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The Common Law in Colonial AmericaVolume III: The Chesapeake and New England, 1660–1750$
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William E. Nelson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190465056.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2021

Strengthening Virginia’s Legal Order

Strengthening Virginia’s Legal Order

(p.31) 3 Strengthening Virginia’s Legal Order
The Common Law in Colonial America

William E. Nelson

Oxford University Press

After Bacon’s Rebellion, the victors gradually transformed Virginia from a fragile, rebellious colony into a stable polity and the polity on the North American continent most supportive of British imperial policies. No royal or other officials intentionally orchestrated these changes, which simply occurred for widely disparate reasons: the first was a switch from white to black labor, the second, an ability and willingness on the part of planters to provide employment for poorer whites, the third, the strengthening of the religious establishment, the fourth, continued reception of the common law, and the fifth, establishing judicial control over law finding by juries.

Keywords:   James Blair, common law, dissenting Protestants, juries, morals offenses, noblesse oblige, patronage, pleading, slavery

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