Standing Army

A standing army is a professional permanent army. It is composed of full-time career soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activated only during wars or natural disasters, and temporary armies, which are raised from the civilian population only during a war or threat of war and disbanded once the war or threat is over. Standing armies tend to be better equipped, better trained, and better prepared for emergencies, defensive deterrence and, particularly, wars. The term dates from approximately 1600, although the phenomenon it describes is much older.

The army of ancient Rome is considered to have been a standing army during much of the Imperial period and during some of the late republican period.

The first 'modern' standing armies in Europe were the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire, formed in the fourteenth century AD. In western Europe the first standing army was established by Charles VII of France in the year 1445. The Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus had a standing army from the 1460s called the Fekete Sereg, which was an unusually big army in its age, accomplishing a series of victories and capturing parts of Austria, Vienna (1485) and parts of Bohemia. The establishment of a standing army in Britain in 1685 by King James II and the later assumption of control over the British colonies in America by the British Army were controversial, leading to distrust of peacetime armies too much under the power of the head of state, versus civilian control of the military, resulting in tyranny.

In his influential work The Wealth of Nations (1776), economist Adam Smith comments that standing armies are a sign of modernizing society as modern warfare requires increased skill and discipline of regularly trained standing armies. Since the eighteenth century standing armies have been an integral part of the defense of the majority of more economically developed countries.

In Great Britain, and the British Colonies in America, there was a sentiment of distrust of a standing army not under civilian control. In England, this led to the Bill of Rights 1689, which reserves authority over a standing army to Parliament, not the King, and more nuanced in the United States, led to the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) which reserves by virtue of "power of the purse" similar authority to Congress, instead of to the President. The President, however, retains command of the armed forces when they are raised, as commander-in-chief.

Read more about Standing ArmyCountries With No Standing Army

Other articles related to "standing army, army":

Militia (English) - Political Issues
... Both Whigs and Tories distrusted the creation of a large standing army not under civilian control ... The latter had memories of the New Model Army and the anti-monarchical social and political revolution that it brought about ... Consequently, both preferred a small standing army under civilian control for defensive deterrence and to prosecute foreign wars, a large navy as the first ...
Court Of Arraye
... of ascertaining numbers of men capable of fighting in towns and cities before England had a standing army ... Since there was no standing army, this was a way to find out how many men could fight in a war ... After the English Civil War, when England had acquired a standing army, courts of Arraye were no longer necessary, and about the year 1680 they were abolished ...
Countries With No Standing Army
... Countries with no standing army include Costa Rica, Mauritius and Iceland. ...
Scotland In The Early Modern Era - Warfare
... was unable to withstand the English fleet that accompanied the army led by Cromwell that conquered Scotland in 1649-51 and the Scottish ships and crews were split up among the Commonwealth fleet ... The standing army was mainly employed in the suppression of Covenanter rebellions and the guerilla war undertaken by the Cameronians in the East ... On the eve of the Glorious Revolution the standing army in Scotland was about 3,000 men in various regiments and another 268 veterans in the major garrison towns ...
History Of Israeli Nationality - Rights and Obligations of Citizenship - Military - Service in The IDF
... Forces#Service Israel relays mainly on the standing army ... Israel's main army consists of conscripts, volunteers, non commissioned officers, and professional officers ... The standing army also includes Permanent service (called "Sherut Kevah" in Hebrew) which is designed for soldiers whom choose to continue serving in the army after their regular service, for a short ...

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