Patriotism in the United States

When there are ultimate times of need, humans have a consistency to lay their lives on the line to defend the object or idea that they are most fortunate in receiving; however, humans do not show these potentials when they are forced to defend it. The citizen soldier “provides for the common defense” by defending that union “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” in the sense that the citizen soldier would be more willing to protect their rights as citizens more than any other. This is especially relevant with the successful conquer of many nations by the Romans during 216 B.C.[1], the trying times of decisions by the citizens of the United States during the construction of the Constitution, and the faulty actions of the United States’ president George W. Bush and Congress during 2002[2]. These circumstances are prevalent throughout history and abundant in their qualifying examples in government, citizen, and military through the situations stated above, starting with the prevailing Romans defeating the many inadequately matched nations.

A citizen has more to fight for in the fact that they could lose their precious rights. One August 2, 216 B.C., Hannibal marched thousands of hired professional soldiers such as Africans, Gauls, Iberians, Celtics, Numidians, and more marched into the Cannae to ward off his enemy, the Romans[3]. As the battle prevailed, the Roman’s men perished against Hannibal’s strong army, even their physique being more astute than the enemy’s. At the end, the battle claimed the lives of numerous soldiers, most of which were Roman, and it became Hannibal’s biggest success in battle.[4] The mistake of the Romans was of proper reason to fight for their nation and therefore deployed horrible battle strategy, dooming them from the beginning. Rome needed serious ramification to its young, growing army in stealth and will. Civis Romanus set that particular idea in motion. This is the idea of citizenship amongst its people that help a person’s specific responsibilities and rights. It was derived from earlier Greece and first stated that the males born into the community would build their own government solely on their beliefs. However, this notion ceased to reign over the majority of the people from confusion at who exactly would earn citizenship, and instead carried by aristocrats and executives that taught the idea to the Romans. Now, Romans improved this idea by allowing male slaves and travelers of distant lands obtain citizenship as well who could vote the winning electives in office, so that the majority’s needs are met.[5] This idea was so well thought, that Alexander Hamilton wrote The Federalist Papers, explaining that this was the precise reason the Romans prevailed and how their many leaders in executive power was their downfall.[6] Each person has rights as a citizen and can only be diminished by infringing acts of war caused by other nations. Not wanting to surrender their newly given rights, the citizens of Rome fought mercilessly in unison with their fellow citizen-neighbors, protecting their newly given freedoms, and fought for protection specified by their the government under law. This creates a union. The soldiers do compare in the way that they are fierce and willing to die in battle, but only to an extent. These soldiers contrast drastically from Hannibal’s hired army for the simple reason that they have more to fight for: citizenship. The Africans, Carthaginians, Spaniards, etc… happened to not stand a chance against the citizen soldier from the reason that simple experience and hefty pay could only get them so far. To protect themselves and their newly found rights as citizens, they needed to indulge themselves in the latest military strategies, create one, complete union as a whole, and Hannibal soon found them as “citizens… history’s deadliest killers.”[7] And by this, they defend that union they worked so hard to build, which is also seen in many other countries that share a similar government, one being the United States.

Painting of Romans

George W. Bush attempted to provide for the common defense by creating a war upon the country of Iraq without compromising with Congress.[8] By defying Article I, Section 8 of the constitution in not requesting congress to declare war, which is their right, not the president’s[9], he made the blunder without discussing with his fellow government officials in Congress. Conferencing with Congress would have faltered the decisions of the rash president by either the uproar in congress and/or the uproar in the people of the United State disagreeing against them. In these actions, he manufactured his own war in a country that was not necessary to declare war on. The country rumored to have weapons of mass destruction and out of fear of the citizens’ rights to be inflicted upon, many soldiers signed up for the military to defend their beloved country. The fear of a loss in safety and rights as citizens, in which war often causes, constructs a force of patriotism throughout the majority of the country’s people. This created a war with a foreign country that was in no means wanting to go to war with theirs that lasted nine years and happened to contain no arms.[10] Therefore, the citizens who were soldiers had no specific reason to fight in the foreign country and no real threats inflicted upon their rights as citizens. The people living in the United States lost the ambiguity and patriotism of their country and the enrollments in army deteriorated over the years from the lack of it.[11] Citizens can only have patriotism when their nation is in real danger due to the reasons mentioned earlier from the Romans. Also, this compares to how reinstating the draft in the United States would not be an adequate solution for fighting in Iraq. Conscripted armies are not a solution to fighting wars. Not every citizen must have a need to travel to a distant nation to serve their country and many in the United States do not have the physical capabilities in accomplishing so.[12] A draft would only lower the patriotism in the nation preventing the people from performing their proper duties as an American citizen in which that could very much not pertain to defending their nation. By forcing them to fight, a lack of patriotism could defectively affect themselves and other citizens as well. And as stated above, there is not true reason for it from the faulty decisions made with a country that was not meant to go to war with.

US soldiers carefully folding and preserving their flag.

The citizen soldier “provides for the common defense” by defending that union “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” in the sense that the citizen soldier would be more willing to protect their rights as citizens more than any other. The Romans defended their nation “more than any other” because they obtained the idea of a new government not depending on races or groups.[13] Instead of a solid reward pertaining good money and/or food, the Romans had a chance to fight for more of a new, abstract concept: diplomacy, and defend that newfound nation or union. Also, the United States’ president unconstitutionally declared war on Iraq without discussing with congress[14], first raising patriotism from soldiers enlisting to serve their beloved homeland, but ultimately lowering patriotism in the United States. At first, the citizens defends a union from patriotism, but in turn, discovers they are fighting for nothing and lower patriotism, therefore not defending that union. In conclusion, the citizen soldier is the ultimate source that defends their union; hence, these facts being true about the loss of patriotism in the United States, it is the answer to the United States’ downfall of power in the recent present.


[1] Victor Davis. Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 131.

[2] Mara Rudman and Denis McDonough, “Congressional War Powers: Too Many Options to Forget,” Center for American Progress, March 7, 2007, accessed February 17, 2012, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/03/war_powers_options.html.

[3] Victor Davis. Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 99.

[4] Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, 100.

[5] Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, 113-115.

[6] Hamilton, Alexander. “Federalist 70.” In Federalist Paper’s. Vol. 70. New York, 1787.

[7] Victor Davis. Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 131.

[8] Mara Rudman and Denis McDonough, “Congressional War Powers: Too Many Options to Forget,” Center for American Progress, March 7, 2007, accessed February 17, 2012, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/03/war_powers_options.html.

[9] “Framers” “Article Two of the United States Constitution,” in The United State Constitution (Philadelphia: Conventions of the 11 States, 1787), 2.

[10] Mara Rudman and Denis McDonough, “Congressional War Powers: Too Many Options to Forget,” Center for American Progress, March 7, 2007, accessed February 17, 2012, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/03/war_powers_options.html.

[11] Oi, Walter Y. “The United States Should Not Reinstate the Draft“: Armed Forces. Louise I. Gerdes, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints Series. Greenhaven Press, 2010 Walter Y. Oi, “Should We Bring Back the Draft? Is the All-Volunteer Force a ‘Mercenary Army?'” Regulation, vol. 30, Fall 2007, pp. 8-12.

[12] Oi,”The United States Should Not Reinstate the Draft“: Armed Forces. vol. 30

[13] Victor Davis. Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 122.

[14] Mara Rudman and Denis McDonough, “Congressional War Powers: Too Many Options to Forget,” Center for American Progress, March 7, 2007, accessed February 17, 2012,

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