This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the focus of the book, which is the history of the encounter between the aboriginal peoples of North America and Australasia and the common law that British colonialism transplanted into their lands. It then discusses law and colonialism, aboriginal histories and common law, how the common law treats its own past, the idea of law in the Marshall judgments on Indian status (1823-1832), and aboriginal societies and the common law in the pre-modern era.
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