Essays on English Law and the American Experience

Essays on English Law and the American Experience

Essays on English Law and the American Experience

Essays on English Law and the American Experience

Synopsis

"The roots of American jurisprudence in English common law are generally recognized. This provocative volume examines how English legal forms and principles have been transformed and shaped by a people who cherished the Anglo-American legal connection but were determined to alter the law to suit particular political, social, and economic circumstances. The authors, writing from a variety of perspectives, explore the nexus between social forces and the relatively autonomous legal system. They describe how the details of society and social organization (such as collective values, political culture, and ideology) interact with the ideas and structured of law to shape legal forms, habits, practices, and outcomes. Through their studies of the notion of sanctuary, the development of fencing law on the Great Plains, the shaping of the American law of treason, the British origins of the Texas workers' compensation system, the Americanization of Blackstone, and the meaning of common law in the United States, these scholars not only show the ongoing historical influence of English law and legal history after the American Revolution but also demonstrate the current vitality of comparative legal history as a discipline." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The twenty-seventh annual Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures had as their focus the influence of English law in the late eighteenthand nineteenth-century United States. On the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, on March 12, 1992, participants in the Webb lecture series considered the doctrinal heritage of English law and its considerable modifications by Americans who both cherished the Anglo-American legal heritage and were determined to alter it to suit particular political, social, and economic circumstances. the present volume contains the results of the research of the lecturers, as well as the writings of the winners of the annual Webb-Smith essay competition. the writers, informed by their understanding of Anglo-American law and history, make a case not only for the influence of English law and legal thought in American history, but for the vitality of comparative legal history as a discipline.

The contributors to this volume are scholars with a broad range of interests and experience in the study and teaching of legal history. Each has an academic background in both United States and English history, as well as other areas of comparative history and law. the author of the introduction, Richard Hamm, is assistant professor of history and public policy at the University of Albany, State University of New York. He also has served as a teaching fellow at Princeton University. An expert in nineteenth-century U.S. constitutional history, Professor Hamm has written Shaping the Eighteenth Amendment: Temperance Reform, Legal Culture, and the Polity, 1880-1920, which is a forthcoming publication in the University of North Carolina's legal history series. His articles on southern legal history and the history of taxation have appeared in several historical journals.

William Jones, professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, is the author of Relations of the Two Jurisdictions: Conflict and Cooperation of the Royal and Ecclesiastical Courts in England during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, in Studies in Medieval and . . .

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