Law stands at the center of modern American life. Since the 1950s, American historians have produced an extraordinarily rich and diverse account of law and legal institutions in American history. But even though our knowledge has increased enormously, few attempts have been made to draw its many parts together in some greater whole that summarizes and synthesizes the history of law in America. The Cambridge History of Law in America has been designed for just this purpose. Sixty of the leading historians of law in the United States have been brought together in one enterprise to present the most comprehensive and authoritative account possible of the history of American law.
The Cambridge History of Law in America has been made possible by the generous support of the American Bar Foundation.
Volume 1. Law, colonization, legitimation and the European background; 2. The law of Native Americans to 1815; 3. English settlement and local governance; 4. Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared; 5. Regionalism in early American law; 6. Penality and the colonial project: crime, punishment and the regulation of morals in early America; 7. Law, population, labor; 8. The fragmented laws of slavery in the colonial and revolutionary eras; 9. The transformation of domestic law; 10. Law and religion in colonial America; 11. The transformation of law and economy in early America; 12. Law and commerce, 1580–1815; 13. Law and the origins of the American Revolution; 14. Confederation and constitution; 15. The consolidation of the early Federal system, 1791–1812; 16. Magistrates, common law lawyers, legislators: the three legal systems of British America. Volume 2. 1. Law and the American state, from the Revolution to the Civil War: institutional growth and structural change; 2. Legal education and legal thought, 1790–1920; 3. The legal profession: from the Revolution to the Civil War; 4. The courts, 1790–1920; 5. Criminal justice in the United States, 1790–1920: a government of laws or men?; 6. Citizenship and immigration law, 1800–1924: resolutions of membership and territory; 7. Federal policy, Western movement and consequences for indigenous people, 1790–1920; 8. Marriage and domestic relations; 9. Slavery, antislavery, and the coming of the Civil War; 10. The civil war and reconstruction; 11. Law, personhood and citizenship in the long nineteenth century: the borders of belonging; 12. Law in popular culture, 1790–1920: the people and the law; 13. Law and religion, 1790–1920; 14. Legal innovation and market capitalism, 1790–1920; 15. Innovations in law and technology, 1790–1920; 16. The laws of industrial organization, 1870–1920; 17. The military in American legal history; 18. The United States and international affairs, 1789–1919; 19. Politics, state building, and the courts, 1870–1920. Volume 3. 1. Law and state, 1920–2000: institutional growth and structural change; 2. Legal theory and legal education, 1920–2000; 3. The American legal profession, 1870–2000; 4. The courst, Federalism and the Federal Constitution, 1920–2000; 5. The litigation revolution; 6. Criminal justice in the United States; 7. Law and medicine; 8. The Great Depression and the New Deal; 9. Labor's welfare state: defining workers, constructing citizens; 10. Poverty law and income support: from the progressive era to the war on welfare; 11. The rights revolution in the twentieth century; 12. Race and rights; 13. Heterosexuality as a legal regime; 14. Law and the environment; 15. Agriculture and the state, 1789–2000; 16. Law and economic change during the short twentieth century; 17. The corporate economy: ideologies of regulation and antitrust, 1920–2000; 18. Law and commercial popular culture in the twentieth-century United States; 19. Making law, making war, making America; 20. Law, lawyers and empire.
Cited and recognized by the Littleton-Griswold Prize Committee: "...the conceptual frameworks...will mark our field for a generation."
"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."
"Michael Grossberg and Christopher Tomlins, two first-rate historians who write about American law, deserve credit for an imaginative and persuasive reconceptualization of legal history." -David J. Bodenhamer, The Journal of American History