A written and accessible code of behavior which is enforced by a powerful entity (almost always a state actor). Part of this code includes the entities responsible for maintaining and interpreting the written statutes, the punishments that can be applied in the case of the violation of the stated ...

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3answers
1k views

What is the longest running legal case?

The Black Hills Lands Claim is an ongoing land dispute between the US Government and The Sioux Nation. The treaty of Fort Laramie protected the hills from white settlement, but the discovery of gold ...
10
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3answers
698 views

When did hanging emerge as a form of capital punishment?

As the title has it: when did hanging emerge as a form of legal execution? The Wikipedia article (linked) has nothing to say about this. I've done the best I can with a search in Google Scholar, but ...
2
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2answers
139 views

Were life imprisonment and mental insanity the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted in early 20th century England?

I was watching a Poirot TV movie which was set to England somewhere around 1930s, and one plot point was that the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted were that either the husband or the wife ...
2
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4answers
152 views

Did Roman statutory law in the 1st century allow for crucifixion of non slaves?

Did Roman statutory law in the 1st century allow for crucifixion of non slaves? I knew a Roman law scholar who claimed it did not, ergo Christ could not have been crucified but must have been ...
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0answers
49 views

Regulations on women in Vedic India [closed]

I have came across lot of more-religious-less-historic books pertaining to history, which claim that the position of women from the beginning of Vedic civilisation, was ascribed by the scriptures, or ...
20
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2answers
3k views

What did an ancient Roman certificate of land ownership look like; or, what did it consist of?

Suppose you're a landowner in Germania, just west of the Rhine. It is the 2nd Century A.D. You own a number of farms, a couple of good houses, maybe some slaves, some of whom are on the verge of ...
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1answer
340 views

The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables on slavery

I have just been reading the Roman Twelve Tables, and am deeply confused. In Table VI, it states: Law VII. Where anyone demands freedom for another against the claim of servitude, the Prætor shall ...
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votes
16answers
21k views

Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?

Putting aside their reasons for wanting to do so and all the emotional responses they would provoke, was the secession of states from the Union to eventually form the Confederacy an illegal act in ...
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0answers
65 views

Legal guardians for minors in the U.S in 1910? [closed]

What were the different types of guardianship in the United States in 1910 ? Until what age did the legal guardian take care of the minor (21 Years old or 18) ? Was possible for parents to name a ...
5
votes
1answer
300 views

Did the Dutch carry out trials for collaboration with the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies?

After the Second World War, the Netherlands tried Dutch citizens for acts of collaboration with the German occupation. Did they do the same (as the UK did on a limited scale in India and other areas ...
18
votes
2answers
477 views

Was slavery in the United States legally limited to blacks?

Was slavery legally exclusive to race? That is, could blacks and only blacks in the United States be considered slaves under the law? As an example, if an owner were to import into the United States ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Penalty for patricide in Ancient Rome

This question is prompted by an earlier question on Roman law, which seemed to suggest that only treason was punishable by death for citizens. I did ask this as comment, but have got intrigued. I am ...
3
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1answer
251 views

Mesopotamia laws 196, 197 and 198

While doing some research I stumbled upon some old Mesopotamian laws. Reading through them I found a series of conflicting laws. They state 196: If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye ...
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votes
2answers
543 views

Cult related law made in US

Was there some law formed in US after Jonestown mass suicide, regarding religious or such kind of clique/sect/cabals? or what actions were taken regarding limiting and monitoring cult activities by US ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

How does citizenship work during revolutions and similar upheavals?

For example, on October 1st 1949, the People's Republic of China (PRC) was proclaimed. Would hundreds of millions of people then suddenly have switched from being citizens of the Republic of China ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

How do new countries legally and without bloodshed declare themselves independent?

I saw an article about the legality of the declaration of independence. For example, when USSR broke up, several countries became independent, but for others, there is still fighting to maintain them ...
14
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5answers
2k views

What does it mean that the early supreme court “gave themselves” the power of judicial review?

I'm watching the "Crash Course: American History" youtube series, and I like, it, but it obviously skips over a ton because it's packing decades at a time into 10 minutes. So he just (briefly) ...
6
votes
1answer
239 views

What were the factors that caused debtors' prison to disappear in most parts of the world in the 20th century?

Debtors' prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. As recently as the mid 19th century, it was a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Debtors' prison started to ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

History of terrorist organizations designations/undesignations by Israel

In 1948, Israel passed the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, which allows it to officially designate organizations as terrorists in the Official Gazette. What organizations have been designated this ...
3
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5answers
583 views

Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the Union through an act of Congress?

I have read the answers about the legality of southern secession - very helpful; thank you. In light of those, I have another question: Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Was there a constitutional mechanism to overturn the election of Adolf Hitler?

In March 1933 Hitler received 44 % of the votes during the elections and became relatively fast a dictator. Were there any constitutional or other legal mechanisms in place through which this ...
11
votes
2answers
626 views

What documentary evidence is there that Roman crucifixion victims were completely nude?

(A few days ago, a user posted a couple good questions about the historic practice of crucifixion in Ancient Rome on the Christianity SE. Unfortunately, they posted the questions as an answer to this ...
23
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2answers
1k views

When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
3
votes
2answers
291 views

How did criminal law work in the Roman Empire?

I have old memory from when I was in little school: During the Roman empire, criminal law was very "flexible". You could kill nearly anyone in the Empire, as long as you were able to pay a fee to the ...
37
votes
2answers
5k views

Could women be crucified under Roman law?

(A few days ago, a user posted a couple of good questions about the historic practice of crucifixion in Ancient Rome on the Christianity SE. Unfortunately, they posted the questions as an answer to ...
9
votes
2answers
529 views

What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
9
votes
1answer
274 views

Where does the concept of traffic keeping to the “right” side of the street originate?

In any nation that has cars, there are well-understood rules about how to operate them. If a road is shared by traffic going both ways, everyone will, by law and convention, stick to either the right ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Name of the ancient law that forbade naming/publicising the name of a criminal?

I think it was a Roman law, and it said that when a horrific crime was committed, the criminal could not be named, and anyone who disobeyed would suffer capital punishment. I can't remember the name, ...
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votes
4answers
2k views

Why was the the sack of cities acceptable?

When reading history, it seems that the sacking of cities (rape and/or killing of the inhabitants and pillaging) after a successful siege was a common and accepted practice... Why was it ...
8
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1answer
1k views

When was cannabis legalized in the Netherlands?

In which date was cannabis legalized in the Netherlands? I mean the introduction of coffee shops
2
votes
1answer
235 views

Did John F. Kennedy know about his judicial nominee's racism?

[Source:] On June 20, 1961, Cox was nominated by President John F. Kennedy to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi created by 75 Stat. 80. [...] ...
10
votes
1answer
598 views

How did Rome's legal system work?

How was it decided if a case should be tried in Rome or in the province by the governor of that province? was the governor always the judge or were there exceptions? who were the lawyers? I know a lot ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

When did the last Terra Nullius vanish from the earth?

By "Terra Nullius" or "white spot" I mean a place where you (if you were so inclined) could "legally" settle and live in some wilderness as a trapper or farmer without having to ask for permission, ...
21
votes
5answers
750 views

What were the reasons for making Prohibition a constitutional amendment?

What were the reasons that the Prohibition in the United States was passed as a constitutional amendment, rather than a normal federal law, or a set of state laws?
10
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1answer
839 views

Why did The Crown give assent to Apartheid legislation during the 1950s?

Why did The Crown give assent to Apartheid legislation during the 1950s? For example, the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, Act No 49 of 1953 was assented to by the crown. The relevant law in ...
10
votes
3answers
489 views

How did the Alien and Sedition acts pass?

The Alien and Sedition acts, passed in 1798, are said to have been an attempt by the Federalist Party to suppress opposition. In Chapter 74 Section 2, the law seems to put restrictions on freedom of ...
13
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5answers
3k views

How compare the rights and conditions of the American slaves to those of Russian serfs?

How compare the rights and conditions of the 19-th century American slaves to those of the 19-th century Russian serfs?
4
votes
1answer
87 views

What were the effective dates of this 1968 Delaware law and this 1967 Nevada law?

What were the effective dates of each of these two laws? I am asking for purposes of my academic research, which relates to the history of the American family. 1968 Delaware, 124th General Assembly, ...
31
votes
4answers
3k views

No speed limit on German highways - why?

I wonder what are the historical circumstances that led to lack of speed limit on German federal Autobahn network. There is an advisory 130 km/h limit, but it is not mandatory one nor obeyed ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

What were the laws on suicide in the Third Reich?

Currently it is legal to kill yourself in Germany, but what about in the past? What were the laws on suicide in the Third Reich? Was it illegal to kill yourself? What about self-maiming, like ...
2
votes
0answers
118 views

Have there ever been maximum age limits for public office in the United States?

In doing some research, I came across this obituary in "The Sabbath Recorder" At his residence in Hopkinton, R. I., Sept. 18th, Deacon Daniel Babcock, in his 85th year of his age, and the 59th ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Why was the Le Chapelier law annulled in Belgium?

The Le Chapelier Law was an important law in Belgium, as it implicitly disallowed the proletariat from associating, or organising a strike. As the parliament at the time (1864) was dominated by the ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

When did the Ecclesiastical courts in England lose the authority to mete out punishments such as imprisonment and execution?

In 1401, the ecclesiastical courts in England were given the power to burn heretics. In modern times the ecclesiastical courts have no control over anyone who does not belong to the Church of England, ...
4
votes
2answers
153 views

post slavery segregation outside of the US

Other than the USA did any other countries practice a codified form of segregation after abolishing slavery?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Were any drugs (except alcohol) forbidden during medieval or ancient times?

I assume that some drugs where known to humanity in some way or other for a long time, but I think actually prohibiting certain drugs would require a state that (for reasons of morals, public health, ...
17
votes
3answers
439 views

Has a foreign power ever sought to compel another country to abide by international law by means of that country's internal judiciary?

Suppose there are two countries which have a treaty or convention between them. One country thinks the other has infringed upon it. Have there been any instances where the first country filed a suit ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Why was the Halifax death penalty reserved for thefts of at least 13½ pence?

Wikipedia's article on the Halifax Gibbet says, with several citations: …ancient custom and law gave the Lord of the Manor the authority to execute summarily by decapitation any thief caught with ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
13
votes
2answers
439 views

What was the legal status of an East German once he had reached West Germany?

Cold War histories usually state something like "any German able to reach West Germany was automatically granted West German citizenship" to explain how easy it was to go from East to West, if only ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the “ancient liberties” of the City of London?

I recently learned that three clauses of the Magna Carta are still part of UK law — the liberties of the English Church, the privileges of the City of London, and the right to trial by jury. I think ...