Law in American History: Volume 1: From the Colonial Years Through the Civil War

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Oxford University Press, USA, Feb 20, 2012 - History - 565 pages
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In the first of the three volumes of his projected comprehensive narrative history of the role of law in America from the colonial years through the twentieth century, G. Edward White takes up the central themes of American legal history from the earliest European settlements through the Civil War.Included in the coverage of this volume are the interactions between European and Amerindian legal systems in the years of colonial settlement; the crucial role of Anglo-American theories of sovereignty and imperial governance in facilitating the separation of the American colonies from the British Empire in the late eighteenth century; the American "experiment" with federated republican constitutionalism in the founding period; the major importance of agricultural householding, in the form of slave plantations as well as farms featuring wage labor, in helping to shape the development of American law in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the emergence of the Supreme Court of the United States as an authoritative force in American law and politics in the early nineteenth century; the interactions between law, westward expansion, and transformative developments in transportation and communiciation in the antebellum years; the contributions of American legal institutions to the dissolution of the Union of American states in the three decades after 1830; and the often-overlooked legal history of the Confederacy and Union governments during the Civil War.White incorporates recent scholarship in anthropology, ethnography, and economic, political, intellectual and legal history to produce a narrative that is both revisionist and accessible, taking up the familiar topics of race, gender, slavery, and the treatment of native Americans from fresh perspectives. Along the way he provides a compelling case for why law can be seen as the key to understanding the development of American life as we know it. Law in American History, Volume 1 will be an essential text for both students of law and general readers.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 The Colonial Years
16
2 Law and the Conditions of Agricultural Household Life 17501800
56
Toward Independence and Republican Government
109
From the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution
158
5 The Supreme Court Emerges
193
6 Law and Entrepreneurship 18001850
245
The Political Parties Congress and Slavery
292
Slavery the Constitution and the Supreme Court
338
Setting the Stage
382
Legal Issues
426
Notes
485
Index
539
Copyright

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About the author (2012)


G. Edward White is David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law and University Professor at the University of Virginia. His fifteen books include The American Judicial Tradition and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. White is also the editor of the John Harvard Library edition of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Common Law.

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