Legal Language in Nineteenth-Century America
Nan Goodman & Simon Stern (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America (2015)
29 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 24, 2014
This contribution explores the development of legal language in nineteenth-century America as a species of political discourse. In particular, I sketch the broad, competing trends in legal language. On the one hand, legal rhetoric became more popular and fragmented, as the sources of law multiplied. On the other hand, the law also became increasingly sophisticated and specialized with the rise of institutions. These features on the surface of legal rhetoric hinted at deeper changes in the imperatives of political development and efforts at cultural resistance.
Keywords: legal language, humanities, constitutional law, political discourse, slavery, abolition, emancipation, lincoln, law and literature, democratic culture, revolution, walt whitman, uncle tom's cabin, seneca falls, mark twain, civil war, five civilized tribes, okmulgee constitution, confederacy
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