MAKING CAPITAL SECURE: LAW AND THE INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMATION OF WEST VIRGINIA
The economic benefits the founders anticipated would spring; from the soil of an independent West Virginia eluded them for two decades after the bourgeois revolution of 1863. While the desire for industrial development was strong among West Virginia's statehood leaders, the institutional mechanisms necessary to realize that goal simply were not in place. Before the dream could be fulfilled, another revolution was necessary, one that would transform the law into a progressive partner in industrial development rather than a protector of a conservative philosophy and legal culture carried over from Virginia. The legal revolution would have to start with the constitution of 1863.
The founders of West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1863, but they retained the parent's legal system. The constitution of 1863 provided that "such parts of the common law and laws of the state of Virginia as are enforced within the boundary of the state of West Virginia when this constitution goes into operation, and are not repugnant thereto, shall be and continually the law of this state until altered or repealed by the legislature:" 1 But