The Development of Law on the Rocky Mountain Frontier: Civil Law and Society, 1850-1912

The Development of Law on the Rocky Mountain Frontier: Civil Law and Society, 1850-1912

The Development of Law on the Rocky Mountain Frontier: Civil Law and Society, 1850-1912

The Development of Law on the Rocky Mountain Frontier: Civil Law and Society, 1850-1912

Synopsis

This book is clearly one of the five best works ever written on the legal history of the American West. It represents the definitive study of nineteenth-century legal contract, water, labor, and corporations law in the Rocky Mountain region broadly defined. It is a monograph that belongs in every college library and on the shelf of scholars of the West and of the law." The Journal of American History

Excerpt

This study of the development of law in the Rocky Mountain frontier involves eight states in the period 1850-1912. Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, and Wyoming were territories of the United States and at various times won admission as states. While an individual jurisdiction, each sought to attract investment capital, population, prosperity, and social advancement. Law was commonly a tool for such advancement. The context for lawmaking was frontier for a time. Social and economic forces interacted with the legal system and law impacted social and economic development.

The eight Rocky Mountain states are unified by a single physiographic characteristic: aridity. The region lies west of the 20-inch rainfall line and includes most of the United States' desert areas where rainfall is less than 10 inches annually. Although political boundaries separated the region first into territories and Congress blessed their entry into the Union as states, geography played a larger role in their early development. The entire region is characterized by picturesque but forbidding mountains, broken plateaus weathered by centuries of water and wind, parched deserts, semiarid plains, and rich, green watersheds of trickling creeks and grand rivers. The pioneer on the overland trail could slowly see the Rockies rise from . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.