Catalonia's Advocates: Lawyers, Society, and Politics in Barcelona, 1759-1900

Synopsis

Offering a window into the history of the modern legal profession in Western Europe, Stephen Jacobson presents a history of lawyers in the most industrialized city on the Mediterranean. Far from being mere curators of static law, Barcelona's lawyers were at the center of social conflict and political and economic change, mediating between state, family, and society.

Beginning with the resurrection of a decadent bar during the Enlightenment, Jacobson traces the historical evolution of lawyers throughout the long nineteenth century. Among the issues he explores are the attributes of the modern legal profession, how lawyers engaged with the Enlightenment, how they molded events in the Age of Revolution and helped consolidate a liberal constitutional order, why a liberal profession became conservative and corporatist, and how lawyers promoted fin-de-si cle nationalism.

From the vantage point of a city with a distinguished legal tradition, Catalonia's Advocates provides fresh insight into European social and legal history; the origins of liberal professionalism; the education, training, and practice of law in the nineteenth century; the expansion of continental bureaucracies; and the corporatist aspects of modern nationalism.

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