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Questions tagged [law]

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 rules, and the means for determining guilt and innocence of parties suspected of violating any aspect of the aforementioned laws.

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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 ...
Garrett Albright's user avatar
20 votes
6 answers
6k 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?
Anixx's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Tea Drinker's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
856 views

When did private fighting become a capital offense in Japan?

In "Might Makes Right: Just war and just warfare in early medieval Japan", Karl Friday mentions that bushi (warriors) who violated decrees banning fighting were exiled or imprisoned under pre-Edo ...
kmlawson's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What laws of war existed before the modern international treaties and conventions?

Were there laws governing the rules of conducting war before modern (20th century) international treaties and conventions such as the Geneva conventions? For example, were there rules regarding the ...
Fitri's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
128 views

Were there any specific laws/treaties enshrining the Principle of Distinction in the 18th century?

Hathaway and Shapiro (2017): By the middle of the eighteenth century, European armies had come to recognize a “Principle of Distinction,” the doctrine central to modern humanitarian law, which ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
255 views

Who was the first foreigner to be naturalized as a Mexican citizen in Alta California?

The earliest example I have is Jose Antonio Bolcof of Russia, who became a Mexican about 1833. Who beat him? cf. Who was the first foreigner to be naturalized as a Mexican citizen?: several Texans ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
1k 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 German ...
Pecheneg's user avatar
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33 votes
9 answers
8k views

Are there any accounts written by torturers on their actions?

Often, in antiquity, rulers would order some horrific things to happen like extreme torture, flaying and so forth. The Hongwu Emperor ordered 5000 women flayed alive for instance. Obviously the rulers ...
Calin Leafshade's user avatar
25 votes
1 answer
4k views

Did "droit du seigneur" actually exist in medieval Europe?

Droit du seigneur, also known as "jus primae noctis" (right of the first night), was the supposed right of a feudal lord to sleep with his serfs' brides on their wedding night. Was it actually ...
Anubhav C's user avatar
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23 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
939 views

How did ancient empires account for slow propagation of information e.g. in their legal codes?

Mathematician Alain Connes cites a French legal rule that explicitly accounts for propagation of information at finite speeds substantially below the speed of light: There was a legal rule ...
Drux's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
4k views

Had there been instances of national states banning harmful imports before the mid-19th C Opium Wars?

Background To my current understanding, James Matheson in his »The British trade with China« argued that China might have originally had the right to refuse trading with Britain, but that they lost ...
Ludi's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the history of the university asylum law?

I fear this question may be rather broad and I would like help to narrow it down. Currently a debate is ongoing in Greece regarding the law preventing police from stepping into university campuses. ...
YokedSinger8062's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
5k views

In medieval Europe, were children born in an annulled marriage automatically illegitimate?

I know that under modern laws (even within the Catholic Church), children born in a marriage that is later annulled are still considered legitimate, because they were born of a putative marriage. Was ...
NyaNya's user avatar
  • 445
20 votes
7 answers
9k 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 ...
xecaps12's user avatar
  • 303
17 votes
2 answers
4k views

How did the US government manage to enforce the 1980 boycott of the Olympic Games in Russia?

The 1980 Olympics was famously boycotted by the US and a sixty five other countries. However it's not clear to me how the US government was able to prevent their athletes from participating, given ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
2k views

Where and how did the concept of "incorporation" originate?

Wikipedia states that "The alleged oldest commercial corporation in the world, the Stora Kopparberg mining community in Falun, Sweden, obtained a charter from King Magnus Eriksson in 1347". Is this ...
jsnlxndrlv's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
11k 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?
Graham's user avatar
  • 159
13 votes
3 answers
7k views

When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
Drux's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
3k 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. ...
NobleUplift's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
944 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 ...
Mark Dominus's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
22k 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 ...
LILOU's user avatar
  • 123
12 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Saal Hardali's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Samuel Russell's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
415 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 ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
194 views

How to understand the gift of tithes to a priory in 1166 [closed]

I am trying to piece together the early history of Eversholt Church in Bedfordshire, UK. The earliest record found so far is in The Cartulary of Newnham Priory from 1166. Simon [II] de Beauchamp, who ...
emrys57's user avatar
  • 1,071
8 votes
1 answer
8k views

How did the Mughals view homosexuality?

What was the attitude toward homosexuality of the Mughals? Was it different between the ruling class and the common people? Was homosexuality, officially or unofficially, permissible during the reign ...
Saaqib Mahmood's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
TheHonRose's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
838 views

How were laws promulgated in the Middle Ages?

These days, new laws are usually announced to the public through the publication of government gazettes and/or on official government websites. How did the public find out about new laws before ...
Nikolai's user avatar
  • 456
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 shall ...
GenuinePlaceholder's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where is the Hindu law/instruction of Cremation?

Coming from the northern half of India, I assumed that Hindus were all cremated. In the southern half of the country, I was surprised to find many Hindu burial grounds. Subsequent searches showed many ...
Rajib's user avatar
  • 3,364
6 votes
2 answers
261 views

Who was the first foreigner to be naturalized as a Mexican citizen?

The earliest example I have is Jose Antonio Bolcof of Russia, who became a Mexican about 1833. Who beat him? cf. Who was the first foreigner to be naturalized as a Mexican citizen in Alta California? ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.5k
5 votes
1 answer
671 views

Why was the duration of territorial contracts often 99 years?

This is based on this Reddit question, but I rectified its mistakes. For example, some European colonies in China were leased for 99 years, like German Kiautschou and the New Territories (but not ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
140 views

Who issued the passports for travel to Russian America?

Employees of the Russian-American Company were supposed to have seven-year passports to travel from Russia to the Company's colonies. Officials endeavored to stay in compliance, though it's clear that ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.5k
4 votes
2 answers
276 views

What was the sentiment regarding government control of railroads in Gilded-Age America?

I know this is a bit of a broad question, but what did leading thinkers and the American public think about government control of railroads as they were coming into widespread use post-Reconstruction? ...
Zenon's user avatar
  • 445
4 votes
1 answer
275 views

What education path had to be followed to study law in 17th century Europe?

How was the path in terms of education for a small kid to follow in years so that he can become a LAWYER in 17th Century in Europe? (Mainly in The Holy Roman Empire). Thanks!
pencilCake's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
633 views

What caused medieval England to be freer than other countries at the time?

I have read that medieval England was an outlier in terms of personal freedoms in the middle ages. Can this be reliably traced to the cultural influence of the Saxons, or the Normans, or anyone else? ...
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