Did the Hessians Get Benefits?

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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5 Responses

  1. James says:

    I can’t tell you too much about mercenary contracts, but I can give you some information on your titular question. Mercenaries don’t get statutory benefits in the American system (instead the Blackwater types get paid vastly more than the average solider). The English didn’t generally pay benefits to mercenaries in the Eighteenth Century — only pensions to English officers and disability benefits to wounded English soldiers. As for one particular Prussian, Baron von Steuben volunteered to serve without pay during the Revolution, but later sued the American government for benefits after the war.

    I cant’ tell you anything on the contract aspect of your question, but if you want to examine the background history of veteran benefits, you can check out my recently published history of veterans benefits in America: The Splendid Isolation Revisited: Lessons from the History of Veterans Benefits Before Judicial Review. SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1598344.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Kent says:

    I would not want to be around when the Wisconsin Mercenaries Union pickets the capitol for collective bargaining rights…you think public employees are scary when they’re angry?

  3. A.J. Sutter says:

    Exactly as Kent points out — the remedy for breach is self-help.

  4. Yes, the Hessians did get benefits. In fact, they were offered benefits to not fight in the war. This history is well-documented by myself and Rodney Atwood.

  5. Miriam Cherry says:

    I believe that Jennifer Martin is writing a series of articles on contracting w/mercenaries (used to fend off pirates, for example).