The History of Juridical Institutions in California and the Other Southwestern States

HISTORIA DE LAS INSTITUCIONES JURÍDICAS DE LOS ESTADOS DE LA REPÚLICA MEXICANA, Honorable Senado de Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, ed., Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM (2010).

Whittier Law School Research Paper No. 09-10

18 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2009 Last revised: 12 Jan 2019

See all articles by Peter L. Reich

Peter L. Reich

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Abstract

This article, one of a series commissioned by the Senate of Mexico on the legal histories of the Mexican states, focuses on the northwestern Mexican provinces and their American successor jurisdictions in the area annexed by the United States via the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The study challenges the idea that the Treaty marked a sharp dividing line between pre- and post-conquest legal institutions and doctrine. In the period prior to the U.S. takeover, the remote territories of California and New Mexico developed local courts and legal communities based on the ideology of decentralization that characterized early nineteenth-century Mexican federalism. Under American rule, the redrawn political units in the area, ultimately states, preserved some specific features of Mexican law, such as community property, landholding requirements, and the prohibition of slavery. Further, the new U.S. states’ constitutions, codes, and jurisprudence maintained a decentralized federalist structure by emphasizing independent doctrinal grounds for judicial decision-making. This incorporation of Mexican principles and the development of semi-autonomous doctrine have positive implications for trans-border cooperation and legal convergence at the state level.

Note: The downloadable document is in Spanish.

Suggested Citation

Reich, Peter L., The History of Juridical Institutions in California and the Other Southwestern States. HISTORIA DE LAS INSTITUCIONES JURÍDICAS DE LOS ESTADOS DE LA REPÚLICA MEXICANA, Honorable Senado de Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, ed., Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM (2010).; Whittier Law School Research Paper No. 09-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1494502

Peter L. Reich (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
419
PlumX Metrics