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The Creation of American Common Law, 1850–1880

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

£72.00

  • Date Published: March 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521824620

£ 72.00
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  • This book is a comparative study of the American legal development in the mid-nineteenth century. Focusing on Illinois and Virginia, supported by observations from six additional states, the book traces the crucial formative moment in the development of an American system of common law in northern and southern courts. The process of legal development, and the form the basic analytical categories of American law came to have, are explained as the products of different responses to the challenge of new industrial technologies, particularly railroads. The nature of those responses was dictated by the ideologies that accompanied the social, political, and economic orders of the two regions. American common law, ultimately, is found to express an emerging model of citizenship, appropriate to modern conditions. As a result, the process of legal development provides an illuminating perspective on the character of American political thought in a formative period of the nation.

    • 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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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521824620
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • 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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