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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Bankruptcy laws, past and present. (search)
, but that the unfortunate and the unwise may win surcease of their business sorrows and begin again on this side of the grave. It calls to mind that humanitarian provision of the Mosaic law which commanded a release of debtors every seventh year. For more than twenty-five centuries the law-makers of the world have been legislating on bankruptcy. Draco, the pioneer, made it, with laziness and murder, punishable by death. Quite naturally there followed an age of the absconding debtor. Solon, not wishing to depopulate Athens, mollified these ancient blue laws, and even abolished enslavement for debt; but the bankrupt and the bankrupt's heirs forfeited their rights of citizenship. The noble Roman and his Twelve Tables were more draconic than Draco. Gibbon tells us that: At the expiration of sixty days the debt was discharged by the loss of liberty or life; the insolvent debtor was either put to death, or sold in foreign slavery beyond the Tiber: but if several creditors
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Federal Union, the John Fiske (search)
doubt it gained greatly in power thereby. But generally in the Hellenic world the rural population in the neighborhood of a great city were mere peri/oikoi, or dwellers in the vicinity ; the inhabitants of the city who had moved thither from some other city, both they and their descendants, were mere me/toikoi, or dwellers in the place ; and neither the one class nor the other could acquire the rights and privileges of citizenship. A revolution, indeed, went on at Athens, from the time of Solon to the time of Kleisthenes, which essentially modified the old tribal divisions and admitted to the franchise all such families resident from time immemorial as did not belong to the tribes of eupadrids by whom the city was founded. But this change once accomplished, the civic exclusiveness of Athens remained very much what it was before. The popular assembly was enlarged, and public harmony was secured; but Athenian burghership still remained a privilege which could not be acquired by the
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Hayne, Robert young -1839 (search)
the new States, has introduced to our notice a certain Nathan Dane, of Massachusetts, to whom he attributes the celebrated ordinance of ‘87, by which he tells us slavery was forever excluded from the new States north of the Ohio. After eulogizing the wisdom of this provision in terms of the most extravagant praise, he breaks forth in admiration of the greatness of Nathan Dane; and great indeed he must be, if it be true, as stated by the Senator from Massachusetts, that he was greater than Solon and Lycurgus, Minos, Numa Pompilius, and all the legislators and philosophers of the world, ancient and modern. Sir, to such high authority it is certainly my duty, in a becoming spirit of humility, to submit. And yet the gentleman will pardon me when I say that it is a little unfortunate for the fame of this great legislator that the gentleman from Missouri should have proved that he was not the author of the ordinance of ‘87, on which the Senator from Massachusetts has reared so glorious