reason the citizens wanted to be armed was not just for defense against external enemies.
They wanted protection from their own government!
Noah Webster believed that having an armed public would prevent the government from becoming corrupted because the people would have more power than the government itself.
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States."
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