American law begins with the English, the Teutonic conquerors of England from the Britons. Legal
history prior to the Norman Conquest is understandably sparse. There was little need to put the early
law into writing. Therefore, the first written laws that came to America from the pre-Norman period are
those of Ethelbert of Kent from approximately 600 C.E. Then the laws of Ina of Wessex towards the end
of the seventh century, which was mostly about tariffs of compositions for injuries.
The latest laws that America has from the pre-Norman period are from the Cnut, the Danish
conqueror (1016-1035 C.E.). Here certain crimes no matter where they were committed were
considered as offenses against the king. These offenses were punished with corporal punishment:
mutilation or even death.
The English law began its development mostly due to the administration of Henry II (1154-1189 C.E.).
He learned from the lawlessness of Stephen's reign the absolute need for a strong hold maintained by
government to maintain the King's power. He understood that the central government needed personal
control, or it would lose its secure holding and eventually lose its power and everything that came with
Today we have what the law considers two sovereignties: The federal government and the states. In
Gamble v United States (2019) the United States Supreme Court upheld that a state and the federal
government could prosecute an individual for the exact same crime, because this does not violate the
United states Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy. Although, the law recognizes these
two sovereignties there are actually more than that. This is so, because each state is a sovereign and
each citizen is a sovereign. This should not be misconstrued with the straw man of civil law of the UCC.
Similarly, to the English development of law the American Federal government continues to extend
its strong hold primarily through the commerce clause. Although the Constitution withholds policing
power from the federal government, because that belongs to the States. The United States Supreme
Court has consistently incognito allowed them to do so, but not clearly stating what is and what is not.
They leave much room for interpretation and each decision only creates the next 100 years’ worth of
confusion. Below you can find many aspects of our current government, when, and why they were
formed, and how they have been shaped over the years.
Although we have provided a section here on the history of American Law it’s important to realize
how deeply rooted this topic is. Therefore, there is great importance in looking at the history of each
criminal offense that is of interest to you. We have taken the liberty to begin the process of breaking them down for you.
We believe you will find it most beneficial and enlightening.