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Treatises by Byron Beers
Treatise on Introduction to Law Merchant  continued
authorities can receive the necessary revenue. They could also put it to a vote (democracy), where a majority of the freedmen can vote to place taxes on all taxable citizens of the corporation. How can your neighbor agree to put a debt on you or your land without your consent if you do not agree? Of course, that is the type of question a true free man (not a freeman) would ask, and not a quasi slave.

A municipal corporation is a body politic and corporate with its socialistic and communistic foundations. This is the corporate system the great merchants need in order to apply their trade regarding banking, loans, national debt, substantive or commercial duties and rights, obtaining beneficial interest in persons and property of the corporate bodies politic, developing a slavish citizenry, developing prisons, creating revenue, and controlling nations. Also in the discussion of the Sharpless case above, we find the following remarks.

There is nothing more easy than to imagine a thousand tyrannical things which the legislature may do, if its members forget all their duties; disregard utterly the obligations they owe to their constituents, and recklessly determine to trample upon right and justice. But to take away the power from the legislature because they may abuse it, and give to the judges the right of controlling it, would not be advancing a single step, since judges can be imagined to be as corrupt and as wicked as legislators
In Norris v. Clymer, 2 Barr 285, Chief Justice Gibson, with characteristic directness of expression, declares that the constitution allows to the legislature every power which it does not prohibit."  that the law then in question was valid, because there was no syllable in the constitution to forbid it; and that if a law, unjust in its operation, and nevertheless not forbidden by the constitution, should be enacted, the remedy lay, not in an appeal to the judiciary, but to the people, who must apply the corrective themselves, since they had not intrusted the power to us.    SHARPLESS v. MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA, 20 Pa. 147, 162, 164 (1853).

Constitutions were written to provide limited government - limited to only delegated authority. If you advance the idea that constitutions only restrict governments, that is to say, a government may do practically anything unless the words in a constitution say it cannot, then you have lost a major component of republican forms of government designed to safeguard the liberty of the people and to keep government off the backs of the people. If government is unleashed from the chain that holds it in check, the liberty of the people will suffer.


The following is included merely to point out that the law merchant took over admiralty law and common law. That way you can still say "admiralty" or "common law" and not call the law by its true name, law merchant.

Law merchant was the basis of the modern system of admiralty law and the laws of negotiable paper and of sales.  The American Peoples Encyclopedia, Grolier Incorporated, 1968, vol. 11. P. 296 "Law Merchant".

the substantive law "inherent in the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction," Crowell v. Benson, 285 U.S. 22, 55,  The sovereign power which determines the rules of substantive law governing maritime claims ... ROMERO v. INTERNATIONAL TERM. CO., 358 U.S. 354 (1959)

The merchant class, and disputes among its members arising out of commercial transactions, were not subject to the common law. This practice grew out of the necessities of commerce and trade. Merchants traveled from fair to fair and from place to place, but in all places the same rules of law were administered and enforced in commercial litigation.
Later, the admiralty courts widened its jurisdiction to embrace mercantile causes.
Bank of Conway v. Stary, 200 N.W. 505 (1924)

In American Jurisprudence (Am Jur) 2d, Admiralty, in sections 94 and 96, we find that international law basically is the law merchant. Section 94 also says that "[a]lthough these rules [of the law merchant] may, in some instances, seem strange to those who are versed in the principles of common law, the principles of the law merchant have been accepted in the English common law for many generations." (See Miller v Miller, (Ky) 296 SW2d 684) With respect to state courts acting as courts of admiralty, the following from Am Jur 2d says: "Where a state court has concurrent jurisdiction with an admiralty court under this 'saving to suitors' clause, and the action is brought in the state court, the substantive law to be applied is that which would have been applicable had the action been brought in the admiralty court; but the state law applies in procedural matters."

While a state court may not technically be an admiralty court, it may act in the nature of an admiralty court with respect to substantive (commercial) duties and rights. The state quasi admiralty court can apply its state adjective law merchant rules of procedure.

A number of years ago, it struck me as odd to find that the states adopted the English common law, since the national English system was deemed quite distinct from that established here in the American states; however, when you realize the law merchant was put into the English common law, it was a clever means for bringing the law merchant into the jurisprudence of each of the American states.


Years ago, I remember reading that the concept of imprisonment was developed by creditor merchants for the purpose of having the debtor pay the money owed, or forcing a relative or friend to satisfy the outstanding debt to have the debtor released and returned to his liberty. In the last scenario, the imprisoned debtor could later make his arrangements for repayment to the relative or friend, who acted in the nature of a surety for the principle debtor, but this way the merchant was paid.

A debtor should pay his debts; however, something we have not addressed yet is how deceptive the operation of lending can become. Often, when the great merchants are involved, there is only paper circulating AS money. The mechanism of "creating money" in a paper economy is where the real magic of the great merchants comes into play. The exchequer is an example of an accounting system for the great merchants of England, and likewise here with the Federal Reserve system. What appears to be a lender or one claiming to be a creditor holding a security interest, may not have actually loaned anything nor had a decrease in his own assets when the obligation was created. There is only the appearance of a creditor and debtor relationship; therefore, the merchants' apparent security interests are actually illusions. The debts are also illusions, and cause enormous chaos and turmoil where this deceptive practice is applied.

The following are historical records providing details of the use of imprisonment.

Both the terms, bankrupt and insolvent, are familiar in the law of England... In the earliest times, neither bankruptcy nor insolvency were subjects of English jurisprudence. Of the general code of the primordial common law, they formed no part, for the plain reason, that anciently, imprisonment for debt, which is now the main proof of bankruptcy, and consummation of insolvency, was unknown to the common law. It was even against Magna Charta. Burgess on Insolvency 5; Co. Litt. 290 b. The nature of the population of England in feudal times, develops the cause. The different counties of England were held by great lords; the greater part of the population were their villeins commerce hardly existed; contracts were unfrequent. The principal contracts that existed were with the lords and their bailiffs, the leviers of their fines and amercements, receivers of their rents and money, and disbursers of their revenues.
The statute of Acton Burnel, 11 Edw. I., gave the first remedy to foreign merchants, by imprisonment, in 1283. The statute 13 Edw. I., c. 2, gave the same remedy against servants, bailiffs, chamberlains, and all manner of receivers. Burgess 24, 27. These instances show how imprisonment for debt first commenced, how few were at first included, and accounts for the non-existence of legal insolvency. The statute of 19 Hen. VII., c. 9, which gave like process in actions of the case and debt, as in trespass, is the true basis of the right, or wrong, of general imprisonment. This statute, and the usurpations of the various courts, produced their natural effects. They filled the jails of England with prisoners for debt.   STURGES v. CR0WNINSHIELD, 17 U.S. 122, 140-1 (1819)

The year 1283 was in the time period of the merchant fairs conducted by the foreign merchants. We have seen before that the foreign merchants had money and influence, and were willing to pay those who aided their business. The laws concerning insolvency and bankruptcy were intended to alleviate the burden of the people caused by the imprisonment statutes established for the foreign merchants. There are many people, unnaturally labeled villeins as quasi slaves, who appeared to be debtors, but that is not necessarily true.

Thus, while the ordinances of Elizabeth and James, and the various statutes, down to the present times, were passed, expressly on the subject of insolvency, for the benefit of all poor prisoners confined for debt, including all classes in society, the parliament was, at the same time, passing statutes of bankruptcy, maturing and accumulating that peculiar code, confined as it was to merchants and traders only.   STURGES v. CROWNINSHIELD, 17 U.S. 122, 143 (1819)

The Jews brought [to England] a refined system of commercial law: their own form of commerce and a system of rules to facilitate and govern it. Those rules made their way into the developing structure of English law.
Several elements of historical Jewish legal practice have been integrated into the English legal System. Notable among these is the written credit agreement -- shetar, or starr, as it appears in English documents. The basis of the shetar, or "Jewish Gage," was a lien on all property (including realty) that has been traced as a source of the modern mortgage. Under Jewish law, the shetar permitted a creditor to proceed against all the goods and land of the defaulting debtor.
Although the Jews, as aliens, could not hold land in fee simple, they could take security interests of substantial money value. That Jews were permitted to hold security interests in land they did not occupy expanded interests in land beyond the traditional tenancies. The separation of possessory interest from interest in fee contributed to the decline of the rigid feudal land tenure structure.
At the same time, the strength of the feudal system's inherent resistance to this widespread innovation abated. By 1250, scutage had completely replaced feudal services: tenant obligations had been reduced to money payments. And as the identity of the principals in the landlord-tenant relationship became less critical, a change in the feudal rules restricting alienability of interests in land became possible.
One catalyst for this change may have been the litigation surrounding debt obligations to Jews secured by debtors' property. The Jews in Norman England had a specified legal status.   They alone could lend money at interest. They were owned by the King, and their property was his property. The King suffered their presence only so long as they served his interests - primarily as a source of liquid capital.
Because money lending by Christians was infrequent, English law had not established its own forms of security. The Jews operated within the framework of their own legal practice, which was based on Talmudic law developed over centuries of study. But the peculiar status of the Jews as the Crown's de facto investment bankers encouraged the King to direct his courts to enforce the credit agreements made by Jews under their alien practice.  This nourished the growth of Jewish law in a way that blurred the absolutes of feudal land tenure. Previously inalienable rights in land gave way to economic necessities, and the English ultimately adopted the Jewish practices.
Above quote from - The Shetar's Effect on English Law --  A Law of the Jews Becomes the Law of the Land, The Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 71:1179, written by Judith A. Shapiro (1983).

What was the device or instrument that was a new innovation into the laws England? It was a commercial document showing a security interest in property even though the holder of the security was not an owner or possessor. What was the instrument used as evidence to put villeins in debtor prisons? It was a security instrument appearing to show the defendant to be a debtor. Another word associated with security interest is pledge. Imprisonment for debt was a new concept in England, until the foreign merchants arrived. What was the foundational cause that would allow for debtors to be put in prison? It was the new nature or character of the population of England - which was, villeins, i.e. quasi slaves. The merchants needed the political authority to

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Byron Beers