The University of North Carolina Press

Studies in Legal History

Robert J. Steinfeld

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

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Studies in Legal History

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Along Freedom Road

Hyde County, North Carolina, and the Fate of Black Schools in the South

David S. Cecelski

David Cecelski chronicles one of the most sustained and successful protests of the civil rights movement--the 1968-69 school boycott in Hyde County, North Carolina. For an entire year, the county's black citizens refused to send their children to school in protest of a desegregation plan that required closing two historically black schools in their remote coastal community. Parents and students held nonviolent protests daily for five months, marched twice on the state capitol in Raleigh, and drove the Ku Klux Klan out of the county in a massive gunfight.

The threatened closing of Hyde County's black schools collided with a rich and vibrant educational heritage that had helped to sustain the black community since Reconstruction. As other southern school boards routinely closed black schools and displaced their educational leaders, Hyde County blacks began to fear that school desegregation was undermining--rather than enhancing--this legacy. This book, then, is the story of one county's extraordinary struggle for civil rights, but at the same time it explores the fight for civil rights in all of eastern North Carolina and the dismantling of black education throughout the South.

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Before Eminent Domain

Toward a History of Expropriation of Land for the Common Good

Susan Reynolds

Opening with allusions to a few suggestive examples from non-European societies and ancient Greece and Rome, the book concentrates on western Europe and the English colonies in America. As Reynolds argues, expropriation was a common legal practice in many societies in which individuals had rights to land. It was generally accepted that land could be taken from them, with compensation, when the community, however defined, needed it. She demonstrates that land has been taken, with compensation, for what has been perceived to be the public good at least since the early Middle Ages in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and since the seventeenth century in America.

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Catalonia's Advocates

Lawyers, Society, and Politics in Barcelona, 1759-1900

Stephen Jacobson

Offering a window into the history of the modern legal profession in Western Europe, Stephen Jacobson presents a history of lawyers in the most industrialized city on the Mediterranean. Far from being mere curators of static law, Barcelona's lawyers were at the center of social conflict and political and economic change, mediating between state, family, and society.

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Domestic Secrets

Women and Property in Sweden, 1600-1857

Maria Ågren

Agren chronicles changes in married women's property rights in Sweden between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, revealing the story of women's property as not just a simple narrative of the erosion of legal rights, but a more complex tale of unintended consequences. Agren's work enhances our understanding of how societies have conceived of women’s contributions to the fundamental institutions of marriage and the family, using as an example a country with far-reaching influence during and after the Enlightenment.

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The Inception of Modern Professional Education

C. C. Langdell, 1826-1906

Bruce A. Kimball

As dean of Harvard Law School from 1870 to 1895, Christopher C. Langdell (1826-1906) conceived, designed, and built the educational model that leading professional schools in virtually all fields subsequently emulated.Based on meritocracy, the system’s components included the admission requirement of a bachelor’s degree, the sequenced curriculum and its extension to three years, the hurdle of annual examinations for continuation and graduation, and the independent career track for professional faculty, among other requirements that proved controversial when they were first instituted. This is the first full-length biography of the man whose educational model eventually became the standard for other professional schools.

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The Invention of Free Labor

The Employment Relation in English and American Law and Culture, 1350-1870

Examining the emergence of the modern conception of free labor--labor that could not be legally compelled, even though voluntarily agreed upon--Steinfeld explains how English law dominated the early American colonies, making violation of al labor agreements punishable by imprisonment. By the eighteenth century, traditional legal restrictions no longer applied to many kinds of colonial workers, but it was not until the nineteenth century that indentured servitude came to be regarded as similar to slavery.

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Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

James M. Donovan

From their introduction in 1791 as an expression of the sovereignty of the people through the early 1900s, argues Donovan, juries often acted against the wishes of the political and judicial authorities, despite repeated governmental attempts to manipulate their composition. High acquittal rates for both political and nonpolitical crimes were in part due to juror resistance to the harsh and rigid punishments imposed by the Napoleonic Penal Code, Donovan explains.

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Slavery on Trial

Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture

Jeannine Marie DeLombard

America's legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry co-conspirators. Jeannine Marie DeLombard examines how debates over slavery in the three decades before the Civil War employed legal language to "try" the case for slavery in the court of public opinion via popular print media. Discussing autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, a scandal narrative about Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist speech by Henry David Thoreau, sentimental fiction by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a proslavery novel by William MacCreary Burwell, DeLombard argues that American literature of the era cannot be fully understood without an appreciation for the slavery debate in the courts and in print. Combining legal, literary, and book history approaches, ###Slavery on Trial# provides a refreshing alternative to the official perspectives offered by the nation’s founding documents, legal treatises, statutes, and judicial decisions. DeLombard invites us to view the intersection of slavery and law as so many antebellum Americans did--through the lens of popular print culture. The country’s legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry coconspirators. DeLombard examines how debates over slavery in the three decades before the Civil War employed legal language to “try” the case for slavery in the court of public opinion via popular print media. Arguing that American literature of the era cannot be fully understood without an appreciation for the slavery debate in the courts and in print, DeLombard discusses the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass, a scandal narrative about Sojourner Truth, a speech by Henry David Thoreau, fiction by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a proslavery novel by William McCreary Burwell. DeLombard examines how debates over slavery in the three decades before the Civil War employed legal language to “try” the case for slavery in the court of public opinion via popular print media. The country’s legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry coconspirators. DeLombard discusses how this consciousness was evident in the “trials” over slavery found in the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass, a scandal narrative about Sojourner Truth, a speech by Henry David Thoreau, fiction by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a proslavery novel by William McCreary Burwell. America's legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry co-conspirators. Jeannine Marie DeLombard examines how debates over slavery in the three decades before the Civil War employed legal language to "try" the case for slavery in the court of public opinion via popular print media. Discussing autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, a scandal narrative about Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist speech by Henry David Thoreau, sentimental fiction by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a proslavery novel by William MacCreary Burwell, DeLombard argues that American literature of the era cannot be fully understood without an appreciation for the slavery debate in the courts and in print. Combining legal, literary, and book history approaches, ###Slavery on Trial# provides a refreshing alternative to the official perspectives offered by the nation’s founding documents, legal treatises, statutes, and judicial decisions. DeLombard invites us to view the intersection of slavery and law as so many antebellum Americans did--through the lens of popular print culture.

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Working Knowledge

Employee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930

Catherine L. Fisk

Skilled workers of the early nineteenth century enjoyed a degree of professional independence because workplace knowledge and technical skill were their property, or at least their attribute. In most sectors of today's economy, however, it is a foundational and widely accepted truth that businesses retain legal ownership of employee-generated intellectual property.

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