22

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 ...


15

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 ...


14

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


12

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 some other Wikipedia pages and other websites. The UK Parliament website has the following: The constitutional relationship of the Islands with the UK is ...


11

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 forged. It seems that the most accepted (but certainly not definitive) answer is that it is a backdated document from the early 14th century with some additions....


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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

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 ...


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

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 Up to the early years of the 19th century, (Roman) Western Europe had only ever had one "Empire" (with several Emperors at the same time, perhaps, ...


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 ...


5

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 Napoléon Bonaparte. She hoped to bring this boy up within the French aristocracy. However, it is debated whether congress proposed the amendment to restrict the ...


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 ...


4

Short Answer: No, the colonists were not referring to a specific document. The colonists were referring to the fact that they believed it was beyond the powers of Parliament to tax them because the colonists did not have representation in Parliament. Long Answer: The American colonists were not referring to a specific document like the Magna Carta, or any ...


4

Before making statements about the US Constitution, I suggest reading it. The original Constitution said nothing about who does or who does not have the right to vote. Voting standards during the colonial and immediate post-colonial period were the same as those in Britain, which operated on a simple principle: whoever paid taxes was entitled to a single ...


4

The events were written down by Ibn Ishaq, who unusually for historians of this time actually would write down who his sources were. From New Light on the Story of Banu Qurayza and the Jews of Medina by W. N. Arafat, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (1976), pp. 100-107: Ibn Ishaq sets out his direct sources as he opens ...


4

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 until the 20th century. It has never been called a "constitution" by any English-speaking historian ever so far as I am aware. The first "constitution" was the ...


4

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 citizens of each state, not by the states, residents were citizens. (several states tried to have the Constitution ratified by the state government; that was not ...


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