Law in American History (Introduction)
G. Edward White
University of Virginia School of Law
Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2010-41
G. Edward White, LAW IN AMERICAN HISTORY: VOLUME ONE, FROM THE COLONIAL YEARS THROUGH THE CIVIL WAR, Introduction, Forthcoming
This is the introduction of Law in American History: Volume One, From the Colonial Years Through the Civil War.
The book’s purpose is to explore the relationship of law to some central themes of American history from the initial colonial settlements through the conclusion of the Civil War. The themes singled out in the book include the displacement of Amerindian tribes from land they occupied on the North American continent; the emergence of agricultural householding as the principal form of family life in colonial British America; the detachment of the American colonies from the British Empire and the theories of sovereignty and grievance that accompanied that development; the evolution of American forms of government from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution; the emergence of the Supreme Court of the United States as a major institution of American grievance; the westward movement of enterprise and population in the decades between the 1830’s and the 1850’s; the central role of slavery and westward expansion and the gradual dissolution of the Union during these decades; and the role of the Civil War as a culmination of the central themes of early American history and as a force in transforming the subsequent course of that history.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 19, 2010
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