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Exploring Southern Legal History

42 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2008 Last revised: 12 Aug 2009

Paul Finkelman

University of Pittsburgh, School of Law; Albany Law School - Government Law Center


Whether the South has a distinct legal history has not been adequately explored by scholars. In this essay, Professor Finkelman discusses southern legal history through an examination of race relations, violence, crime, legal institutions, and legal culture concluding that marked differences exist between northern and southern legal history. By highlighting the many unanswered questions concerning the South’s legal heritage, Professor Finkelman invites and encourages scholars to engage in research that will relieve the South of “the pressure [its] past must exercise” upon it today.

Keywords: regionalism, race relations

Suggested Citation

Finkelman, Paul, Exploring Southern Legal History. North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 64, No. 77, 1985. Available at SSRN:

Paul Finkelman (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh, School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-2079 (Phone)

Albany Law School - Government Law Center ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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