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The Creation of American Common Law, 1850–1880
Technology, Politics, and the Construction of Citizenship

$35.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521158183

$ 35.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • America developed its own system of the "common law" (the name for legal principles developed by judges) in the mid-nineteenth century, abandoning the legal system inherited from England. This comparative study of the development of American law contrasts the experiences of North and South by a study of Illinois and Virginia, supported by observations from six states. It has an original comparative focus highlighting the connections between legal development, American political thought, and American political and economic development.

    • Comparative analysis of regional patterns of historical development in American law
    • Combination of legal, historical and political perspectives
    • Theoretically sophisticated interpretations of historical texts and events
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This book combines two of the most interesting developments in the study of law and politics in recent years to great effect...far beyond its masterful illumination of how railroads influenced legal development in nineteenth century America, [this book] will spark serious debate about the common law, citizenship, and political and legal development. The Law and Politics Book Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521158183
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. Introduction
    Part II:
    1. North and South
    2. Illinois. 'We were determined to have a rail-road'
    3. 'The memory of man runneth not to the contrary': cases involving damage to property
    4. 'Intelligent beings': cases involving injuries to persons
    5. The North: Ohio, Vermont, and New York
    6. Virginia in the 1850s: the last days of planter rule
    7. The Common Law of Antebellum Virginia: old wine in new bottles
    8. Virginia's version of American Common Law: old wine in new bottles
    9. The South: Georgia, North Carolina, and Kentucky
    10. Legal change and social order.

  • Author

    Howard Schweber, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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