Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » March 2005 » The Good 'Ole Days....

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03/28/2005: The Good 'Ole Days....

Speaking of the "Good 'Ole Days" of Societal Rights - or lack thereof - during the Pre-U.S. Constitutional periods under English and American laws, "Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origin of the Constitution" by Forrest McDonald, [Reviews of this book are available Here or Here.] provides these tid-bits of history:

"English Law governing forfeiture (of property) was blunt and harsh…but was involved with sovereignty, it had only a limited and derivative applicability to American colonies, but there remained the power of levying fines, which was a species of forfeiture. In some respects colonial law amounted to a relaxation and humanization of the severity of English law. For instance, Virginia substituted heavy fines for many of the offenses which in England were punishable by death; New Jersey effectively abolished corruption of the blood [forfeiture of property rights passed on to relatives and children of the transgressor] …

…On the other hand, during the eighteenth century, fines that amounted to total forfeiture were exacted of felons in all the American colonies, despite articles against excessive fines in the Magna Carta, in the stature of 1 Westminster, c. 30, and in the 1689 English Bill of Rights. Too, in New England fines ranging from a few shilling to virtual confiscation were still levied as a punishment for a wide variety of proscribed social activities, including failure to attend church, being absent from court, entertaining strangers or even known guests without permission of the selectmen, overpaying workers, possessing playing cards, playing shuffleboard, or scolding a husband."

Ahhh…those "Good 'Ole Days" of having the Government involved in everybody's private lives for the "Greater Good of Society" - Don't ya miss 'em?

Karen on 03.28.05 @ 05:03 AM CST

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