Tuesday, November 23, 2010

White on the Law in American History

G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law, has posted a full draft of the first volume of his forthcoming book Law in American History. (This volume is subtitled From the Colonial Years through the Civil War.) Here is the abstract:
The book’s purpose is to explore the relationship of law to some central themes of American history from the initial colonial settlements through the conclusion of the Civil War. The themes singled out in the book include the displacement of Amerindian tribes from land they occupied on the North American continent; the emergence of agricultural householding as the principal form of family life in colonial British America; the detachment of the American colonies from the British Empire and the theories of sovereignty and grievance that accompanied that development; the evolution of American forms of government from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution; the emergence of the Supreme Court of the United States as a major institution of American grievance; the westward movement of enterprise and population in the decades between the 1830’s and the 1850’s; the central role of slavery and westward expansion and the gradual dissolution of the Union during these decades; and the role of the Civil War as a culmination of the central themes of early American history and as a force in transforming the subsequent course of that history.

Chapter 1
The Colonial Years

Chapter 2
Law and the Conditions of Agricultural Household Life, 1750-1800

Chapter 3

Law and the Founding of the American Republic I: Toward Independence and Republican Government

Chapter 4

Law and the Founding of the American Republic II: From the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution

Chapter 5
The Supreme Court Emerges

Chapter 6

Law and Entrepreneurship, 1800-1850

Chapter 7
Law and the Dissolution of the Union I: The Political Parties, Congress, and Slavery

Chapter 8
Law and the Dissolution of the Union II: Slavery, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court

Chapter 9
The Civil War: Setting the Stage

Chapter 10
The Civil War: Legal Issues