Author: Richard Cahan
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Release Date: 2002-12-18
Introduces the busiest federal court in the nation, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and examines its influence on the careers of such figures as Abraham Lincoln, Al Capone, and Abbie Hoffman.
Author: Chris Bray
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2016-05-17
A timely, provocative account of how military justice has shaped American society since the nation’s beginnings. Historian and former soldier Chris Bray tells the sweeping story of military justice from the earliest days of the republic to contemporary arguments over using military courts to try foreign terrorists or soldiers accused of sexual assault. Stretching from the American Revolution to 9/11, Court-Martial recounts the stories of famous American court-martials, including those involving President Andrew Jackson, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Lieutenant Jackie Robinson, and Private Eddie Slovik. Bray explores how encounters of freed slaves with the military justice system during the Civil War anticipated the civil rights movement, and he explains how the Uniform Code of Military Justice came about after World War II. With a great eye for narrative, Bray hones in on the human elements of these stories, from Revolutionary-era militiamen demanding the right to participate in political speech as citizens, to black soldiers risking their lives during the Civil War to demand fair pay, to the struggles over the court-martial of Lieutenant William Calley and the events of My Lai during the Vietnam War. Throughout, Bray presents readers with these unvarnished voices and his own perceptive commentary. Military justice may be separate from civilian justice, but it is thoroughly entwined with American society. As Bray reminds us, the history of American military justice is inextricably the history of America, and Court-Martial powerfully documents the many ways that the separate justice system of the armed forces has served as a proxy for America’s ongoing arguments over equality, privacy, discrimination, security, and liberty.
Author: Edward F. Mannino
Release Date: 2009
Shaping America offers a compelling survey of American history as viewed through the perspective of the United States Supreme Court, concentrating on how the Courtas decisions have shaped American society and how the Court in turn has been affected by prevailing political cultures, strong public attitudes, and several dominating justices. Edward F. Mannino, a practicing trial lawyer and legal historian, analyzes the historical forces that permitted the Court to affect American society profoundly through some 150 decisions organized along chronological and thematic lines. Casting his gaze across the nationas past, he surveys seminal cases in American constitutional history, including Marbury v. Madison, the New Orleans Slaughterhouse Cases, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Boumediene v. Bush, and D.C. v. Heller. Mannino takes special interest in cases respecting business and religion in American society and offers concise and objective perspectives on decisions affecting them. Throughout the volume Mannino illustrates the mutual influence the Court and societal forces have on each other, ably demonstrating how Court deliberations affectaand are affected byathe context in which they occur.
Author: Brian McGinty
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2015-02-09
The untold story of how one sensational trial propelled a self-taught lawyer and a future president into the national spotlight. In May of 1856, the steamboat Effie Afton barreled into a pillar of the Rock Island Bridge, unalterably changing the course of American transportation history. Within a year, long-simmering tensions between powerful steamboat interests and burgeoning railroads exploded, and the nation’s attention, absorbed by the Dred Scott case, was riveted by a new civil trial. Dramatically reenacting the Effie Afton case—from its unlikely inception, complete with a young Abraham Lincoln’s soaring oratory, to the controversial finale—this “masterful” (Christian Science Monitor) account gives us the previously untold story of how one sensational trial propelled a self-taught lawyer and a future president into the national spotlight.
Author: Dennis W. Johnson
Release Date: 2009-05-31
For better and sometimes for worse, Congress is a reflection of the aspirations, wants, and priorities of the American people. It reflects the kaleidoscope of special interests and unselfish service to others, of favors sought and sacrifices made. During each two-year session of Congress, thousands of pieces of legislation are proposed, many hundreds are given serious consideration, but far fewer are eventually enacted into law. Most enactments have limited impact, affect few, and are quietly forgotten in the flow of legislative activity. However, a small number of laws have risen to the level of historical consequence. These are the laws that have shaped America, and they are the subject of this book. Which pieces of legislation were the most significant for the development of the nation? Which have had an immediate or lasting impact on our society? Which laws so affected us that we could not imagine how our lives would be without them? Dennis W. Johnson vividly portrays the story of fifteen major laws enacted over the course of two centuries of American democracy. For each law, he examines the forces and circumstances that led to its enactment--the power struggles between rival interests, the competition between lawmakers and the administration, the compromises and principled stands, and the impact of the legislation and its place in American history.
Author: Mark Brilliant
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2010-10-21
From the moment that the attack on the "problem of the color line," as W.E.B. DuBois famously characterized the problem of the twentieth century, began to gather momentum nationally during World War II, California demonstrated that the problem was one of color lines. In The Color of America Has Changed, Mark Brilliant examines California's history to illustrate how the civil rights era was a truly nationwide and multiracial phenomenon-one that was shaped and complicated by the presence of not only blacks and whites, but also Mexican Americans, Japanese Americans, and Chinese Americans, among others. Focusing on a wide range of legal and legislative initiatives pursued by a diverse group of reformers, Brilliant analyzes the cases that dismantled the state's multiracial system of legalized segregation in the 1940s and subsequent battles over fair employment practices, old-age pensions for long-term resident non-citizens, fair housing, agricultural labor, school desegregation, and bilingual education. He concludes with the conundrum created by the multiracial affirmative action program at issue in the United States Supreme Court's 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision. The Golden State's status as a civil rights vanguard for the nation owes in part to the numerous civil rights precedents set there and to the disparate challenges of civil rights reform in multiracial places. While civil rights historians have long set their sights on the South and recently have turned their attention to the North, advancing a "long civil rights movement" interpretation, Mark Brilliant calls for a new understanding of civil rights history that more fully reflects the racial diversity of America.
Author: Joseph M. Siracusa
Release Date: 2012-09-07
An expansive reference that overviews John F. Kennedy's presidency, covering the people, places, and events that comprised the political landscape of the Kennedy era. • A compelling timeline of JFK's presidency plots out major events • A special focus on New Frontier policies and the president's conflicts with Communist regimes illuminate important domestic and foreign affairs • Primary source documents include speeches, transcriptions of Cuban Missile Crisis discussions, and legislation • Several useful appendices feature the entire Kennedy-Nixon debates and the Warren Report conclusions, among other documents
Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 1998-01-21
This revised edition of Law and People in Colonial America will incorporate recent scholarship and encompass American Indians, the French, and Spaniards as people who—on the fringes of English settlement—raised interesting questions. Among them: how in legal terms did the English deal with "marginal"societies; how does this posture help us to understand English law and the changes the New World forced upon it; and how did these people on the outside themselves view English law?
Author: David Cole
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2008
How did America become a nation that tortures prisoners, spies on its citizens, and gives its president unchecked powers in matters of defense? Cole takes a critical look at the limits of constitutional protections when the nation is under the threat of terrorism.
Author: Joseph R. Marbach
Publisher: Greenwood Press
Release Date: 2005-12
Genre: Federal government
This encyclopedia provides a comprehensive reference explaining the major concepts, institutions, court cases, epochs, personalities, and policies that have shaped, or been shaped by, American federalism. It describes federalism's creation and evolution, and its influence on governmental institutions, procedures, and policies at the local, state, and national levels. The models used to explain the various historical eras in the development of federalism are also included. Over 430 topics relating to American federalism are described. Included are descriptions of how the major and minor institutions of American government fit into the federal system and affect it. Descriptions of many of the court cases and legal concepts that have shaped American federalism are also included as are descriptions of ways in which federalism influenced the creation and implementation of many public policies. Entries include: John Adams, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Citizenship, Bush v. Gore, Dual Federalism, Civil War, Theodore Roosevelt, Electoral College, and Three Fifths Compromise. Sidebars further illuminate the concepts examined including relevant sections of the Constitution and other examples.
Author: Stanley Elkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1995-02-23
When Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office for the presidency in 1801, America had just passed through twelve critical years, years dominated by some of the towering figures of our history and by the challenge of having to do everything for the first time. Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, and Jefferson himself each had a share in shaping that remarkable era--an era that is brilliantly captured in The Age of Federalism.Written by esteemed historians Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism gives us a reflective, deeply informed analytical survey of this extraordinary period. Ranging over the widest variety of concerns--political, cultural, economic, diplomatic, and military--the authors provide a sweeping historical account, keeping always in view not only the problems the new nation faced but also the particular individuals who tried to solve them. As they move through the Federalist era, they draw subtly perceptive character sketches not only of the great figures--Washington and Jefferson, Talleyrand and Napoleon Bonaparte--but also of lesser ones, such as George Hammond, Britain's frustrated minister to the United States, James McHenry, Adams's hapless Secretary of War, the pre-Chief Justice version of John Marshall, and others. They weave these lively profiles into an analysis of the central controversies of the day, turning such intricate issues as the public debt into fascinating depictions of opposing political strategies and contending economic philosophies. Each dispute bears in some way on the broader story of the emerging nation. The authors show, for instance, the consequences the fight over Hamilton's financial system had for the locating of the nation's permanent capital, and how it widened an ideological gulf between Hamilton and the Virginians, Madison and Jefferson, that became unbridgeable. The statesmen of the founding generation, the authors believe, did "a surprising number of things right." But Elkins and McKitrick also describe some things that went resoundingly wrong: the hopelessly underfinanced effort to construct a capital city on the Potomac (New York, they argue, would have been a far more logical choice than Washington), and prosecutions under the Alien and Sedition Acts which turned into a comic nightmare. No detail is left out, or left uninteresting, as their account continues through the Adams presidency, the XYZ affair, the naval Quasi-War with France, and the desperate Federalist maneuvers in 1800, first to prevent the reelection of Adams and then to nullify the election of Jefferson.The Age of Federalism is the fruit of many years of discussion and thought, in which deep scholarship is matched only by the lucid distinction of its prose. With it, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick have produced the definitive study, long awaited by historians, of the early national era.