Louisiana Institute of Higher Education
The debate regarding the efficacy of Jackson's declaration of Martial Law at New Orleans in 1814 had filled historical discussions for 200 years. This lecture examines constitutional and statutory law as well as judicial decisions brought forward prior to Jackson's actions. Americans, then and now, are protective of their civil liberties, especially their habeas corpus rights. This protective bent encompasses war, rebellion, insurrection, natural disaster, and mere civil unrest. While military law, martial law, and military government have legally evolved, any present debate regarding a future declaration of martial law may well rake the same issues "well-raked" in 1815, 1843, 1861, etc., etc., etc. It all depends on what your definition of "necessity" is.
Harold W. Youmans, J.D., is an historian, re-enactor and lecturer on the War of 1812 and the former Editor of the "Journal of the War of 1812." He was also a contributor to the 2012 multi-volume Encyclopedia of the War of 1812. He has made presentations to groups throughout the United States on the war. He retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army and as a Special Magistrate and Hearing Officer for several communities in Central Florida. He arguably possesses one of the largest collections of War of 1812 printed material in private hands.