US founder Alexander Hamilton died after a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. Credit: North Wind Picture Archives / Alamy

A Missouri Republican’s proposal to reintroduce dueling to solve statehouse differences was branded “utter stupidity” by a leading historian of political violence.

“Back in the day,” Joanne B Freeman of Yale tweeted, “they were smart enough to take dueling OUTSIDE. The draft that I saw suggests doing it in the chamber. This doesn’t show guts or bravery or manhood – if it’s supposed to. It shows utter stupidity.”

Freeman is the author of The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War.

The state senator behind the proposal said he was making a point about the breakdown of regular order in Missouri politics.

The draft rule change came to national notice when it was posted to social media by Democrats in the state senate.

“The Missouri Republican civil war continues to escalate as a member of the Freedom Caucus faction has filed a proposed rule change to allow senators to challenge an ‘offending senator to a duel’,” they wrote.

The Missouri Freedom Caucus is […]

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