ISBN-10:
0674027191
ISBN-13:
9780674027190
Pub. Date:
03/31/2008
Publisher:
Harvard
The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire

The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire

by Mary Sarah Bilder
Current price is , Original price is $31.5. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.

Overview

Departing from traditional approaches to colonial legal history, Mary Sarah Bilder argues that American law and legal culture developed within the framework of an evolving, unwritten transatlantic constitution that lawyers, legislators, and litigants on both sides of the Atlantic understood. The central tenet of this constitution—that colonial laws and customs could not be repugnant to the laws of England but could diverge for local circumstances—shaped the legal development of the colonial world.

Focusing on practices rather than doctrines, Bilder describes how the pragmatic and flexible conversation about this constitution shaped colonial law: the development of the legal profession; the place of English law in the colonies; the existence of equity courts and legislative equitable relief; property rights for women and inheritance laws; commercial law and currency reform; and laws governing religious establishment. Using as a case study the corporate colony of Rhode Island, which had the largest number of appeals of any mainland colony to the English Privy Council, she reconstructs a largely unknown world of pre-Constitutional legal culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674027190
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/31/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Mary Sarah Bilder is Founders Professor of Law and Michael and Helen Lee Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

A Note on Legal Terms

Introduction: The Transatlantic Constitution and the Colonial World

Part I. The Transatlantic Legal World

1. Legal Practitioners and Legal Literates

2. The Laws of England

3. The Laws of Rhode Island

Part II. Transatlantic Legal Practice

4. The Transatlantic Appeal

5. Women, Family, Property

6. Personnel and Practices

Part III. Visions of the Transatlantic Constitution

7. Religious Establishment and Orthodoxy

8. Commerce and Currency

9. The Transatlantic Constitution and the Nation

Notes

Index

What People are Saying About This

Mary Sarah Bilder has taken an old and long-unfashionable topic and successfully given it new interest, perspective, and importance. She is the first historian to explore the relationship between colonial legal culture and sources of constitutional authority within the British empire, and she does so with a fine appreciation for the negotiated, pragmatic, and changing nature of the relationship. This book is a major contribution to colonial American legal, constitutional, and imperial history and sets the standard for future study of the transatlantic constitution.

Bruce H. Mann

Mary Sarah Bilder has taken an old and long-unfashionable topic and successfully given it new interest, perspective, and importance. She is the first historian to explore the relationship between colonial legal culture and sources of constitutional authority within the British empire, and she does so with a fine appreciation for the negotiated, pragmatic, and changing nature of the relationship. This book is a major contribution to colonial American legal, constitutional, and imperial history and sets the standard for future study of the transatlantic constitution. --(Bruce H. Mann, author of Republic of Debtors: Bankruptcy in the Age of American Independence)

David Konig

The Transatlantic Constitution makes a major impact on the way we see the legacy of the colonial period and the later federal relationship that continues to affect us today. Mary Sarah Bilder presents an intensive examination of the structure and functioning of the legal relationship across the Atlantic, between the people of a colony and the legal metropolis in London. This exhaustively researched and deeply informed book recasts the way we think about how the "transatlantic relationship" affected law and authority. --(David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews