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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What were sandbags used for in medieval duels?

I was hesitant whether to ask this question in history or Shakespeare stack exchange, but I eventually decided it is more of a historical question. In the play "King Henry The Sixth" there is a ...
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How and when was the modern company ownership structure invented?

More specifically I mean the very common structure with the following roles: Shareholders Board members CEO When was this structure invented, and how? It would also be very interesting to get any ...
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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 ...
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What was the legal process of raising a legion in late Republican Rome?

I've read some about both the Roman army and the Late Republican period, but realized that, while I understand well enough how legions worked in the field, I have only a very incomplete idea of who ...
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Were secret treaties ratified? How did they become official while remaining secret?

Up to early 20th century, secret treaties or secret protocols seemed to be common. For example: The Russian-French alliance before WW I was partly based on a "a secret treaty in 1894" The secret ...
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How do they prove adultery before video/digital evidence was available? [closed]

These days, husbands can install CC-Camera, Whatapp, SMS etc and catch their wive's adultery act red-handed. Using this evidence, they can file a case in the court for divorce. How did they prove ...
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326 views

Was every Roman citizen part of a curia?

In a book by German historian Klaus Bringmann, I read that during the regal period, the whole population was divided into three tribes. He furthermore states that each tribe was divided into 10 curiae ...
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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 ...
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Has the United States paid US dollars as reparations to children other than a “child” of Japanese American internees during World War II?

Has the United States officially paid reparations in the form of US dollars to any parties that were a "child" "Civil Liberties Act of 1988" (PUBLIC LAW 100-383—AUG. 10,1988; Public Law 100-383, ...
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In ancient Rome, could free-born Romans become slaves?

In the article Roman Slavery, Kenneth Tuite of the Classics Department at the University of Maryland states quite categorically that Romans could not be slaves: Although a class system existed, ...
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488 views

Were travelling judges paid in medieval England?

During the reign of Henry II (1154-89), some key changes in the English judicial system took place. One of these was the introduction of travelling judges: In 1166, Henry issued a Declaration at ...
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During feudalism in Europe, was one's allegiance to the lord more or less important than the allegiance to the king?

So, let's say your feudal overlord is rebelling against the king. Who do you owe your allegiance to, the lord, or the king? It's best to fight for the one who's going to win, obviously, but what would ...
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Earlier U.S. law enforcement raids on lawyers' communications

The office of the personal lawyer of the U.S. President has been raided by the FBI. Clients' communications with their attorneys are protected by the doctrine of attorney-client privilege, or legal ...
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156 views

What periods and locations in early European history had evidence based criminal trials?

What periods and locations in European history had evidence based criminal trials? I'm interested in creating a medieval role playing setting and some fictional narratives involving crime ...
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Were single-sex house parties illegal in mid-20th century Canada?

At around the 47 minute mark of Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives, one of the women interviewed, Carol Ritchie-MacKintosh, talks about the persecution of gay men in the mid-20th ...
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Has banning controversial ideas ever not lead to much violence in enforcement or resistance?

In the past year or two I've noticed the public discourse to increasingly contain arguments about "hate speech" and that this shouldn't be covered by free speech laws. I won't be interested in any ...
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What happened to all the undivided shares of California ranchos?

The Mexican province of Alta California granted cattle ranches to many prominent citizens. The properties were huge, so surveying was very expensive and often vague. These ranches dissipated into ...
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Were there any ancient civilisation that functioned without currency or bartering? [closed]

As required here is how I define the terms used in this question: • money/currency: is something that has little use to the individuals (such as metal coins) but has a commonly recognized value the ...
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1answer
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Were there cases of bride kidnapping in the medieval period?

In the Medieval period in Europe was there ever been any occurrence of a royal/nobleman capturing a fellow high-born woman (potentially from another country) for the sake of marrying her (and thus ...
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Kissing in early Icelandic law

I'm reading the Grágás laws of early Iceland and have come across a passage I don't understand: K155, Ib p.47 "If a man kisses a woman in private, with no one else present and with her consent, then ...
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Is there a list of bills in the reign of George III & onwards?

I am researching the history of trackways, canals mines and railways from the reign of George 3rd through to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. Is there a list of all bills presented to Parliament ...
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Did more Jews live in Poland than any other country, prior to the Holocaust, because of how Polish laws and people regarded Jews?

Poland in 1900 and just before the Holocaust ranks 1st in a list of nations by Jewish percentage of the population. [1] Now of course in such a ranking that country is Israel. Why did Jews migrate ...
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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 ...
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Do we know any Roman debtor being cut to pieces in line with the 12 Tables?

The Twelve Tables state: ... Meanwhile they shall have the right to compromise, and unless they make a compromise the debtors shall be held in bonds for sixty days. During these days they shall ...
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Was Canónigo Fernández a traitor to Mexico?

Agustín Fernández de San Vicente was the canon priest of the Cathedral of Durango and the Vicar-General of New Mexico. In between these church posts, at the time of Mexican Independence, he traveled ...
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Did international laws on wars of conquest change in 1945?

From a comment on what victors can do to losers in a war: Since this is a history site, we should also note that wars of conquest are no longer legal after 1945, so "most of history" no longer ...
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377 views

In England in 1700, would defending property with lethal force be illegal at all?

My limited understanding is that without an extensive police force and good communications, much of what modern people would leave to police was handled directly. If so, were any questions asked of a ...
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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 ...
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Was homosexuality illegal during the early Muslim rule of the Indian subcontinent?

Was homosexuality punished under the early Muslim rule in India, beginning with the Umayyad conquest of Punjab and Sinh in 712? The early Muslims were Arabs and part of a universal caliphate. After ...
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Who first outlawed homosexuality in the Indian sub-continent?

I have learnt somewhere that in India the British made homosexuality illegal in 1861 through Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, terming it as "an act against the order of the nature". Was this the ...
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Punishment for deserting lictors

Assume the following scenario: In the late days of the Roman Republic a consul is assaulted on the streets of the city by an angry mob, abetted by his political enemies. His lictors run away, leaving ...
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Was the king of England able to execute a high rank noble and his family between 1216 and 1688?

After signing the Magna Carta, was the king of England able to execute a noble and his family and escheat their property to the crown by his own will up to 1688? For example in the cases such as Lèse-...
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US legislative efforts to abolish tipping

Viviana Zelizer claims that In the early 1900s, as tipping became increasingly popular, it provoked great moral and social controversy. In fact, there were nationwide efforts, some successful, by ...
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How did Tenures Abolition Act of 1660 change feudalism in England?

The Tenures Abolition Act of 1660, according to Wikipedia, "changed the nature of feudal land tenure in England". It: .. replaced various types of military and religious service tenants owed to the ...
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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? ...
6
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270 views

What unknown laws were mentioned in earlier Coronation Oaths of England?

In 1688, the English Parliament passed the Coronation Oath Act, establishing a new Coronation Oath for monarchs of England. This Coronation Oath, with some modifications, is still used in the United ...
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Imposition of property taxes in California

After California became a U.S. state in 1850, land taxation was one of the factors that bankrupted the Californio ranchers. Apparently, it had not existed in the native, Spanish, nor Mexican periods. ...
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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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What were medieval, Viking-Era, Scandinavian laws regarding rape?

Since the vikings have a reputation for their "rape and pillage" tactics, I thought it interesting to look in depth at their legal system and learn a bit more for myself. However, viking-era legal ...
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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 ...
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Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile?

I was wondering if before the automobile some places it was illegal to drive a carriage drunk? The first law in the USA against drunk driving was 1910 in Massachusetts. But I don't know if there are ...
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What is this crime, “F and A”, from the 1890's US?

What was the crime of "F and A" in North Carolina in the United States in the 1890's? My wife saw that one of her female ancestors was arrested and served 6 months in jail for this crime in the 1890'...
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Settling legal disputes in high medieval Europe?

In a medieval village, my understanding is that disputes (of a legal nature, as we view them today) could be settled in the manor court. But what about in urban centers? If two people living in a town ...
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Anglo-saxon law banning sheepskin covered shields

The Law of King Athelstan states: Fourthly: that no shieldwright cover a shield with sheep's skin; and if he so do, let him pay thirty shillings. (http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/...
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251 views

Thought Crimes in History? [closed]

Has there ever been anywhere at any point in history a law criminalizing certain thoughts? I mean a law that says that the thinking of certain thoughts is illegal. I don't mean a law that says that ...
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1answer
274 views

Origin of French electoral tie-breaking mechanism (oldest candidate wins)

The French Code électoral specifies that ties be broken by giving the oldest candidate the win. (At least in certain elections. See for example L126, L262, L338, LO512.) What is the historical origin ...
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California land cases to the US Supreme Court

After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in the early 1850s, the U.S. Congress created a land commission to review claims of land ownership predating California's accession. Hundreds of claims were ...
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Have US troops ever been lawfully quartered in private homes during wartime under the Third Amendment?

According to the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (my emphasis): No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a ...
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Nuremberg Laws - Did they affect existing marriages between Jews and Non-Jews?

The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor states: Marriages between Jews and citizens of German or related blood are forbidden. Sexual relations between Jews and citizens of ...
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What do Marxists mean by “class basis of law”? As seen in linked article

R. Judson Mitchell's article The Brezhnev Doctrine and Communist Ideology uses the term "class basis of law". I'm not sure but I think: Because this concept almost always appears hand in hand with "...