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This act provides that "...every able-bodied white male citizen...of the age of 18 years and under the age of 45...be enrolled in the militia...Every citizen so enrolled...shall within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or forelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt"and...not less than twenty-four cartridges..."
The act also provided "that if any person, officer or soldier...called out into the service of the United States, be wounded or disabled while in actual service, he shall be taken care of and provided for at the public expense."
This legislation creating the young nation's first National Conscription Act was passed by the Second Congress, and signed in script type by President George Washington on May 8, 1792.
The ancient Romans believed that anyone who was wrongly buried would become "an unhappy ghost." This idea of a "forlorn and shivering spirit in an agony of loneliness" so bothered the Romans that they tended to invest large sums in elaborate burials.
Although the belief in the importance of "correct" burial reached through all levels of society, resources did not. Roman society suffered a rather large gap between the rich and the poor. Those on the lower socioeconomic strata, including many soldiers, lacked the requisite resources for a proper Roman burial.
These factors led to the creation of burial clubs. Groups of individuals formed and all members were required to regularly donate to a common fund that was used in the event of a member's death to fund his funeral. A Roman military leader, Marius, created a burial club among his troops in approximately 100 B.C. and many similar organizations came into being in this era. Eventually, the practice grew to include providing a stipend to the survivors of the deceased.
The Roman burial clubs represent the beginning of life insurance as we know it.