In the widest sense, the whole military force of a nation, including both those engaged in military service as a business, and those competent and available for such service; specifically, the body of citizens enrolled for military instruction and discipline, but not subject to be called into actual service except in emergencies.
What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. Elbridge Gerry
If the guy out in the woods with the Michigan Militia is a real estate negotiator, instead of some crackpot, and has a normal life, that's unnerving. You don't want to think it's as normal as the guy next door, hedging his lawn. It's easier to demonize or separate them off from 'us.' Michael Moore
By the last returns to the Department of War the militia force of the several States may be estimated at 800,000 men - infantry, artillery, and cavalry. James Monroe
I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. George Mason
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. Thomas Jefferson