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24 votes

What was the historical context of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution?

Just a supplement to @BenCrowells excellent answer, it was partly based on the English Bill of Rights 1689. The Roman Catholic James II had attempted to disarm Protestants, and set up a standing army -...
TheHonRose's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

What was the original process for becoming a US citizen?

tl;dr: Common Law, inherited from Britain, says you're a citizen by right of birth or parentage... but a citizen of what? The principles of the US revolution imply your first obligation is to your ...
Schwern's user avatar
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19 votes

What was the historical context of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution?

The historical context shows that it intends that everyone be armed, both for the defense of the state and for their own personal use; that the "militia" is intended to consist of all ...
hobbs's user avatar
  • 438
18 votes
Accepted

Is there any documentation on the creation of Article 1 Section II of the US Constitution?

Yes, there is. The deliberations took a while and the participants were all literate, letter-writing folk, so there is actually a lot more documentation about the deliberations than many people think. ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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13 votes

How did the United Kingdom government come to be responsible for defence of the Channel Islands?

I'm afraid you're chasing a chimera. The answer really is there in the Wikipedia article on the Channel Islands, although perhaps it requires a bit of unpacking. And some details are scattered among ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 5,295
11 votes

Was the Bundesbrief a forgery?

Despite the carbon dating results, there remains a degree of uncertainty as to whether or not the Bundesbrief (Federal Charter) of 1291 is a medieval forgery and, if it is, to what extent it has been ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
8 votes

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

I remember being taught about this when I studied the Stuarts at college. As I recall, the phrase: " ... ancient Laws and Constitutions at this time unknowne." meant laws that were no longer ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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7 votes

Did the Founding Fathers believe that states had the right to secede?

tl; dr As far as I can tell, there is insufficient information to answer this. We have quotes & indications that point in both directions. It is clear that the Supremacy clause means that any ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 33.7k
7 votes

Was the United States meant to be a confederation of states?

According to Klarman, and Maier the founders explicitly addressed this in the Constitutional Convention, and rejected a confederation. To me there are two questions within your question. Was the ...
MCW's user avatar
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6 votes
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Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

From the beginning of the American Civil War, Virginia had two governments. The original pro-succession government with it's capital in Richmond, and a newly formed Restored or Reorganized Government ...
Schwern's user avatar
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6 votes

Why wasn't England/Britain officially an empire (as a form of monarchy)?

In short, the creation of empires and emperors/empresses was not something that was done casually due to the respect accorded to the title internationally and domestically. Emperors in Western Europe ...
gktscrk's user avatar
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6 votes
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What was the constitutional status of Finland within Russian Empire?

Q: What was the constitutional status of Finland within Russian Empire? Answer in one sentence: For the longest time Finland had a constitution (inherited from Swedish times/the Swedish constitution ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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5 votes

What were the founding fathers' views on Native Americans?

I think we can adress one issue rather easily, concerning Did the founding fathers have a lack of respect for the natives A very simple answer would be to look at how relations with the Native ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40k
5 votes

What was the historical context of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution?

America of the 1780s had to worry about a variety of enemies, both internal and external. In some ways, the America of that time was much like today's "Switzerland" (which has universal male ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
5 votes
Accepted

What was the earliest known written constitution?

The use of this so-called "constitution of Medina" is purely modern and has no historical usage at all. Originally, the document referred to was called a "treaty". It was not even called a charter ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why was the Titles of Nobility Amendment proposed?

Yes, the Titles of Nobility Amendment was prompted by the marriage of Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, brother of Napolean Bonaparte, and Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte who together had a child named Jérôme ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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4 votes

What was the original process for becoming a US citizen?

In 1788, residents of the thirteen colonies would have been citizens of their state. The Constitution didn't go into effect until 1789. Furthermore, since the Constitution was ratified by the ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 33.7k
4 votes

Was the United States meant to be a confederation of states?

The US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled NO. What you're describing is similar to Compact Theory, the idea that the United States was formed by an agreement between the states. This idea comes up a ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.1k
3 votes
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Organizing the 1788 presidential and congressional elections

For one thing, the 1788 elections were held in 1789. The following quote is from p. 166 of Sol Bloom, The Story of the Constitution, United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, House ...
bof's user avatar
  • 467
3 votes

What was the goal behind the 9 state approval of the United States constitution?

Your history book is... not very useful. Let's correct some language first - Either this concept is not clear in my head or this is worded bad but wouldn't there be no population sanction if ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 33.7k
3 votes

What was the goal behind the 9 state approval of the United States constitution?

The "nine state" mandate was a two-thirds majority (out of 13 states). That would put the Constitution in force, but only for those nine states. Rhode Island was the smallest state in the Union in ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
3 votes

How were new states admitted to the Union?

Not only were they "re-admitted," but some were thrown out a second time for failure to act upon the 14th and 15th Amendments. Look at these dates: Secession, then readmission, and finally &...
Ralph Epifanio's user avatar
3 votes

Were there weapons that a private citizen could not legally own in 1789 in the US?

In a word: no. It was quite legal for private citizens to own, for their private use, any manner of weapons with which a vessel might be equipped to engage in maritime raiding and piracy privateering. ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

History of the 1793 revision of the constitution of Vermont

The Vermont Secretary of State maintains a site, Vermont Constitutions, which contains a link to the Records of the Council of Censors, which downloads a document, published in 1991, and containing ...
Peter Diehr's user avatar
  • 6,759
3 votes
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Why was Schuyler Colfax not present at the vote to reconsider the 13th amendment?

This custom developed because it was always the custom of the British House of Commons, from which most legislative traditions of the United States ultimately derive. This custom also serves a ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar

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