After the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995 Americans were shocked to learn that homegrown extremists - not Middle Eastern or Muslim terrorists - had blown up the Alfred Murrah Federal Building. Prior to Oklahoma City, most of us believed that terrorism rarely, if ever, originated in the United States.Within the next few years, however, numerous studies and media reports appeared uncovering the shadowy world of American militias, a loose alliance of groups with widely divergent views. Whatever their disagreements, they nevertheless shared a common interest in guns and martial training. Not surprisingly, it was the most extreme among them who attracted the lion's share of attention.Equally disturbing and largely overlooked amid the growing publicity was a shared belief among the various militia factions that civilians had a right - even a duty - to take up arms against what they saw as the wanton exercise of unconstitutional power by the federal government. In the years following the government's actions at Ruby Ridge, in 1992, and the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993, it was this concept, Robert Churchill argues, that played the greatest role in the growth of the American militia movement.Churchill uses three case studies to identify the origins of the militia movement: Fries' Rebellion in Pennsylvania at the end of the eighteenth century, the Sons of Liberty Conspiracy in Civil War-era Indiana and Illinois, and the Black Legion in Michigan and Ohio during the Depression. Building on extensive interviews with militia members, the author places the contemporary militia movement in the context of earlier insurrectionary movements that, clinging to a libertarian interpretation of the American Revolution, used force to resist the authority of the Federal Government.
Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 33 mm