U.S. National Guard (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
In the United States, federally supported militia. After the American Civil War (1861-1865), many state-supported military organizations developed throughout the United States. Composed of those who could supply their own arms and uniforms, they largely served a social purpose. By the 1870’s and 1880’s, these militia units—which came to be called the National Guard—were being called upon by state governments to break strikes. The National Guard, having been granted in the same period federal funds for acquiring weapons, soon became the United States’ only trained reserve force. Although other reserve forces were created in the twentieth century, the National Guardsmen maintained an important role, sometimes serving as relief, police, and work forces during state- or nation-wide emergencies, and, at other times, being called into military service by the general government. Indeed, the National Guard played an important combat role during World War I (1914- 1918) and World War II (1939-1945).
(The entire section is 151 words.)
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