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The Cambridge History of Law in America


  • Page extent: 760 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.15 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 349.73
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: KF352 .C36 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Law--United States--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521803052)

Volume 1 of The Cambridge History of Law in America begins the account of law in America with the very first moments of European colonization and settlement of the North American landmass. It follows those processes across two hundred years to the eventual creation and stabilization of the American republic. The book discusses the place of law in regard to colonization and empire, indigenous peoples, government and jurisdiction, population migrations, economic and commercial activity, religion, the creation of social institutions, and revolutionary politics. The Cambridge History of Law in America has been made possible by the generous support of the American Bar Foundation.

• Presented in the great tradition of collectively written Cambridge histories, The Cambridge History of Law in America brings together sixty scholars - all the leading historians of law in the United States - to chart our accumulated knowledge of law in America from the first European contacts at the end of the sixteenth century through the early twenty-first century • These three volumes put on display all the intellectual vitality and variety of the best that American legal history has to offer • These books present an original, comprehensive and authoritative account of the present understanding and range of interpretation of the history of American law


1. Law, colonization, legitimation and the European background Anthony Pagden; 2. The law of Native Americans to 1815 Katherine A. Hermes; 3. English settlement and local governance Mary Sarah Bilder; 4. Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared Richard J. Ross; 5. Regionalism in early American law David Thomas Konig; 6. Penality and the colonial project: crime, punishment and the regulation of morals in early America Michael Meranze; 7. Law, population, labor Christopher Tomlins; 8. The fragmented laws of slavery in the colonial and revolutionary eras Sally E. Hadden; 9. The transformation of domestic law Holly Brewer; 10. Law and religion in colonial America Mark McGarvie and Elizabeth Mensch; 11. The transformation of law and economy in early America Bruce H. Mann; 12. Law and commerce, 1580–1815 Claire Priest; 13. Law and the origins of the American Revolution Jack P. Greene; 14. Confederation and constitution Jack N. Rakove; 15. The consolidation of the early Federal system, 1791–1812 Saul Cornell and Gerald Leonard; 16. Magistrates, common law lawyers, legislators: the three legal systems of British America James A. Henretta.


'This volume is an original and extensive study of an area of colonial history that has been given less prominence than it deserves. I thoroughly recommend it.' The Historical Association

'This book is a synthesis of much good empirical scholarship.' The Edinburgh Law Review

'Grossberg and Tomlin present this fine edited collection of essays on the law in the US...The chapter authors, leading experts in their fields, present lively, well-written pieces...Of great value is each volume's long, comprehensive bibliographic essay, which is over 120 pages in each book. A very good and enriching treatment of the topics covered, as well as a good general survey.' Choice


Anthony Pagden, Katherine A. Hermes, Mary Sarah Bilder, Richard J. Ross, David Thomas Konig, Michael Meranze, Christopher Tomlins, Sally E. Hadden, Holly Brewer, Mark McGarvie, Elizabeth Mensch, Bruce H. Mann, Claire Priest, Jack P. Greene, Jack N. Rakove, Saul Cornell, Gerald Leonard, James A. Henretta

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