The Common Law in Colonial America

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190465056
Release Date: 2016-05-15
Genre: Law

William E. Nelson here proposes a new beginning in the study of colonial legal history. Examining all archival legal material for the period 1607-1776 and synthesizing existing scholarship in a four-volume series, The Common Law in Colonial America shows how the legal systems of Britain's thirteen North American colonies--initially established in response to divergent political, economic, and religious initiatives--slowly converged into a common American legal order that differed substantially from English common law. Drawing on groundbreaking and overwhelmingly in-depth research into local court records and statutes, the first volume explores how the law of the Chesapeake colonies--Virginia and Maryland--diverged sharply from the New England colonies--Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Haven, Plymouth, and Rhode Island--and traces the roots of these dissimilarities from their initial settlement until approximately 1660. Nelson pointedly examines the disparate motives of the legal systems in the respective colonies as they dealt with religion, price and labor regulations, crimes, public morals, the status of women, and the enforcement of contractual obligations. He reveals how Virginians' zeal for profit led to a harsh legal framework that efficiently squeezed payment out of debtors and labor out of servants; whereas the laws of Massachusetts were primarily concerned with the preservation of local autonomy and the moral values of family-centered farming communities. The law in the other New England colonies, Nelson argues, gravitated towards the Massachusetts model, while Maryland's law, gravitated toward that of Virginia. Comprehensive, authoritative, and extensively researched, The Common Law in Colonial America, Volume 1: The Chesapeake and New England, 1607-1660 is the definitive resource on the beginnings of the common law and its evolution during this vibrant era in America's history.

The Common Law in Colonial America

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199937752
Release Date: 2008
Genre: History

In this four-volume series, the author shows how the legal systems of Britain's 13 North American colonies - initially established in response to divergent political, economic, and religious initiatives - slowly converged into a common American legal order that differed substantially from English common law.

The Common Law in Colonial America

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190465056
Release Date: 2016-05-15
Genre: Law

William E. Nelson here proposes a new beginning in the study of colonial legal history. Examining all archival legal material for the period 1607-1776 and synthesizing existing scholarship in a four-volume series, The Common Law in Colonial America shows how the legal systems of Britain's thirteen North American colonies--initially established in response to divergent political, economic, and religious initiatives--slowly converged into a common American legal order that differed substantially from English common law. Drawing on groundbreaking and overwhelmingly in-depth research into local court records and statutes, the first volume explores how the law of the Chesapeake colonies--Virginia and Maryland--diverged sharply from the New England colonies--Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Haven, Plymouth, and Rhode Island--and traces the roots of these dissimilarities from their initial settlement until approximately 1660. Nelson pointedly examines the disparate motives of the legal systems in the respective colonies as they dealt with religion, price and labor regulations, crimes, public morals, the status of women, and the enforcement of contractual obligations. He reveals how Virginians' zeal for profit led to a harsh legal framework that efficiently squeezed payment out of debtors and labor out of servants; whereas the laws of Massachusetts were primarily concerned with the preservation of local autonomy and the moral values of family-centered farming communities. The law in the other New England colonies, Nelson argues, gravitated towards the Massachusetts model, while Maryland's law, gravitated toward that of Virginia. Comprehensive, authoritative, and extensively researched, The Common Law in Colonial America, Volume 1: The Chesapeake and New England, 1607-1660 is the definitive resource on the beginnings of the common law and its evolution during this vibrant era in America's history.

The Common Law in Colonial America Volume I The Chesapeake and New England 1607 1660

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195327284
Release Date: 2008-08-05
Genre: History

William E. Nelson here proposes a new beginning in the study of colonial legal history. Examining all archival legal material for the period 1607-1776 and synthesizing existing scholarship in a four-volume series, The Common Law in Colonial America shows how the legal systems of Britain's thirteen North American colonies--initially established in response to divergent political, economic, and religious initiatives--slowly converged into a common American legal order that differed substantially from English common law.Drawing on groundbreaking and overwhelmingly in-depth research into local court records and statutes, the first volume explores how the law of the Chesapeake colonies--Virginia and Maryland--diverged sharply from the New England colonies--Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Haven, Plymouth, and Rhode Island--and traces the roots of these dissimilarities from their initial settlement until approximately 1660. Nelson pointedly examines the disparate motives of the legal systems in the respective colonies as they dealt with religion, price and labor regulations, crimes, public morals, the status of women, and the enforcement of contractual obligations. He reveals how Virginians' zeal for profit led to a harsh legal framework that efficiently squeezed payment out of debtors and labor out of servants; whereas the laws of Massachusetts were primarily concerned with the preservation of local autonomy and the moral values of family-centered farming communities. The law in the other New England colonies, Nelson argues, gravitated towards the Massachusetts model, while Maryland's law, gravitated toward that of Virginia.Comprehensive, authoritative, and extensively researched, The Common Law in Colonial America, Volume 1: The Chesapeake and New England, 1607-1660 is the definitive resource on the beginnings of the common law and its evolution during this vibrant era in America's history. William E. Nelson here proposes a new beginning in the study of colonial legal history.

The Common Law in Colonial America Volume I The Chesapeake and New England 1607 1660

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195327284
Release Date: 2008-08-05
Genre: History

William E. Nelson here proposes a new beginning in the study of colonial legal history. Examining all archival legal material for the period 1607-1776 and synthesizing existing scholarship in a four-volume series, The Common Law in Colonial America shows how the legal systems of Britain's thirteen North American colonies--initially established in response to divergent political, economic, and religious initiatives--slowly converged into a common American legal order that differed substantially from English common law.Drawing on groundbreaking and overwhelmingly in-depth research into local court records and statutes, the first volume explores how the law of the Chesapeake colonies--Virginia and Maryland--diverged sharply from the New England colonies--Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Haven, Plymouth, and Rhode Island--and traces the roots of these dissimilarities from their initial settlement until approximately 1660. Nelson pointedly examines the disparate motives of the legal systems in the respective colonies as they dealt with religion, price and labor regulations, crimes, public morals, the status of women, and the enforcement of contractual obligations. He reveals how Virginians' zeal for profit led to a harsh legal framework that efficiently squeezed payment out of debtors and labor out of servants; whereas the laws of Massachusetts were primarily concerned with the preservation of local autonomy and the moral values of family-centered farming communities. The law in the other New England colonies, Nelson argues, gravitated towards the Massachusetts model, while Maryland's law, gravitated toward that of Virginia.Comprehensive, authoritative, and extensively researched, The Common Law in Colonial America, Volume 1: The Chesapeake and New England, 1607-1660 is the definitive resource on the beginnings of the common law and its evolution during this vibrant era in America's history. William E. Nelson here proposes a new beginning in the study of colonial legal history.

English Common Law in the Early American Colonies

Author: Paul Samuel Reinsch
Publisher: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
ISBN: 9781584774877
Release Date: 2004
Genre: History

Reinsch, Paul Samuel. English Common Law in the Early American Colonies. Madison: [Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin], 1899. 64 pp. Reprint available December, 2004 by the Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-487-8. Cloth. $65. * This focused study of the institutional framework of colonial government addresses the colonial policy of the European powers, the motives and methods of colonial expansion, the general forms of colonial government and how the administrative and legislative methods of each colony grew to accommodate them.

The Common Law in Colonial America

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190850487
Release Date: 2018-06
Genre: History

The eminent legal historian William E. Nelson's magisterial four-volume The Common Law in Colonial America traces how the many legal orders of Britain's thirteen North American colonies gradually evolved into one American system. Initially established on divergent political, economic, and religious grounds, the various colonial systems slowly converged until it became possible by the 1770s to imagine that all thirteen participated in a common American legal order, which diverged in its details but differed far more substantially from English common law. This fourth and final volume begins where volume three ended. It focuses on the laws of the thirteen colonies in the mid-eighteenth century and on constitutional events leading up to the American Revolution. Nelson first examines procedural and substantive law and looks at important shifts in the law to show how the mid-eighteenth- century colonial legal system in large part functioned effectively in the interests both of Great Britain and of its thirteen colonies. Nelson then turns to constitutional events leading to the Revolution. Here he shows how lawyers deployed ideological arguments not for their own sake, but in order to protect colonial institutional structures and the socio-economic interests of their clients. As lawyers deployed the arguments, they developed them into a constitutional theory that gave primacy to common-law constitutional rights and local self-government. In the process, the lawyers became leaders of the revolutionary movement and a dominant political force in the new United States.

Americanization of the Common Law

Author: William Edward Nelson
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820315877
Release Date: 1994-01-01
Genre: Law

Americanization of the Common Law remains one of the standard works on the transformation of law in America from the late colonial period to the end of the early republic. In a straightforward manner, William E. Nelson analyzes the profound ideological movement that grew out of the American Revolution and caused substantial structural change in the legal and social order of Massachusetts and, by extension, in the nation at large. The Revolution, Nelson argues, transformed a hierarchical and communitarian legal and social order into an egalitarian and individualistic one. For this edition, Nelson has written a new preface in which he discusses the book's initial reception and the relevant historiographical issues that have arisen since it was first published in 1975.

Criminal Justice in Colonial America 1606 1660

Author: Bradley Chapin
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820336916
Release Date: 2010-06-01
Genre: Law

This study analyzes the development of criminal law during the first several generations of American life. Its comparison of the substantive and procedural law among the colonies reveals the similarities and differences between the New England and the Chesapeake colonies. Bradley Chapin addresses the often-debated question of the “reception” of English law and makes estimates of the relative weight of the sources and methods of early American law. A main theme of his book is that colonial legislators and judges achieved a significant reform of the English criminal law at a time when a parallel movement in England failed. The analysis is made specific and concrete by statistics that show patterns of prosecutions and crime rates. In addition to the exciting and convincing theme of a “lost period” of great creativity in American criminal law, Chapin gives a wealth of detail on statutory and common-law rulings, noteworthy criminal cases, and judicial views of how the law was to be administered. He provides social and economic explanations of shifts and peculiarities in the law, using carefully arranged evidence from the records. His treatment of the Quaker cases in Massachusetts and the witchcraft prosecutions in New England throws new light on those frequently misunderstood episodes. Chapin's book will be of interest not only to scholars working in the field but also to anyone curious about early American legal history.

A History of the Anglo American Common Law of Contract

Author: Kevin M. Teeven
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0313261512
Release Date: 1990-01-01
Genre: History

This first booklength survey of the 800-year evolution of Anglo-American common law contract begins in 12th-century England and extends to contemporary America, focusing on how procedural, economic, intellectual, and social considerations tempered the form of contract law and analyzing the thought of lawyers and judges throughout the period. Covers Plantagenet royal courts in England to contract law in the context of American urban, industrialized society; reviews public policy, consumerism, and codification; and poses questions about the future direction of contract law.

Law in American History

Author: G. Edward White
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199930982
Release Date: 2016-03-15
Genre:

In this second installment of G. Edward White's sweeping history of law in America from the colonial era to the present, White, covers the period between 1865-1929, which encompasses Reconstruction, rapid industrialization, a huge influx of immigrants, the rise of Jim Crow, the emergence of an American territorial empire, World War I, and the booming yet xenophobic 1920s. As in the first volume, he connects the evolution of American law to the major political, economic, cultural, social, and demographic developments of the era. To enrich his account, White draws from the latest research from across the social sciences--economic history, anthropology, and sociology--yet weave those insights into a highly accessible narrative. Along the way he provides a compelling case for why law can be seen as the key to understanding the development of American life as we know it. Law in American History, Volume II will be an essential text for both students of law and general readers.

Law and People in Colonial America

Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 080185816X
Release Date: 1998-01-21
Genre: History

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?

The Common Law in Colonial America

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190850494
Release Date: 2018-05-01
Genre: Law

The eminent legal historian William E. Nelson's magisterial four-volume The Common Law in Colonial America traces how the many legal orders of Britain's thirteen North American colonies gradually evolved into one American system. Initially established on divergent political, economic, and religious grounds, the various colonial systems slowly converged until it became possible by the 1770s to imagine that all thirteen participated in a common American legal order, which diverged in its details but differed far more substantially from English common law. This fourth and final volume begins where volume three ended. It focuses on the laws of the thirteen colonies in the mid-eighteenth century and on constitutional events leading up to the American Revolution. Nelson first examines procedural and substantive law and looks at important shifts in the law to show how the mid-eighteenth- century colonial legal system in large part functioned effectively in the interests both of Great Britain and of its thirteen colonies. Nelson then turns to constitutional events leading to the Revolution. Here he shows how lawyers deployed ideological arguments not for their own sake, but in order to protect colonial institutional structures and the socio-economic interests of their clients. As lawyers deployed the arguments, they developed them into a constitutional theory that gave primacy to common-law constitutional rights and local self-government. In the process, the lawyers became leaders of the revolutionary movement and a dominant political force in the new United States.

The Cambridge History of Law in America

Author: Michael Grossberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521803052
Release Date: 2008-04-28
Genre: History

This volume covers American law from the earliest settlement and colonization of North America.

Withces Wife Beaters and Whores

Author: Elaine Forman Crane
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801462740
Release Date: 2011-09-15
Genre: History

The early American legal system permeated the lives of colonists and reflected their sense of what was right and wrong, honorable and dishonorable, moral and immoral. In a compelling book full of the extraordinary stories of ordinary people, Elaine Forman Crane reveals the ways in which early Americans clashed with or conformed to the social norms established by the law. As trials throughout the country reveal, alleged malefactors such as witches, wife beaters, and whores, as well as debtors, rapists, and fornicators, were as much a part of the social landscape as farmers, merchants, and ministers. Ordinary people "made" law by establishing and enforcing informal rules of conduct. Codified by a handshake or over a mug of ale, such agreements became custom and custom became "law." Furthermore, by submitting to formal laws initiated from above, common folk legitimized a government that depended on popular consent to rule with authority. In this book we meet Marretie Joris, a New Amsterdam entrepreneur who sues Gabriel de Haes for calling her a whore; peer cautiously at Christian Stevenson, a Bermudian witch as bad "as any in the world;" and learn that Hannah Dyre feared to be alone with her husband-and subsequently died after a beating. We travel with Comfort Taylor as she crosses Narragansett Bay with Cuff, an enslaved ferry captain, whom she accuses of attempted rape, and watch as Samuel Banister pulls the trigger of a gun that kills the sheriff's deputy who tried to evict Banister from his home. And finally, we consider the promiscuous Marylanders Thomas Harris and Ann Goldsborough, who parented four illegitimate children, ran afoul of inheritance laws, and resolved matters only with the assistance of a ghost. Through the six trials she skillfully reconstructs here, Crane offers a surprising new look at how early American society defined and punished aberrant behavior, even as it defined itself through its legal system.