The Magic Mirror

Law in American History

The Magic Mirror

Chronicling American law from its English origins to the present, and offering for the first time comprehensive treatment of twentieth-century developments, this book sets American law and legal institutions in the broad context of social, economic, and political events, weaving togetherthemes from the history of both constitutional and private law. The Magic Mirror treats law in society, and the legal implications of social change in areas such as criminal justice, the rights of women, blacks, the family, and children. It further examines regional differences in American legalculture, the creation of the administrative and security states, the development of American federalism, and the rise of the legal profession. Hall pays close attention to the evolution of substantive law categories--such as contracts, torts, negotiable instruments, real property, trusts andestates, and civil procedure--and addresses the intellectual evolution of American law, surveying movements such as legal realism and critical legal studies. Hall concludes that over its history American law has been remarkably fluid, adapting in form and substance to each successive generationwithout ever fully resolving the underlying social and economic conflicts that first provoke demands for legal change.

The Magic Mirror

Law in American History

The Magic Mirror

Chronicling American law from its English origins to the present, and offering for the first time comprehensive treatment of twentieth-century developments, this book sets American law and legal institutions in the broad context of social, economic, and political events, weaving together themes from the history of both constitutional and private law. The Magic Mirror treats law in society, and the legal implications of social change in areas such as criminal justice, the rights of women, blacks, the family, and children. It further examines regional differences in American legal culture, the creation of the administrative and security states, the development of American federalism, and the rise of the legal profession. Hall pays close attention to the evolution of substantive law categories--such as contracts, torts, negotiable instruments, real property, trusts and estates, and civil procedure--and addresses the intellectual evolution of American law, surveying movements such as legal realism and critical legal studies. Hall concludes that over its history American law has been remarkably fluid, adapting in form and substance to each successive generation without ever fully resolving the underlying social and economic conflicts that first provoke demands for legal change.

The Magic Mirror

Law in American History

The Magic Mirror

Chronicling American law from its English origins to the present, and offering for the first time comprehensive treatment of twentieth-century developments, this book sets American law and legal institutions in the broad context of social, economic, and political events, weaving together themes from the history of both constitutional and private law. The Magic Mirror treats law in society, and the legal implications of social change in areas such as criminal justice, the rights of women, blacks, the family, and children. It further examines regional differences in American legal culture, the creation of the administrative and security states, the development of American federalism, and the rise of the legal profession. Hall pays close attention to the evolution of substantive law categories--such as contracts, torts, negotiable instruments, real property, trusts and estates, and civil procedure--and addresses the intellectual evolution of American law, surveying movements such as legal realism and critical legal studies. Hall concludes that over its history American law has been remarkably fluid, adapting in form and substance to each successive generation without ever fully resolving the underlying social and economic conflicts that first provoke demands for legal change.

The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History

The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History

The field of environmental history emerged just decades ago but has established itself as one of the most innovative and important new approaches to history, one that bridges the human and natural world, the humanities and the sciences. With the current trend towards internationalizing history, environmental history is perhaps the quintessential approach to studying subjects outside the nation-state model, with pollution, global warming, and other issues affecting the earth not stopping at national borders. With 25 essays, this Handbook is global in scope and innovative in organization, looking at the field thematically through such categories as climate, disease, oceans, the body, energy, consumerism, and international relations.

American Law in the 20th Century

American Law in the 20th Century

American law in the twentieth century describes the explosion of law over the past century into almost every aspect of American life. Since 1900 the center of legal gravity in the United States has shifted from the state to the federal government, with the creation of agencies and programs ranging from Social Security to the Securities Exchange Commission to the Food and Drug Administration. Major demographic changes have spurred legal developments in such areas as family law and immigration law. Dramatic advances in technology have placed new demands on the legal system in fields ranging from automobile regulation to intellectual property. Throughout the book, Friedman focuses on the social context of American law. He explores the extent to which transformations in the legal order have resulted from the social upheavals of the twentieth century--including two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Friedman also discusses the international context of American law: what has the American legal system drawn from other countries? And in an age of global dominance, what impact has the American legal system had abroad? This engrossing book chronicles a century of revolutionary change within a legal system that has come to affect us all.

American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction

American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction

Law has played a central role in American history. From colonial times to the present, law has not just reflected the changing society in which legal decisions have been made-it has played a powerful role in shaping that society, though not always in positive ways. Eminent legal scholar G. Edward White-author of the ongoing, multi-volume Law in American History-offers a compact overview that sheds light on the impact of law on a number of key social issues. Rather than offer a straight chronological history, the book instead traces important threads woven throughout our nation's past, looking at how law shaped Native American affairs, slavery, business, and home life, as well as how it has dealt with criminal and civil offenses. White shows that law has not always been used to exemplary ends. For instance, a series of decisions by the Marshall court essentially marginalized Amerindians, indigenous people of the Americas, reducing tribes to wards of the government. Likewise, law initially legitimated slavery in the United States, and legal institutions, including the Supreme Court, failed to resolve the tensions stirred up by the westward expansion of slavery, eventually sparking the Civil War. White also looks at the expansion of laws regarding property rights, which were vitally important to the colonists, many of whom left Europe hoping to become land owners; the evolution of criminal punishment from a public display (the stocks, the gallows) to a private prison system; the rise of tort law after the Civil War; and the progress in legal education, moving from informal apprenticeships and lax standards to modern law schools and rigorous bar exams. In this illuminating look at the pivotal role of law in American life, White offers us an excellent first step to a better appreciation of the function of law in our society. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Law in the Western United States

Law in the Western United States

In this volume, Gordon Morris Bakken traces the distinctive development of western legal history. The contributors' essays provide succinct descriptions of major cases, legislation, and individual western states' constitutional provisions that are unique in the American legal system. To assist the reader, the volume is organized by subject, including natural resources, municipal authority, business regulation, American Indian sovereignty and water rights, women, and Mormons. Contributors are: Roy H. Andes, Dana Blakemore, Richard Griswold del Castillo, Susan Badger Doyle, James W. Ely, Jr., Brenda Gail Farrington, Dale D. Goble, Neil Greenwood, Vanessa Gunther, Louise A Halper, Claudia Hess, Kenneth Hough, Paul Kens, Shenandoah Grant Lynd, Thomas C. Mackey, Nicholas George Malavis, Timothy Miller, Danelle Moon, Andrew P. Morriss, Keith Pacholl, Laurie Caroline Pintar, Michael A. Powell, Ion Puschilla, Emily Rader, Peter L. Reich, John Phillip Reid, Lucy E. Salyer, Susan Sanchez, Janet Schmelzer, Howard Shorr, Paul Reed Spitzzeri, John Joseph Stanley, Donald L. Stelluto, Jr., Timothy A. Strand, Imre Sutton, Nancy J. Taniguchi, and Lonnie Wilson.

The Myth of the Imperial Judiciary

Why the Right is Wrong about the Courts

The Myth of the Imperial Judiciary

Few institutions have become as ferociously fought over in democratic politics as the courts. While political criticism of judges in this country goes back to its inception, today’s intensely ideological assault is nearly unprecedented. Spend any amount of time among the writings of contemporary right-wing critics of judicial power, and you are virtually assured of seeing repeated complaints about the “imperial judiciary.” American conservatives contend not only that judicial power has expanded dangerously in recent decades, but that liberal judges now willfully write their policy preferences into law. They raise alarms that American courts possess a degree of power incompatible with the functioning of a democratic polity. The Myth of the Imperial Judiciary explores the anti-judicial ideological trend of the American right, refuting these claims and taking a realistic look at the role of courts in our democracy to show that conservatives have a highly unrealistic conception of their power. Kozlowski first assesses the validity of the conservative view of the Founders’ intent, arguing that courts have played an assertive role in our politics since their establishment. He then considers contemporary judicial powers to show that conservatives have greatly overstated the extent to which the expansion of rights which has occurred has worked solely to the benefit of liberals. Kozlowski reveals the ways in which the claims of those on the right are often either unsupported or simply wrong. He concludes that American courts, far from imperiling our democracy or our moral fabric, stand as a bulwark against the abuse of legislative power, acting forcefully, as they have always done, to give meaning to constitutional promises.

A Distant Heritage

The Growth of Free Speech in Early America

A Distant Heritage

Historians often rely on a handful of unusual cases to illustrate the absence of free speech in the colonies—such as that of Richard Barnes, who had his arms broken and a hole bored through his tongue for seditious words against the governor of Virginia. In this definitive and accessible work, Larry Eldridge convincingly debunks this view by revealing surprising evidence of free speech in early America. Using the court records of every American colony that existed before 1700 and an analysis of over 1,200 seditious speech cases sifted from those records, A Distant Heritage shows how colonists experienced a dramatic expansion during the seventeenth century of their freedom to criticize government and its officials. Exploring important changes in the roles of juries and appeals, the nature of prosecution and punishment, and the pattern of growing leniency, Eldridge also shows us why this expansion occurred when it did. He concludes that the ironic combination of tumult and destabilization on the one hand, and steady growth and development on the other, made colonists more willing to criticize authority openly and officials less able to prevent it. That, in turn, established a foundation for the more celebrated flowering of colonial dissent against English authority in the eighteenth century. Steeped in primary sources and richly narrated, this is an invaluable addition to the library of anyone interested in legal history, colonial America, or the birth of free speech in the United States.

Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy

Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy

Privatization is occurring throughout the public justice system, including courts, tribunals, and state-sanctioned private dispute resolution regimes. Driven by a widespread ethos of efficiency-based civil justice reform, privatization claims to decrease costs, increase speed, and improve access to the tools of justice. But it may also lead to procedural unfairness, power imbalances, and the breakdown of our systems of democratic governance. Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy demonstrates the urgent need to publicize, politicize, debate, and ultimately temper these moves towards privatized justice. Written by Trevor C.W. Farrow, a former litigation lawyer and current Chair of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy does more than just bear witness to the privatization initiatives that define how we think about and resolve almost all non-criminal disputes. It articulates the costs and benefits of these privatizing initiatives, particularly their potential negative impacts on the way we regulate ourselves in modern democracies, and it makes recommendations for future civil justice practice and reform.