As The Institute was growing the flame of civilization in the Commonwealth was lit again from the ashes: First villages and farming communities, then cities. but these frail societies were exposed to the scum of the Wasteland. And that's where the Minutemen were born. Starting as a simple militia of farmers they rushed to defend their community. However Raider became more organized as well and militians soon realized that their defensive strategy wasn't enough anymore. The Minutemen reformed as legit army, a salary, regular trainings and an organized chain of command. Thanks to the reform they defeated several raider gangs. People were taking back their land from nature and slowly recovering. Campaign after Campaign their influence over the Commonwealth spread, while raiders' Activity decreased. Upon discovering the atrocity, Minutemen's leadership decided It was time for action. As retaliatio all Synth patrols were exterminated. the Institute sent punitive expeditions against the Minutemen, thinking raw strength would suffice - after all this tactics always worked in the past. They imagined to face the same savages they had fought years ago, but instead found formations, artillery and Military tactics: an organized army. The Minutemen, then known as "The Patriots", weren't really technologically advanced. They prefered bullets over lasers and plasma though their greatest achievement was the laser musket. Much cheaper to produce and maintain than the laser rifle, It was perfect as a long and Mid range weapon. As armoured vehicles were rusting away in the Commonwealth, The Patriots adopted 1700s technology as their artillery. While not as effective as a tanks, Mortars provided protection and support for troops around settlements' territory. Cannons were also employeed as field weapons and during sieges so they were obvious choices during the Campaigns against both Raider Lords and the Institute. After several defeats using just raw strength, the Institute panicked. Androids weren't cheap, so they needed another way to win this war. Biological warfare was the First solution they cane up with. However they decided that releasing a virus would have been too extreme opting for another solution.