Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cromwell Dissertation Award to Glass for "These United States"

This year's Cromwell Dissertation Prize was awarded to Maeve Herbert Glass for her dissertation “These United States: A History of the Fracturing of America.” Glass holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she is currently an Academic Fellow. She received her from Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2016. Here's the citation:

In a masterful narrative that is at once elegant and riveting, Glass challenges the dominant view that states were America’s primary ideological units in the early national period, positing instead that America emerged from a coastal trading network that extended from Massachusetts “southward” to Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. Relying on a detailed analysis of commercial records in Massachusetts, Glass uncovers a lost America in which Boston merchants shared more in common with South Carolina planters than they did residents of Springfield or Worcester. She argues that philosophical debates over slavery led to a “fracturing” of the United States in the decades after the founding, as abolitionists learned to use the language of state sovereignty to weaken the hold of America’s coastal trading elite.
The award is given by the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, with the advice of the American Society for Legal History. The members of this year's ASLH Cromwell Dissertation Prize Advisory Subcommittee were Anders Walker (Saint Louis University School of Law), Chair; H. Robert Baker (Georgia State University); Lisa Ford (University of New South Wales); and Laura Weinrib (University of Chicago Law School).