Imperial Control of the Administration of Justice in the Thirteen American Colonies, 1684-1776

Imperial Control of the Administration of Justice in the Thirteen American Colonies, 1684-1776

Imperial Control of the Administration of Justice in the Thirteen American Colonies, 1684-1776

Imperial Control of the Administration of Justice in the Thirteen American Colonies, 1684-1776

Excerpt

Imperial relations will always be a subject of interest to students of the expansion of Europe. Problems of administration connected with the control of the original thirteen American dependencies are of interest to students of American history. Of these problems of administration between Great Britain and her colonies there are none more important than the one concerning the control of the developing legal system in the new world. With this phase of imperial administration this study is concerned.

The English government had evolved by the beginning of the eighteenth century the idea of a concrete, constructive policy with regard to the administration of justice in the thirteen American colonies. Not only was the English system to be established but in cases in which variations had occurred in the colonial development, these were to be moulded to conform with the accepted, traditional, Anglo-Saxon pattern so venerated in England. The Board of Trade, as early as 1700, asked for a report from all the dependencies concerning legal usage, looking toward a plan of standardization with the English system as a model. That this plan was not carried to its logical conclusion by the development of a uniform system was due to the fact that the immediate problems of the eighteenth century, particularly that of imperial defense, pressed so closely upon the home government that the administration of justice had to be controlled through judicial agencies already functioning. In this connection the King in Council as a court of last resort in the . . .

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