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A History of American Law$
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Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190070885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190070885.001.0001

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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: 25 October 2021

Blood and Gold: Some Main Themes in the Law in the Last Half of the Nineteenth Century

Blood and Gold: Some Main Themes in the Law in the Last Half of the Nineteenth Century

(p.321) 1 Blood and Gold: Some Main Themes in the Law in the Last Half of the Nineteenth Century
A History of American Law

Lawrence M. Friedman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses changes in American law during the second half of the nineteenth century, covering organic law, state constitutions, and the West. The last half of the nineteenth century was crowded with events and evolutions, the most dramatic of which was the great Civil War. In many ways, wars fundamentally disrupt the operation of the legal system. The Civil War was unusually violent, and it did unusual violence to the ordinary course of justice. It was also a constitutional crisis: the Confederate states had renounced the union, declared themselves independent, and drafted their own constitution. But the war was, in a way, only an interlude. Underneath and around it and before it and after it, vast processes were changing society in fundamental ways. Changes in American law, between 1850 and 1900, were little short of revolutionary. In many fields, the law or the practice looked very different at the end of this period, compared to the beginning.

Keywords:   American law, nineteenth century, Civil War, organic law, state constitutions, justice

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