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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
2answers
160 views

Are there any specific events which grants a soldier permission to execute a prisoner on sight? (Like in the movie: Fury)

I recently watched the movie Fury. Although the movie is full of historical inaccuracies as usual, there are some events looked very questionable to me. In a scene, the U.S. soldiers capture a ...
10
votes
2answers
573 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 ...
13
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 “...
10
votes
1answer
229 views

What East German laws and regulations were extended to the West after unification?

Legally speaking, the reunification of Germany in 1990 was not a merger of two equal states resulting in a new country. Rather, it is better characterized as the absorption of the German Democratic ...
5
votes
1answer
463 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 ...
45
votes
16answers
24k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
393 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
744 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Why the laws re the burial of slaves in the Twelve Tables?

In the Roman Twelve Tables, Table X states:- Law X. The body of no dead slave shall be anointed; nor shall any drinking take place at his funeral, nor a banquet of any kind be instituted in ...
5
votes
3answers
536 views

Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess (...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

U.S. weapon restrictions during 19th century

Prior to the 20th century, I'm curious as to how the 2nd amendment was understood: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

When did the trademark symbol come into use?

Trademarks existed and were recognized before the Trademark symbol was used. When did we start using the ™ and ® symbols?
11
votes
3answers
594 views

Is it true that slavery was banned from discussion on the Senate and/or House floor before the American Civil War?

In one of the latter years of my undergraduate program I read/heard from one of my classes that discussing the slave trade/slavery on either the Senate and/or House floor (I forget which) was banned. ...
6
votes
2answers
292 views

Did Soviet cars have seatbelts or laws enforcing them?

I know in America, the seatbelt has a history involving legislation and Ralph Nader, and didn't really exist before the 1960's. What about in the Soviet Union? Did they go through a similar process? ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

When was the first time lower-class people had a reasonable chance of having a fair trial? [closed]

When was the first time in recorded history where the juridical system provided for protecting the rights of the general population, including the lower classes, so that a person of lower class could ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

In the United States government, has there been cases that electoral colleges don't vote for the candidate the majority of their state voted for?

Has there ever been a case where electoral colleges vote for someone the people didn't vote for during an election for president of the United States?
5
votes
1answer
181 views

What was the earliest known written constitution?

I was reading Wikipedia today, specifically the Constitution of Medina article and it states: This was the first written constitution in the history of the world. With two book references (that ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

What influenced the Supreme Court to overrule precedent in Afroyim v. Rusk?

In Afroyim v. Rusk the Supreme Court ruled that US citizens may not be deprived of their citizenship voluntarily. A previous precedent (Perez v. Brownell) had made the possibility of possessing dual ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

What political events led to the Separate Car Act that was upheld in Plessy v. Ferguson?

One often reads that in 1896 in the case of Plessy versus Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court let stand a Louisiana law, the Separate Car Act, that required white and non-white passengers to ...
5
votes
3answers
3k 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
votes
3answers
911 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
votes
2answers
221 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
votes
4answers
172 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
62 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
68 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
597 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
174 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
votes
1answer
264 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
732 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
74 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
3k 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
votes
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
242 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
117 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
983 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
votes
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
383 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
7k 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
1answer
285 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
158 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, ...
0
votes
4answers
3k 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 acceptable?...
8
votes
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
275 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
656 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
866 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
votes
1answer
845 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
583 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
votes
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?