Martial Law

martial law, temporary government and control by military authorities of a territory or state, when war or overwhelming public disturbance makes the civil authorities of the region unable to enforce its law. Martial law refers to rule by the domestic army only; the rule of occupied territory by an invading army is known as military government. During a war, a nation may invoke martial law in some or all of its territory as part of the war effort. Martial law is also applied in serious cases of internal dissension; the army authorities may take over the administrative and judicial functions, and civil safeguards (e.g., habeas corpus and freedom of speech) may also be suspended. Where the civil courts remain open, even if their orders are executed by the military, martial law is not applicable. In the United States the federal government is limited in applying martial law by the provision of Article 1, Section 9, Subsection 2, of the Constitution, which concerns the suspension of habeas corpus. In most U.S. states, martial law may be proclaimed when deemed necessary for the public's safety. However, the U.S. Supreme Court in ex parte Milligan (1866) ruled that military trial of civilians when the civil courts were functioning was unconstitutional. Martial law, which applies to all persons, civil and military, in the area is to be distinguished from military law, the system of rules of government applying only to those in military service.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Tiananmen Papers
Zhang Liang; Andrew J. Nathan; Perry Link.
PublicAffairs, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "May 19-22: Martial Law"
Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict: the Basic Documents
Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan; Marc Lambert; Qiao Li; H. R. Lan; Jerry Dennerline.
M. E. Sharpe, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VII "Martial Law"
Tiananmen Square, Spring 1989: A Chronology of the Chinese Democracy Movement
Theodore Han; John Li.
Institute of East Asian Studies University of California, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "Martial Law"
The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance
Daniel B. Schirmer; Stephen Rosskamm Shalom.
South End Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Martial Law"
A Changeless Land: Continuity and Change in Philippine Politics
David G. Timberman.
M. E. Sharpe, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Authoritarianism and Its Impact"
Palestine, Retreat from the Mandate: The Making of British Policy, 1936-45
Michael J. Cohen.
Holmes & Meier, 1978
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The 1936 Rebellion¿Martial Law or Political Concessions"
Solidarity and the Politics of Anti-Politics: Opposition and Reform in Poland since 1968
David Ost.
Temple University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "The Poverty of Martial Law: Limping Toward Reform"
Ferdinand Marcos and the Philippines: The Political Economy of Authoritarianism
Albert F. Celoza.
Praeger, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Martial Law and Regime Legitimation"
Rewolucja: Russian Poland, 1904-1907
Robert E. Blobaum; Robert Blobaum.
Cornell University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Eight "The Impact of Martial Law"
Democracy in a Communist Party: Poland's Experience since 1980
Werner G. Hahn.
Columbia University Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Martial Law and the Party"
We All Fought for Freedom: Women in Poland's Solidarity Movement
Kristi S. Long.
Westview Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Heroines of the Quotidian: Martial Law, Gender, and Memory"
The State against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe
Grzegorz Ekiert.
Princeton University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "The Imposition of Martial Law" begins on p. 259
Military, State, and Society in Pakistan
Hasan-Askari Rizvi.
Macmillan, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Martial Law Administration" begins on p. 84
The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties
Mark E. Neely Jr.
Oxford University Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Missouri and Martial Law"
A Poverty of Riches: New Challenges and Opportunities in Pla Reresearch
James C. Mulvenon; Andrew N. D. Yang.
Rand, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Meaning of Martial Law for the PLA and Internal Security in China After Deng"
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