Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Megan L. Gray & Stephanie Oakley
Militias have long played a prominent role in American history. Following the American Revolution, these organizations of both men and women have evolved as the foundation or model for many of the anti-government movements in current society, such as the infamous Ku Klux Klan, tax protesters, White supremacists, border patrols, and even self-proclaimed state military groups. Militias have historically engaged in violent behavior toward both law enforcement and civilians, which has resulted in hundreds of deaths over the past 2 decades and is directly fueled by their own agenda to influence the actions of the federal government. Current militia groups in the United States are considered extremists within the right-wing movement because of their paramilitary training in arms and explosives, coupled with their strong anti-government ideology. The Anti-Defamation League estimates that there are as many as 50,000 militia members in the United States. Militia groups in American society are often ...