Basically I have become less of a bigot towards England and instead have became empathetic. We are going down the same path and if we just look far enough back you can see America’s roots. Cant say im a big fan much after about 1750 though but before that the culture was pretty amazing.
Trained bands or “Trayned bands” were athing in the later Tuder era/Elizabethan era of England and they operated similar to America’s militias. Germanys(HRE) militias of the free cities were very similar too although they seemed to like fighting more than England. Citizens volunteered to do gaurd duty and were assigned parts of the wall to gaurd. They also acted as emergency services such as firefighting, ironically enough polearms were the assualt rifles of the day but were also a firefighters main tool, with no water they had to rely on busting down and smothering the fires. Anyhow trained patriotic militias were in America’s blood before we were a country and citizens served thier communies proudly.
Then theres the English bill of rights that while much different still obviously influenced Americas founders. This book while academic also gives off a somewhat lefty vibe at times but the info is invaluable if you approach it with an understanding of the context and awareness to the authors personal bias.
Gun Culture in Early Modern England
This guy did a good write up on the book, much better than I could have.
"Gun violence, gun control, toy guns and all that goes back centuries. A fascinating history.
This is an academic study, so it may not be to all readers’ tastes. It is excellently written. The obvious question is, does this book have any interest for Americans and the contentious issues of gun rights. The author covers the English 1689 Bill of Rights, which has an article allowing subjects to own guns. However, it was for Protestants and subject to considerable regulation such as a property requirement. So yes, Englishmen and women had the right to own guns, and yes, it was subject to government regulation. So the author concludes the article in the 1689 document does not have a relationship to the American Constitutional document. I’m not sure she makes her point fully.
The book has lots of fascinating history, including incidents of guns used in murder (the first English murder by gun was apparently in 1537), suicide, loss of life by gun accident and in 1620 a shooter shot at passersby from a window–my point in mentioning these is that gun violence is not just modern. The was concern over a small, concealable weapon called a “dag.” The famous/ infamous Henry VIII collected guns, owning 113 harquebuses, 29 halves (a lighter gun), 44 handguns and 4 dags. Guns could be objects of art and were considered excellent presents.
More odds and ends. A law in 1514 restricted “handgonnes” to persons–male persons–having a yearly income of 300 marks (substantial income). There were women in the gun makers guild, mostly widows of male members–and some women trained male assistants, something that indicates women’s roles were rather more flexible than often thought.
The book has chapters on guns as fashion, women and guns, gun makers, the Ordnance Office, and most interesting to me, “Child’s Play,” a section of toy guns."
English bill of rights 1689