Submitted by William Elder.
“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” Proposed by Congress in 1789 and included by James Madison in the Bill of Rights of 1791.
This Amendment had a very specific purpose, to counter the Quartering Acts, passed by the British Parliament In 1765 and broadened, after the Boston Tea Party of 1773, in 1774. It was one of the actions of Parliament labelled by Americans as The Intolerable Acts. It provided for the quartering of British soldiers first in colonist’s barracks and public houses, then in individual American homes. This iniquity was specifically cited in the Declaration of Independence from British rule, adopted July 4, 1776, showing the depth of feeling against this British imposition.
It should be noted however that the Amendment left wiggle room at the end in case the new country, if at war, we should need to do the same thing, so long as it passed a law allowing the practice. Most armies in subsequent conflicts quartered their troops wherever they needed to, sometimes paying, sometimes just by force of arms, as the British did.Print This Post