109

No. The rate of fire of competent musketeers was considerably greater than one round every three minutes when the Second Amendment was adopted at the end of the eighteenth century. In his book The Dawn of Modern Warfare, Hans Delbruck included a section titled 'Rapidity of fire in the eighteenth century'. He states that: "... a competent musketeer could ...


73

No, because it wouldn't have had any effect. The relevant clause reads "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution..." Hamilton would have been a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted.


55

Did it in fact take something like three minutes to reload muskets when the Second Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified? Is a "three minute musket" representative of the best military individual firearm of the day for warfare? Seeing is believing: These reenactors at Fort Niagara reload in about 20 seconds (from firing to shouldering the reloaded ...


46

Yes, but for fixed periods of (for example) six months or 1 or 2 years rather than for life. This section of the 13th Amendment, ratified on the 6th of December, 1865, was controversial from the outset. Slavery Under the Thirteenth Amendment: Race and the Law of Crime and Punishment in the PostCivil War South by Peter Wallenstein in the Louisiana Law Review (...


36

Herbert Hoover was 54 years old when he became President. He was a natural born U.S. citizen who spent the first 21 years or so of his life in the U.S., and most of his adult life abroad. But his childhood years counted toward the "14." As pointed out by another poster, the Constitutional requirement is for "fourteen Years a Resident within the United ...


22

Under Federal Statute, a person being naturalized had to meet certain requirements, such as renouncing allegiance to any foreign prince or power, and having shown them self to be of good character for a certain number of years. This number of years has varied from time-to-time; in the 1820s it was 10 years; at earlier dates it was 5 years,etc. The person to ...


18

The Wikipedia article about life expectancy incudes the following: Life expectancy increases with age as the individual survives the higher mortality rates associated with childhood. For instance, the table above listed the life expectancy at birth among 13th-century English nobles at 30. Having survived until the age of 21, a male member of the ...


17

At the time, most military muskets were smoothbores. Hunters and a few specialist military units used rifled muskets, or rifles. Musketeers did not fire aimed shots. Hitting a man-sized target at 100 or 150 metres was problematic. The musketeers would fire at close range, against a formation of enemy troops. Still, commanders liked to reserve their first ...


16

First off, it should be mentioned that the provision would not have excluded Hamilton at any rate, since it explicitly does not apply to anyone who was a US citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted. That, in and of itself, does not of course mean that his enemies weren't the ones who pushed for its inclusion, just that if they were then they did not ...


15

tl;dr The 1860 election was the tipping point for the slave-owning states. It was then clear that those states could no longer command a majority in Congress, or in a Presidential election. A compromise between the northern states and the South that would be acceptable to them was simply no longer possible. Your thesis seems to be based on a false ...


15

A web site discusses this issue: 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 fourteen Years a Resident within ...


12

Most answers focus on the reload time of muskets -- for completeness I'll repeat that they are considerably faster to reload than the 3-minutes-per-round figure mentioned by Beto, but it's reasonable to say he misspoke the more accurate 3-rounds-per-minute figure. More germane to me is the second part of your question: did muskets represent the highest known ...


11

Turns out there wasn't much of a "push" involved. The right to bear arms predates the US constitution, and had been seen as an extension of the natural right to self-defense in English culture well before. In fact, the issue had been raised well before US independence, with king James II attempting to disarm his Protestant subjects (James himself was pro-...


10

It appears that it got about 6 (out of 100) votes shy of cloture at its closest. "Cloture" is of course the term the Senate uses for putting a bill up for a vote. Purposely blocking a vote is what is often called a "filibuster". On September 17, 1970, a motion for cloture, which would have ended the filibuster, received 54 votes to 36 ...


9

John Brown led a raid on a US military arsenal as part of an attempt to start an armed rebellion against the current established order. That's essentially waging war against the US government and at least attempting to aid enemies (as any slaves in revolt would be.) So by that token, it should be easy to understand why a charge of "treason" was reasonable. ...


7

Contrary to popular opinion, the basic model for impeachment as outlined in the U.S. Constitution is not criminal prosecution but rather the process of impeachment existing in the British Parliament subsequent to 1681. In practice, the Commons would usually select a committee to draw up the charges and create an "Article of Impeachment" for each. ...


7

The other answers touch on this point, but I think it needs to be emphasized: The quote in the question demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the concept of average life expectancy. Overall average life expectancy is less meaningful than average life expectancy at a given age. The average life expectancy at birth was much lower than it is today, but that ...


6

The reasons for the 'natural born citizen' clause are well-documented, and boil down to what you'd expect: to prevent 'ambitious foreigners' from seizing control of the US government. Here's a really nice detailed breakdown of the background and reasons for the clause from the Harvard Law Review.


5

The bill in question was known as the "Bayh–Celler amendment". The full text of the bill can be found here (section 3.4, page 143). One way to answer "how close" the US was to Electoral College reform is to compare to other similar events. It seems that at that time this bill was the "closest" in relative terms the US has ever ...


4

According to the page Signing of the Constitution, from the Architect of the Capitol web site: The artist said that the flags he depicted are the Stars and Stripes, one from a Maryland dragoon regiment, and regimental colors from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Inevitably, the Internet being what it is, the claim is repeated verbatim by more than a ...


4

In Engblom v Carey (1979) Judge Walter R. Mansfield, writing for the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, found that: that the National Guardsmen qualify as soldiers under the Third Amendment; that the Third Amendment applies to state as well as federal authorities, i.e., is incorporated against the states; and that the protection of the Third ...


4

The 3rd amendment states: 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 manner to be prescribed by law. The only court case relating to the 3rd amendment would appear to be Engblom v. Carey. This resulted from a strike by correction officers in New York state were evicted ...


4

so were there some Senators who took truncated terms? Yes, that's exactly how it was done. For example Vermont elected its first two Senators in 1791. One Senator was up for re-election in 1794 (and lost), and the other was up for re-election in 1796 (and resigned). Hawaii elected two Senators upon its statehood in 1959. One term expired in 1962, and ...


4

The population data that you quote in the question derived from a series of censuses taken in the thirteen colonies by the British government, and the early governments of the United States after the Revolutionary War. The population estimates based on data from censuses taken during the colonial period are, to say the least, generally accepted to be less ...


4

Thanks to the tips that @MarkC.Wallace gave me, and through wikipedia, I've found some facts about Timothy Pickering (1745-1829), a politician from Massachusetts, that I find useful on this topic: Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts and a few Federalists envisioned creating a separate New England confederation, possibly combining with lower Canada to form a ...


4

A vote of no confidence only makes sense when the Executive is accountable to Parliament. Depending on the country, this results in new snap elections (e.g. UK) or a new PM getting nominated by the President (or other Head of State) to form a new government (e.g. France, which has several instances of cohabitation). My understanding of the US debates at ...


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