Skip to main content



The articles in this issue are drawn from the papers delivered at the conference “Ab Initio: Law in Early America,” held in Philadelphia on June 16–17, 2010—the first conference in nearly fifteen years to focus on law in early America. It was sponsored by the Penn Legal History Consortium, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Society for Legal History, the University of Michigan Law School, and the University of Minnesota Law School, under the direction of Sarah Barringer Gordon, Martha S. Jones, William J. Novak, Daniel K. Richter, Richard J. Ross, and Barbara Y. Welke. For two days, fifteen mostly younger scholars presented their research to a packed house, with formal comments by senior scholars and vigorous discussion with the audience. That earlier conference, “The Many Legalities of Early America,” which convened in Williamsburg in 1996, had illustrated the shift from what was once trumpeted as the “new” legal history to something that never acquired a name, perhaps because it was less self-conscious in its methodology. “Ab Initio” offered the opportunity to ask how the field has changed in the years since.

Corresponding author
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
  • URL: /core/journals/law-and-history-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 4 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 66 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.