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67

This issue had a long history in England, so the context and reasoning behind the 2nd amendment, which have generated such wildly different interpretations today, were 100% clear to contemporaries. The colonists considered themselves to be Englishmen and Englishwomen, and they instituted laws and customs that were closely based on those of England. England ...


21

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 - anathema to the English at the time. The right to bear arms in the Bill (actually limited to Protestants) was a reaction to a perceived (and probably actual) ...


20

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 society (ie. the people of your state). When your state changes its allegiance, so do you. An analogy can be drawn to if your state rewrites its constitution: the ...


19

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 capable adults; that broad membership and independence from a centralized army is the very thing that makes it "well-regulated"; that people were afraid of the federal ...


17

There are basically two answers to your question. The first comes from the legal precedents in the Japanese constitution, peace treaties, etc. The second is the de facto version of what actually happened after the war, and up to now. Legally speaking, Japan was forbidden from having any kind of standing army, though they were permitted to have forces for ...


15

Short answer - There were no federal legal prohibitions against weapon ownership in 1789. Long answer. During that year the "United States" had at least 14 governments. For the first two months of the year, the territory was governed by the Articles of Confederation. I haven't reviewed all of the legal precedents under the AoC, but I'm willing to bet my ...


13

Basically, the Pseudohistory Channel or whoever you heard this from is simply wrong. Rather than a gold standard, the framers of the US Constitution tried to introduce a bimetallic standard - that is, a monetary standard based on both gold and silver. The Constitution states: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters ...


13

Comparing just to the Constitution of the Netherlands, that of Belgium was for a Unitary State with no substantial body of Common Law and tradition, while that of The Netherlands was for a Federal State, with a substantial body of Common Law and Tradition. Further part of the motive for the separation of Belgium from Netherlands in 1831 had been a feeling ...


12

It was replaced under Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation, which stated: [T]he Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be ...


12

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. I have a book in my library, Slavery and the Founders, that goes over this in its first chapter. It relies primarily on records of the deliberations for its ...


8

There are too many examples of this kind. Secession of the USA from Great Britain American civil war Civil war in Russia in 1918-1922, particularly, secessions of Ukraine, Georgia and other territories. Dessolution of the USSR, particularly secessions of the Baltic republics, as well as Russian SFSR itself. Secession of Chechen republic from Russia. ...


8

They were referring to the unwritten constitution of the British Empire. Magna Carta was only a part of that. Without commenting on its legality, validity or morality, the argument was that Parliament could not extract money from the colonies without their consent. The constitutional principle involved being, of course, that of taxation without ...


8

Male citizens over the age of 25 were eligible to vote, except for members of the Imperial Army or Navy and the Imperial family. Originally, suffrage was limited to only those who had paid 15 yen in taxes. This initially meant that rural landowners dominated the franchise. However, the tax restriction was reduced to 10 yen and then 3 yen, and eventually ...


7

Such concern likely existed, and there is evidence of some cursory discussion to that effect during the proceedings of the Continental Congress. The rationale for creating a federal district with sole jurisdiction of the Congress was probably laid out best (among the surviving documents) by James Madison: The indispensable necessity of complete authority ...


7

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 legal action that contradicted Federal law was illegal; so secession was illegal. It is also clear that they never considered that reasoning. Details I was ...


7

Fairly early in the war Lincoln (actually one of his generals, but he endorsed the measure) took the position that human "property" in a rebellious state could be confiscated by Federal forces upon command, essentially as spoils of war. If the Federal government chose to employ these slaves as labor to help the army, or free them, that was the Federal ...


7

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 recognised in English Law. Now, given the state of many of the public records at that time (many of which had not been stored in ideal conditions!), it is probably ...


6

Security Challanges: Japan’s Defence Dilemma is an interesting document. It sheds some light on this history of balancing constitution (and anti-militaristic sentiment associated), Japan's strategic objectives and its alliance with the United States. It takes the view that Japan has been subverting Article 9 to "normalise" the state. It also points out that ...


6

You essentially have it correct. The Constitution says: No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been ...


6

Henry Adams' History of the United States of America During the First Administration of Thomas Jefferson explains the developments e.g. in the following excerpt (pp. 80). In short, it seems that Jefferson was "just" being pragmatic in a matter that he deemed important for the nation and for his party. ... the President, according to his letters, had ...


6

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 of Virginia which also claimed Richmond as its capital, but really was in Wheeling (then still part of Virginia) and later Alexandria once West Virginia came ...


6

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 American Tribes were handled: Treaties. from here: In referring to the constitutional grant of treaty-making powers to the chief executive—with the "advice ...


6

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 intent of the US Constitution to be a confederation or not? Why the indirect electoral techniques? Although you connect them together in a thesis (Is #2 ...


5

I'm hardly a Mexican legal expert. However, the Constitutional article you state (the first can be ignored, as that Constitution isn't in effect any more) seems to say that your right to keep guns in your own home can only be restricted by Federal authorities (not state or local authorities). However, there's no limit placed on how restrictive the Federal ...


5

Fairly simply, the Federalists had a majority in both houses of Congress at the time, and held the Presidency. So they had the power to do it. They were suffering withering attacks from Jefferson and Madison's newly organized Democratic-Republican Party, which had just run its first presidential campaign in the previous cycle, and had developed its own ...


4

There are several safeguards against the Chancellor - or any other part of the government - acquiring too great powers. mart already mentioned Article 1, ang Gangnus mentioned the direct applicability, namely, Article 3. The core meaning of the first articles is: Human dignity is inviolable. The state should do everything in its power to honor and protect ...


4

I can offer some points of the constitution that I remebember beeing implemented esp. as a safeguard: "Human dignity shall be inviolable" (1.1 here) - is the first article, and is meant as a safeguard against legal torture, inhuman punishment and the like No use of the army in the interior Separation of police and secret services "The privacy of ...


4

Formally, Japan has no right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_9_of_the_Japanese_Constitution#Debate Substantively, the Japanese state has taken such a right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Self-Defense_Forces#History Politically, as the Chinese state has a great interest in Japan's capacity for aggressive war, Japan's interpretation of Article 9 ...


4

Fascinating question. Revocation of voting rights of convicted Criminals is based on "civil death", which is explained further at PROCON. British common law gave the government the right to revoke voting rights. I'm not aware of the framers explicitly addressing the issue, but they did discuss a more democratic franchise. My recollection is that they ...


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