Posted by bill on November 20, 1997 at 12:43:47:
In Reply to: Re: continental European law posted by E on November 19, 1997 at 15:25:52:
: Justice? If that's justice then the sooner French guns blow the English army out of America, the better it will be for these people!
: I know exactly what I am saying and if it is sedition, then I am guilty of sedition, too!
: Oh, what the heck! Before we get too far afield here; Bill's earlier comments regarding Munro's swift judgment was helpful in interpreting Col. Munro's statement. We were, I think, discussing 18th century standards, mindsets, and law; not 20th century
: law. Common law evolved over centuries, a slow process. It began (as we eventually knew it) in 1215 and made great leaps forward under King Edward I. (And, no, I'm not even addressing Roman and Greek law... just the slow development of common law.)
: It didn't really reach its apogee until the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789. Even today, it gets a fine tuning now and then.
: The point is that whatever advancements in democratic principles by the majority of nations today, in 18th century America
: crime and punishment was often a terrible and swift affair.
: Leaps and bounds aside, we've come a long way since Munro sought to hang Hawkeye.
Thank you Elaine. I'm glad somebody took it in the spirit it was intended. There is clearly a difference between the justice system of over two hundred years ago compared to those that exist today. I am no student of legal history, and perhaps a poor student of history in general, but speaking WITHIN CONTEXT of the movie (which is what I thought we were talking about) I do not see Col Munro as a particularly viscious or vindictive man...he is a man driven by obligation to his sovereign and to duty. His mind set appears to be more based on the times than a vindictive personality. After all, Hawkeye was the man who had just saved his daughters. I dont believe he would SEEK to hang such a man..I get the sense he assumes that would be the inevitable outcome for the crime of sedition of which he accuses Hawkeye....based upon HIS experience with the law and the political/legal climate of the times. Was NOT condeming any present day legal system....nor belittling any culture per se...
and my impression of the times and of Col Munro as portrayed was that having been accused of sedition it was a forgone conclusion that Hawkeye would be hanged as he had no defense against the accusation made. Well, I go on. Probably the better thing would
have been to just say nothing...my normal mode.....read the comments of others and extract what makes sense and is useful.
I merely ventured an opinion to explain Col Munro's statements and attitude. It was NOT a personal attack upon any culture present day or past. It was, in fact, a defense of Col Munro.
Basically I was saying that he was merely stating the systemic parameters as he was familiar with them, no doubt motivated in some part by the obvious fear that such a drain of manpower would result in defeat of his command. I believe he truly did see duty to the crown as a higher obligation than duty to self and family.
Well, that is a long way around trying to explain myself to several people who saw my comments as more an intrusion into their "clique" than as the well meaning offering they were meant to be. It won't happen again, I assure you.
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