Well, now that I am no longer acting as a head coach for the wrestling program where I teach, I can finally get back to the thesis grind. I submitted chapter 1 of my thesis today. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the introduction below. Enjoy.
The same month that news of the Treaty of Ghent officially ended the war, debates broke out in Congress concerning the future of the army. The most important aspect under discussion was the size of the regular army. Advocates of a larger peacetime standing army contested the old Jeffersonian arguments that remained fearful of standing armies during peacetime. Before the War of 1812, much of the country remained suspicious of large standing armies. Additionally, the government was too new to impose such a measure, and lacked the fiscal resources to maintain a standing force. During Jefferson’s presidency, the army contracted to as few as three thousand men. When the threat of the Napoleonic Wars loomed over America, the Madison administration gradually raised the number of enlisted men in the regular army from three to six thousand. During the years of the early republic, America relied on its citizens, the militia, for its defense. The ideology of the citizen soldier to provide defense was deeply engrained in the American psyche, a carryover from the revolution. It was only after catastrophe, such as the British firing of the President’s House, that many leaders decided a change must occur.
With memories of such failures fresh in many lawmakers’ minds, the government set out to reform the American military. During the years immediately following the War of 1812, commonly called the “Era of Good Feelings,” American lawmakers provided funding and set the parameters that reformed the American military. Among these changes are the establishment of a large peace time military for defense and the reorganization of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The Regular soldiers of the peace time army and the appointees to West Point shaped the martial culture that persisted throughout the nineteenth century. The reforms in structure and combat highlighted in this chapter, laid a foundation that the American Army would build on in subsequent years.
 Francis Paul Prucha, The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783-1846, (London: The Macmillan Company, 1969), 119.
 Lawrence D. Cress refers to this as the “radical Whig” tradition in his book Citizens in Arms: The Army and Militia in American Society to the War of 1812. Cress defines this as an ideological opposition to large armies as dangerous to liberty and civic virtue. Radical Whig tradition placed emphasis on the citizen soldier (i.e. militia).
 Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War: A History of the United States Military Strategy and Policy, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1973), 41.
 Weigley, 46.