Anarchy “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “anarchy” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and “Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

The absence of government; a state of society where there is no law or supreme power. Political disorder coupled with violence [Spies v. People, 122 Ill 1, 12 NE 865, 17 NE 898].

 

(Bouvier’s)

The absence of all political government; by extension, it signifies confusion in government.

 

(Black’s)

The destruction of government; lawlessness; the absence of all political government; by extension, confusion in government [See Spies v. People, 122 Ill. 1, 253, 12 N. E. 865, 3 Am. St. Rep. 320; Lewis v. Daily News Co., 81 Md. 466, 32 Atl. 246, 29 L. R. A. 59; People v. Most, 36 Misc. Rep. 139, 73 N. Y. Supp. 220; Von Gerichten v. Seitz, 94 App. Div. 130, 87 N. Y. Supp. 968].

 

(Webster’s)

AN’ARCHY, n. [Gr. rule.]

Want of government; a state of society, when there is no law or supreme power, or when the laws are not efficient, and individuals do what they please with impunity; political confusion.
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