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The French and Indian War introduced the English to an unaccustomed kind of warfare.The French and their Indian guerrillas did not restrict their full-scale war to pitched battles, but also utilized the ambush and hit-and-run techniques, which have become the hallmark of modern guerrilla warfare.
An armed and active citizenry was an English institution because the maintenance of order was everyone's business.
However, in America "the requirements for self-defense and food-gathering had put firearms in the hands of nearly everyone." The feeling was that "[I]f the government be equitable; if it be reasonable in its exactions; if proper attention be paid to the education of children in knowledge, and religion, few men will be disposed to use arms, unless for their amusement, and for the defence of themselves and their country." The necessity of self-defense against criminal attacks was also a reason for keeping and bearing arms.
As early as 1697 there were complaints that Philadelphia was becoming invested with "pirates and rogues," and in that year, William Penn felt strongly enough to write that "there is no place more overrun with wickedness than Philadelphia." The following excerpt from a letter written from Falmouth, Virginia, on July 29, 1764, by William Allason, a merchant, to Messrs.
They were not persuaded of the advantages of limited warfare waged only during clear weather in open field, nor were they accustomed to pitched battles and the trumpet-heralded attack.
The Indians struck without warning and were a nightly terror in the remote silence of backwoods cabins. Moreover, the threat from such Indian warfare did not disappear until ten years-after the defeat of Custer's force in 1876 on the Little Bighorn River in Montana. Thus, the Framers were certainly concerned with the threat posed to national security by Native Americans. Parts of the English colonies suffered intermittent threats of invasion by the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish.